South Carolina Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person. Probating a decedent’s estate involves a number of steps to ensure that the decedent’s wishes are carried out and the title of property passes to the intended heirs.
By law, creditors have eight months to file a claim against an estate and no assets can be distributed before this claim period expires. Most probate administrations last approximately one year. In some instances, it can take several years to complete the administration.
Only those assets that a deceased person held individually without a pay on death beneficiary designation are subject to a Probate proceeding. Assets held jointly with a right of survivorship, and any accounts that have a beneficiary designation (IRA’s, 401(k)’s, Life Insurance), are considered non-probate assets and they pass automatically at death.
Under South Carolina law, the Personal Representative is allowed to hire an Attorney, on behalf of the Estate, to represent him or her in the Probate Administration. The Estate bears the expense of such legal representation. For more information on Probate Administrations in South Carolina, please contact the Law Office of Kathryn M. Cockrill, LLC. Kathryn Cockrill offers a free consultation to discuss the duties and obligations of a Personal Representative, as well as the steps involved in a Probate Administration.