Avoiding probate court is the goal of many estate planning attorneys. Why? Because probate court not only takes time and resources, but it takes money out of the estate left to a decedent’s heirs. While many estates end up in probate, there are ways to avoid it. Take a look at three tips to help keep your estate out of South Carolina probate court.

#1: Create a Living Trust

A living trust assigns ownership of your assets to a trust. When you die, the property ownership transfers to a trustee. A trustee’s job is managing the distribution of those assets as defined by the trust and your will. Because you don’t technically own the property at the time of your death, your estate can avoid probate.

#2: Consider Joint Ownership

If your property isn’t already jointly owned with another individual, such as a spouse or partner, it’s something to consider that can help avoid probate. When one owner dies, the surviving owner takes control of the property. Because a living person owns the property at that point, there is no need for probate.

#3: Talk to a Probate Attorney

Every estate is different and has different needs for both the owner and their heirs. Before jumping to any one action to try to protect your estate, it’s critical to enlist the guidance of a professional probate attorney. They can assess your circumstances, your property, and your assets and guide you on the best way to protect it for you while you’re living and for your heirs when you’re gone. Contact the team at McCutchen McLean, LLC for help and advice regarding estate planning and to avoid the probate courts.



James McCutchen drafted our estate planning documents and he did a fantastic job. The entire process was easy and affordable. I highly recommend James for any of your estate planning or probate needs.



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I recently had a tax issue with the IRS. I called McCutchen McClean law firm and they were able to fit me in quickly. They sat down with me, reviewed all the documents, listened to my concerns, and gave me wonderful advice as to how to fix the issue. They were friendly and understanding. Now, my tax issue is resolved, taking a HUGE weight off my mind. I would recommend them for any tax issue you may have! The service, hospitality, knowledge, and professionalism was outstanding!



We recently used James McCutchen and we could not be any happier! He was very kind, thorough when answering all of our questions and the best part of all we got everything completed pretty quickly. We highly recommend James. Thanks again for everything!



I have referred several clients to them. My clients are very happy with the outstanding, timely service they receive. James and Robin are extremely smart and professional, yet speak in "plain english" so everyone walks away educated regarding their tax, estate or family law issue.



Smart people that do great work.



I used Robin McLean as an attorney to secure a divorce about 20 months ago. I found her to be efficient, reasonably priced, and very well skilled. I was completely happy with her work. She did what she said. Since that time, I needed additional help with paperwork and she responded promptly and to my complete satisfaction. I highly recommend Robin as an attorney.


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