Probate is the process of gathering your assets, paying your last bills and expenses, and distributing the assets to your beneficiaries. Many people think having a Will avoids probate, but that is not true. If you have a valid Will, the probate court will follow it in determining who gets your property, but the probate process is still required if you own property in your own name when you die.
The probate process begins with the filing of a probate application, death certificate, and Will, if there is one. The probate court then appoints the Personal Representative (PR). The PR then takes control of the assets, files an inventory of assets, determines whether claims against the estate are valid, pays valid claims and other expenses of the estate. In South Carolina, the probate court will publish a notice to creditors in the local newspaper and then the creditor claims period begins. During this period, creditors can file claims against the estate. That period is open for eight months. After the creditors claim period expires, the PR can pay valid claims and then distribute the remaining property as indicated in the Will or as dictated by the law.
HOW CAN WE HELP
Whether you are to serve as the PR or you are a beneficiary needing guidance on your rights, we can help. Chuck Crews is an experienced probate attorney who can assist you to ensure the process is handled correctly and legally.
© All Rights Reserved.