Probate Call Jeff Johnson
The Name You SHOULD Know

How Probate Works in South Carolina

The probate process is done to settle the deceased person’s estate under the supervision of the court. If the deceased person died with a will, the first step is to deliver the will to the probate court. The will can then be verified by the court and the estate will be handled according to the will instructions. If the person died without a will, the estate will be settled according to South Carolina inheritance law as determined by the court.

Only assets subject to probate will be handled in probate. These assets can include:

  • Real estate
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Vehicles
  • Personal belongings, such as jewelry, art, collectibles, furniture, and more
  • Interests in businesses, such as through partnerships or corporations
  • Life insurance policies that are not listed as payable upon death
  • Any other valuables owned by the deceased person

Some assets will not need to go through probate, such as accounts with a named beneficiary, including retirement accounts and insurance policies, assets held in trusts, pension plans, and anything designated transfer-on-death or payable-on-death.

The probate process has many steps as follows:

  • Locate and collect all assets belonging to the deceased person, and identify any debts or obligations that are associated with these assets
  • Determine who is legally responsible for managing the estate, known as an executor or personal representative
  • Open an estate account and deposit all assets into it
  • Notify creditors of the deceased’s death
  • Publish notice of probate proceedings to potential beneficiaries
  • Appraise estate property as necessary according to state law
  • Collect due taxes on behalf of the deceased from government agencies such as Social Security, IRS, Veteran Affairs, etc.
  • Pay off any debts and obligations that are associated with estate property
  • Distribute remaining assets according to will or via intestacy laws (when no will exists)
  • Close all accounts opened during the probate process

As you can see, the probate process can be complicated and lengthy. As the appointed administrator of this process, you will be required to complete all steps according to the law while acting in the best interests of the heirs and beneficiaries. 

At Jeff Johnson Law, we are here to walk you through the process and help you complete all the steps. You can depend on thorough, competent, and caring legal assistance from start to finish.

Attorney Dedicated to Your Case This isn’t a multiple attorney firm that will assign you an attorney you have never met or whose name you have never heard. You will be working with Jeff and his capable staff to resolve your case in your best interest.


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