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.

  1. The court assigns a personal representative if there is no will or no designated personal representative in the will of the deceased.
  2. The court identifies heirs not named in the will, allowing them to contest the will should they choose to do so.
  3. Inventory of the estate and appraisal of items when necessary.
  4. Accounting completed to pay any outstanding debts to creditors, taxes, and any legal or accounting fees that are outstanding.
  5. 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.



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.



James McCutchen helped me with my business contract for my new business venture. He was able to offer helpful and informative suggestions and recommendations for my contract. It is reassuring to have someone like James look over my contract to know that I will be covered. His service was outstanding and I highly recommend him for your legal needs!!



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.


! NOTICE ! No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues problems.