When Is Probate Required?

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After a close family member passes away, your focus should be on your emotional recovery, not on a court case. However, South Carolina law requires many estates to go through the probate process. This involves submitting the will to the probate or, if there is no will, informing the court of the death and opening a case.

It is important to know that traditional probate is not always required. In South Carolina, there is a highly simplified process that does not require opening up a whole probate case if one of the following applies:

  • The estate value is $25,000 or less
  • The only beneficiary of the estate is the personal representative, no matter what the value of the estate might be

Even if you don’t meet either of the above criteria for simplified probate, not all assets in the estate might have to go through probate. Many people plan ahead with estate planning to keep assets out of probate, including:

  • Assets and property held in a revocable trust
  • Beneficiary accounts, including retirement and investment accounts, bank accounts, life insurance, and more
  • Property held in joint title

Eliminating such property from an estate might even get the value below $25,000, so that you might avoid traditional probate altogether.

Speak with a Columbia, SC Probate Attorney

If you are facing a possible probate case, never hesitate to contact a South Carolina probate attorney at Parker Law. We’re here to help, so please call 803.918.5164 or contact us online for more information today.

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South Carolina Probate FAQs

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of administering someone’s estate after they pass away. This can be done according to a last will and testament, or in line with South Carolina law if there is no will.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Probate?

Some probate cases might be relatively simple, but complications can always arise. It is wise to seek legal counsel to ensure your probate case goes smoothly and efficiently.

Can You Avoid Probate?

Many people plan ahead and keep certain assets – or entire estates – out of probate through trusts and other legal estate planning tools.

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