Facts about the probate process
Probate can be a confusing process to someone who’s experiencing it for the first time in South Carolina, and many people feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the whole thing. The good news is that the probate process isn’t always complicated.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of validating a will, determining the value of the deceased person’s assets, and then distributing those assets as per that will. This process is usually administered by a court and can be quite drawn out.
What are the steps of the probate process?
The first step of the probate process is opening a probate file. The executor will generally open this file and let creditors know that he or she is handling an estate. If someone contests the deceased person’s will during this time frame, then the court administrator may freeze assets until the matter gets resolved.
The next step is locating all of the deceased person’s assets and belongings, which is commonly known as estate administration. The executor will have to provide a detailed list of these items along with their estimated value in order for creditors to be able to file a claim if they so wish.
After that, the executor will have to determine which creditors need to get paid off and how much money is available after that. Those same assets are then distributed to all of the people the deceased person named in his or her will. The end result is that assets get distributed as per the will, and any debts owed by the estate get cleared before anything else.
Besides authenticating a will, the probate process facilitates the clearing of debts and distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Whether you’re writing your own will or helping with someone else’s probate process, it’s important that you understand how it all works to make the experience easier for yourself.