How long does the probate process take?
South Carolina residents who recently lost a loved one might have to wait for probate to take place. An estate goes through probate regardless of whether there was a will.
What is probate?
Probate is a legal process that settles a person’s estate with court supervision. If there’s no will, the court appoints an administrator. If the person had a will, it likely named someone as executor to handle all estate matters. This includes paying taxes and debts as well as making sure that beneficiaries receive what the deceased intended to leave them as inheritances.
How long does probate take?
There are different factors that determine how long probate might take. It could take a few weeks, a few months or as long as a year or even longer to settle a person’s estate. The court will have to schedule a hearing to officially appoint the person named in the will as executor. The person’s beneficiaries are given notice of this hearing.
After the executor is appointed, that person is responsible for notifying the decedent’s creditors that an inventory of the assets of the estate will be conducted.
Family members not mentioned in the will or who are unhappy with what’s mentioned in it are allowed to contest the will. After the contesting of the will and the probate hearing ends, the executor can then pay the estate taxes and pay back the decedent’s creditors. They can also submit a request to start distributing property from the estate to the person’s heirs through instructions in the will. If no will exists, they can do this through state law.
Once all decedent’s creditors have been paid back and the beneficiaries have received their inheritances, the executor then notifies the court so that the estate can be closed.