Understanding South Carolina Probate

South Carolina Estate Planning | ProbateOur South Carolina probate attorneys manage South Carolina estate planning matters relating to probate.  South Carolina probate generally requires examination of the original Last Will & Testament (and any other associated estate planning instruments) to determine the rightful beneficiaries of the estate.  The South Carolina probate court only examines the property or estate assets that passes under the will or that are not properly transferred to an estate planning trust.  The probate court also examines contested property and assets with unclear ownership and reaffirms the clear provisions of a will, trust documents or other estate planning instruments unless otherwise challenged. The probate process requires the following documents to be filed for the consideration of the South Carolina probate:

  • the last will and testament and any other estate planning instruments
  • a self-proving affidavit
  • a request or petition for entering the county probate process
  • copies mailed notices to heirs and other concerned parties
  • a detailed inventory of estate property and assets
  • any and all other relevant paperwork for the probate process

What Does the South Carolina Probate Court Charge?

In South Carolina, each  county has a separate probate court. South Carolina state law set standard South Carolina probate court fees for all probate courts  in all counties across the state.  The responsibility for paying probate costs and fees will generally come from the probate estate, not from the executor, trustee or beneficiaries.  Initial estate expenses incurred by the executor, trustee, beneficiaries or others are generally reimbursed after the probate estate is opened. Simply put, the fee is 15% of 1% on the first $600,000 of estate assets and 25% of 1% on the amount above $600,000. It is important to note that the probate fees are not based on the net value of an estate after calculating debts but rather they are calculated based on the gross value of the estate’s assets. It is also important to recognize that this fee only applies to assets that pass under the Will.

What do you do after you have named the personal representative of your estate?
You will need a South Carolina probate lawyer to settle the probate forms, tax filings and other situational legal decisions that may not be directly apparent in the general probate process. Our Charleston probate attorneys provide legal counsel for any trust administration and estate administration duties.

Do I Need A South Carolina Attorney?

In short, yes — a South Carolina probate attorney understands the necessary procedure and relevant paperwork for the probate process that would otherwise remain unclear to those not legally experienced with South Carolina probate. Our Charleston probate attorneys also understand the mechanics of trust administration, estate administration, will contests and trusts litigation to support our clients in challenging any errors in the probate process if necessary. Our Charleston probate attorneys also understand the available remedies of estate litigation and trust litigation in order to combat the various serious South Carolina probate issues that can only be addressed through litigation.