How Does South Carolina Probate Work?

Posted on: July 8th, 2020 by , No Comments

Have you inherited a property without a Valid Will having been created? With or without a will the estate will need to be administered via the South Carolina Probate Court so let us help you figure out where to start. 

Once you have the death certificate, you will want to contact the local Probate Court and make an initial appointment. It is important to note that you should be reaching out Court from the county of the deceased party, if different from your own. 

What Should I bring with me?


  • Original death certificate
  • Original Will (if available)
  • List of contact information for all family members 


What Should I Expect? You will… 


  • Have a personally meeting with a Probate Clerk 
  • Be provided with plenty of useful information – be prepared to take notes
  • Officially open the estate by preparing a petition 
  • Publish a newspaper notice 
  • Learn about your Inventory and Appraisement options
  • Learn about the Title transferring process


If you are the Personal Representative for the estate (previously known as the Executor of the Estate), you will need to create an overview of estates’ assets at the time of death to include bank accounts, all properties and investments, among other things. All listed items should be accompanied by an estimated value. You may consider consulting an attorney. Be sure to submit this by filling out an Inventory and Appraisement with the Probate Court. 

Probate Costs

The Probate process can run a Personal Representative hundreds of dollars in filling fees, court fees, announcements, publications, and (most costly of all) attorney fees.  Using an estate planning layer and executing a Will prior to death is the best way to help un-complicate matters and relieve the financial burden on the beneficiaries. The simplest, most cost-effective inheritance have Valid Will and Trust and an established title bank accounts, real estate, and assets. 

Without a Will and the affairs being in order, the expenses can quickly add up due to the added complications that can be associated with that type of case. Attorneys may need to cut throw red tape, work to understand proper division of assets among the survive, settle family disagreements on rights between beneficiaries, etc. 

Probate Court Expectations

In the state of South Carolina, all Wills must be filled within 30 days. Creditors have eight months after being notified to file a claim and the Probate process can take an average nine months to one year.