Basic probate process in South Carolina
There are a number of important policies and documents that people in South Carolina should have as they plan for the future unexpected events. One common one that people generally make sure they have is insurance. This could be auto insurance, home owner’s insurance, renter’s insurance and other forms of insurance. Another important document that people should have, but may overlook or put off is a Will. This is obviously planning for death as opposed to life events, but it is still an important document as people plan their lives.
Wills help ensure that people’s possessions end up with who they want to have it. There are intestate laws that dictate who will receive the property if there is no Will, but many times people do not their property to go those people when they pass away. While a Will dictates who will receive certain property, Wills still need to go through the probate process before the estate can be closed.
Steps in the probate process
The probate process can either be informal or formal. Informal means that paperwork must be submitted, but people can administer the estate without court appearances. The formal probate process involves court appearances and are necessary if there is no Will or people are challenging the Will or part of it. This can be a more complicated process and every step will be overseen by the court.
Through the informal process, once the personal representative is appointed, who is usually the person named in the Will, that person will begin notifying the beneficiaries and any creditors of the person’s death. The personal representative will then inventory and appraise assets and transfer them to the appropriate people as well as pay any creditors. Once that is done the personal representative will provide an accounting with the court to close the estate.
Its an unfortunate fact, but one of the few guarantees in life is that everyone in South Carolina will pass away at some point in time. Having a Will is important, but people will still need to go through the probate process. This can be a complicated process and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.