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Wiles Law Probate Process South Carolina

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What is Probate?

Probate in South Carolina, is the legal process by which an estate is settled. Probate literally means to “prove,” so you are proving in court the Will is valid. If the deceased died without a Will then it is distributed according to intestacy laws through Probate court.

All Wills go into Probate–it’s unavoidable and can take over a year and a half. Plus almost 10% in probate fees, courts costs, attorneys and representatives of your estate.

The ONLY way to avoid probate is to have assets in a fully funded Living Trust. The trust should be held jointly with right of survivorship, or have a designated beneficiary.


Probate Process in Charleston

  • Will Delivered – The Will must be delivered to Probate court within 30 days of death and petitioned for the estate to be opened
  • Representation Named – Once the Will is petitioned, the court determines to use the named personal representative or appoint a new one. 
  • Validation – The probate court proves the validity or invalidity of the Will
  • Appraisal – All property is identified, inventoried and appraised
  • Accounting – All debts are paid off.
  • Disputes – In cases of a contested Will, disputes must be resolved
  • Distribution – The remaining assets are distributed according to the Will or state law

If you decide to do this alone, beware that South Carolina law, rather than the deceased’s wishes, can determine how the estate will be distributed. Are you ready to handle the complexities? It’s never too late to plan, until it is.

Protect Your Estate From Probate Today!



Explore Our Practice Areas

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Probate & Trust Administration

Losing a loved one can feel overwhelming. Determining what happens next can be just as hard. No matter where you are in the process, we’re here to guide and protect your loved one’s legacy through the complexities of Probate Administration or Trust Administration.

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Trusts & Wills

Every adult needs an estate plan that includes a Will, a durable power of attorney, and an advance medical directive. We also recommend a variety of essential estate planning documents, including trusts to help avoid probate. Find out what types of Wills or types of Trusts are right for your family.


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Estate Planning

We design forward-looking strategies to clients from all walks of life in the Charleston area. Whether you need assistance with Estate Planning, providing for a loved one with special needs, Planning For a Minor or designing a complex wealth preservation strategy. Contact us today and learn how we can Protect More.

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Asset Protection

Asset protection will secure the wealth you have accumulated and give you the peace of mind that you are shielded from financial assault. Asset protection can include LLC formation and different types of Irrevocable Trusts. Our attorneys are highly experienced in helping to protect your assets from creditor attacks, excessive taxation and lawsuits well before such disasters occur.