The probate process is a way for the courts to help people through the settlement of a loved one’s estate after their passing. Some people see it as a way for the government to intervene, but it can be a helpful way to sort things out and avoid potential fraud and family fighting, especially if someone dies without a will. It allows for heir notification, the estate appraisal, and creditor and tax payments. But it can be hard to navigate on your own. Here’s a beginner’s guide to what happens during probate.
- The court assigns a personal representative if there is no will or no designated personal representative in the will of the deceased.
- The court identifies heirs not named in the will, allowing them to contest the will should they choose to do so.
- Inventory of the estate and appraisal of items when necessary.
- Accounting completed to pay any outstanding debts to creditors, taxes, and any legal or accounting fees that are outstanding.
- Disbursement of the remainder of the estate and the assets to the rightful heirs as laid out in the will. If there is no will, the assets will be distributed according to South Carolina law.
If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, you’re not alone. The probate process can take a long time and be very stressful. The best way to get through it with the fewest complications and with the estate as intact as possible is by hiring a probate attorney. The team at McCutchen and McLean, LLC has the knowledge and experience to help. Contact them today for a free consultation.