The attorneys and staff of the Upstate Law Group, LLC understand what a
difficult time it is when a family member passes away. There are arrangements to
be made, creditors to deal with, and family members who each want certain things
from the loved one's life. Probate can be a scary and confusing process. The
Upstate of South Carolina is fortunate to have very kind and helpful Probate
Court staff in their offices; however, having an attorney to help you navigate the
process is highly recommended and often necessary.
What does "probate" mean?
In its strictest sense, probate means a process where a Will
is admitted by the
Court as valid under South Carolina law. There are two kinds of probating of a
will - formal and informal. Informal probate admits the will as valid. Formal
probate requires a hearing
to confirm the validity of the will. If the will has
erasures, white-out, or other markings, the Court may require a formal probate
Do I need an attorney to probate a will?
For formal probate or appointment, the Courts generally recommend the services
of an attorney. The formal probate procedure requires the filing of a
Summons/Petition/filing fee and then service of the pleadings on the interested
parties, just like a regular lawsuit. A hearing is then set for presentation of
testimony. Since a hearing is not required for informal probate and/or informal
appointment, an attorney is not always necessary but can be helpful in
negotiating with creditors, and to assure the
probate is handled correctly
that there are no legal claims that can be made later against the Personal
How does a Personal Representative get appointed?
Appointment of a Personal Representative is granted informally to a person who
has priority under South Carolina law. Usually, the Personal Representative is
named in the will by the decedent. However, priority can result through the
will, by law, by renunciation, or by termination. Additionally, any person with
priority may nominate another. However, a person without priority may only be
appointed through formal proceedings. Following service of the formal
Summons/Petition, a hearing will be scheduled to determine who is the
appropriate person to administer the estate.
What are the duties of the Personal Representative?
The Personal Representative is responsible for collecting, protecting and
the estate. This includes
giving Notice to all interested parties, filing an Inventory of the estate,
making sure assets are secure during probate time, paying required claims and
costs, and making sure the proper people get what they are entitled to receive.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal
advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual
situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and
electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send any confidential or time-sensitive information to us until such time as an
attorney-client relationship has been established.