Pickens Firm Offers Legal Assistance with Probate Administration in South Carolina
Experienced firm helps clients fairly and expeditiously probate estates
If you have been named as the executor of someone’s will or been appointed as the administrator for a person who died intestate, Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. can help you manage your important legal responsibilities. From our office in Pickens, we help residents of Greenville, Easley and other locations handle probate duties from the filing of the will through to the final dispersal of the decedent’s assets. We also assist potential beneficiaries if they have a concern about a will’s validity or the estate representative’s performance.
Elements of the probate administration process
Though South Carolina estates valued at less than $25,000 can be distributed by executing an affidavit, those that include assets above that level go through the formal probate process. Our knowledgeable attorneys assist clients through every type of probate administration task, including:
- Filing the will — The executor named in the will, or someone close to the decedent if no will exists, petitions to the open the estate in the Probate Court of the county where the decedent lived.
- Collecting assets — Once a personal representative for the estate is appointed by the court, he or she transfers ownership of the deceased person’s assets into the estate. As this process is being completed, the representative is required to keep an inventory of estate assets and debts.
- Notifying beneficiaries and creditors — Part of the function of the probate process is to make sure that debts incurred by the decedent are paid off. Accordingly, the estate representative is required to send “letters testamentary” to inform creditors, as well as beneficiaries named in the will, that probate has commenced.
- Paying expenses — Taxes, fees to maintain the decedent’s home and other expenses must be paid while probate is pending. The estate representative is responsible for paying these obligations and keeping accurate records of each transaction.
- Distributing the property — At the point where all of the decedent’s assets have been brought into the estate and all expenses have been paid, the property can be distributed to the heirs named in the will. Upon completion, a verified statement of closing is filed with the Probate Court and the estate is settled.
Certain assets owned by a decedent are not transferred through the probate system. As part of an estate planning strategy, someone might move some of what they own into a living trust, jointly held account or life insurance policy. You can rely on us to explain what items pass directly to their intended beneficiaries.
Dedicated lawyers work to settle probate disputes
The death of a loved one should bring people together, but disputes over the decedent’s property frequently snarl the probate process. If you’re serving as representative for an estate, you might face accusations that you are not abiding by the language of the will or that you are not handling your fiduciary duties properly. We understand how quickly these conflicts can get out of control, potentially depleting estate assets. Our probate litigation attorneys advocate on behalf of executors and beneficiaries in probate disputes and work to resolve disagreements promptly and efficiently. You can also rely on us for knowledgeable counsel in will contests involving allegations of fraud, undue influence, mistake or lack of capacity.
Contact a skillful South Carolina probate lawyer to set up a consultation
Located in Pickens, the firm of Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. guides clients through the South Carolina probate process. We serve the entire area, including Greenville and Easley. You can speak with an experienced attorney by calling 864-668-1013 or contacting us online for a free initial consultation.