Probate Lawyer in Cowpens, SC

About The CDH Law Firm Difference

As seasoned probate lawyers in South Carolina, we understand that Estate Administration often involves sensitive family dynamics as much as it does the legal minutia involved in probate law. After all, a person's estate not only affects their generation but the generations that follow.

But when your loved one passes, their assets must be managed and distributed correctly. When mismanaged, disputes often arise between parties like the Beneficiaries, Trustees, Heirs, or Executors of a Will. Even when everything is managed the right way, arguments and misunderstandings can still occur, and even evolve into bitter legal battles necessitating probate litigation.

It stands to reason, then, that you should hire a probate lawyer in Cowpens, SC to help. But the truth is, many attorneys don't have vast experience with probate and trust work. If they do, they aren't usually seasoned trial attorneys. That's what separates probate attorneys at CHSA Law, LLC from others - we have the ability to help plan your Estate and litigate estate disputes if they arise.

We are keenly familiar with local probate judges, courtroom staff members, and the related procedures involved with South Carolina probate law. Our intimate knowledge and experience help us successfully navigate the probate process to complete our client's cases quickly and efficiently.

But that's just one aspect that sets CDH apart from other firms. Understanding the importance of personalized attention, we also make an intentional decision to limit our law firm's overall caseload. This allows us to better focus on individual clients, many of whom remain with us for generations. We do not pass off cases to paralegals or junior associates but rather prioritize the attorney-client relationship. We value compassion and integrity, and our practice reflects those values.

Moreover, trust is one of the most important aspects of the attorney-client relationship. We work to create an open, friendly environment in which you can feel comfortable. After years of experience, we boast the skill and experience necessary to earn that trust - and that's a priceless commodity when it comes to probate cases in South Carolina.

Understanding The Probate Process in South Carolina

When a loved one passes away, it's natural to go through a time of emotional adjustment. However, it's crucial for the family of the loved one to face the financial realities of their estate. That reality includes the probate process, which involves distributing assets and settling the estate. A probate attorney in Cowpens, SC is often recommended to assist during this time. This process isn't just recommended - it's often a legal responsibility in South Carolina.

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Steps to the Probate Process in South Carolina

01

Delivery of Will Upon Death: During probate, the first step involves having a will delivered to an Estate Administrator or to the probate court. The deadline to accomplish this task is 30 days.

02

A Personal Representative is Assigned: This individual is often named in a Will and should be appointed officially by the court.

03

A Notice is Sent to Intestate Heirs: If these heirs feel that they should inherit, they have a right to challenge this step.

04

The Estate is Inventoried and Appraised: This process must occur within 90 days of opening an estate. In some estates with valuables like jewelry, art, and property, professional appraisers may be needed.

05

Settling Accounts: During this step, the estate must pay any applicable taxes, ongoing expenses, or outstanding debts. Should the estate not have enough money to pay these debts, creditors must be paid according to South Carolina code.

06

Distributions: If there is money in the estate after debts are paid, those funds are given to heirs of the estate, according to the Will or the State.

07

Discharge: As soon as any claims are paid, the personal representative of the estate will file documents to close the estate. To make this official, the court will issue a Certificate of Discharge.

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Avoiding Probate in South Carolina

Though most estates in South Carolina must go through probate, it is possible to avoid. This happens when a decedent's assets are placed in a Living Trust prior to their death. In this scenario, beneficiaries must be designated in order to inherit the estate. Suppose there are funds that have been promised to beneficiaries via life insurance policies or bank accounts with "payable upon death" designations. In that case, those funds do not have to go through probate.

Assets subject to probate in South Carolina include:

  • Interest in an LLC, Partnership, or Corporation
  • Real Estate Held as a Tenant in Common
  • Property Held in Only the Deceased's Name
 Probate Attorney Cowpens, SC
Probate Lawyer Cowpens, SC

Assets that are not subject to probate in South Carolina include:

  • Assets Placed in a Trust
  • Assets Which Are Already Tied to a Beneficiary
  • Pension Plan Assets
  • Insurance Policies with Beneficiaries
  • Beneficiaries of Retirement Funds
  • Real Estate or Property with Right of Survivorship
  • Real Estate or Property with Joint Tenancy
  • Accounts That Are Transferable or Payable Upon Death
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Avoiding Probate: Yes or No?

Though it's not always possible, some families go out of their way to avoid the probate process in South Carolina. Doing so can help save money in the long run and also expedite the distribution of funds to heirs. By avoiding probate, you're also keeping personal matters private.

Because every person has different estate and probate complexities, it's hard to say whether avoiding probate is good or bad. Whether or not you should avoid probate depends on your unique situation. As a general rule, it's always best to consult with a probate lawyer in Cowpens, SC, for honest feedback and probate assistance.

Typically, having a Living Trust or a Will in place will make transferring assets easier. A little prep ahead of time will make a world of difference when your loved one passes away. After all, nobody is ever prepared for a relative or family friend's death, but a compassionate, trustworthy probate attorney can make the process easier.

FAQsSouth Carolina Probate FAQs

For many families, "Probate" is a dirty term that involves heartbreak and headaches. And while the probate process in South Carolina can be complex and stressful, having answers to some of the most common probate questions can help put your mind at ease.

Q.

My family member recently passed away, and we're considering their estate. How long will the probate process take?

A.

The time it takes an estate to go through probate in South Carolina varies depending on a number of questions, including:

  • Does the deceased have a valid will?
  • Is the Estate complex or large?
  • Is the Will contested?
  • Have any lawsuits been filed?
  • Is the personal representative of the estate efficient?

When conditions are good, a small or simple estate usually takes about a year to close. More complicated estates may take longer.


Q.

My loved one mentioned opening a Trust to protect my assets. What is a Trust, and what Trusts should I consider?

A.

As is the case with most probate decisions, opening a Trust should be based on your unique situation and guidance from your probate attorney in Cowpens, SC. With that said, a Trust is meant to hold property for your loved one's benefit. When a Trust is created, assets are transferred into the said Trust and managed accordingly. Though there is a common misconception that Trusts are reserved for the wealthy, just about any family can benefit from opening a Trust.

The most common types of Trusts used in probate include:

  • Living Trust: These trusts are opened and controlled by you while you're still living. When you pass away, the assets in the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries you choose. Typically, these trusts do not go through the probate process.
  • Testamentary Trust: These trusts are usually established after you pass away and are included in your will. These trusts must go through the probate process in South Carolina, though they allow for the distribution of property within a certain time frame.
  • Special Needs Trust: This type of trust gives financial support to your loved one if they are disabled.

When conditions are good, a small or simple estate usually takes about a year to close. More complicated estates may take longer.


Q.

What happens when somebody dies without a will in South Carolina?

A.

When a person passes away without a Will in South Carolina, the state decides who gets their decedent's assets. This is also called passing intestate. When this happens, usually only spouses, blood relatives, or registered domestic partners can inherit property according to intestate succession laws.

Relatives who receive the probate property of the deceased are usually chosen in the following order:

  • Living Spouse
  • Children or Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Brothers or Sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and Aunts
  • Extended Family

If you're in need of a veteran probate lawyer in South Carolina, look no further than CDH Law Firm. With years of experience in Estate Administration and probate cases, our team is ready to serve you with excellence and protect your interests. Have additional questions? We're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about Estate Administration in South Carolina.

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A Caring, Confident Approach to Probate in South Carolina

Planning your estate is the first step to take if you want to protect your family, your assets, your well-being, and the fruits of your hard work.

At CHSA Law, LLC, our team of experienced probate lawyers in Cowpens, SC, can help you navigate the entire Estate Administration process. Through creative legal strategies and a clear understanding of your goals and desires, we work together to make your asset and estate visions a reality. It's never too early to get your estate in order. In fact, estate planning is important for everyone, whether you're single or married, young or old, with or without children. If you're ready to protect your assets and be prepared for probate, contact CHSA Law, LLC, today.

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Latest News in Cowpens, SC

Fire destroys Cowpens restaurant

...

COWPENS, S.C. (WSPA) – A fire destroyed a Cowpens restaurant Sunday morning.

The Converse Fire Department’s fire chief said a call came in at 10:51 a.m. to a fire at the Wagon Wheel Fish Camp on Wagon Wheel Road. They arrived five minutes of the call.

Firefighters said they saw heavy smoke coming out of the building when they arrived and strong winds made the fire spread quickly.

According to the fire department, the building is completely destroyed. The cause is unknown at this time.

Vehicle crashes into convenience store near Cowpens

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A vehicle crashed into a convenience store Friday near Cowpens.The Cowpens Fire Department said the SUV crashed into the Hot Spot on Battleground Road.Firefighters were able to shore up the building to allow employees to retrieve their belongings and make it safe for repairs.Nobody was injured in the crash.Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.SPONSORED CONTENT...

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A vehicle crashed into a convenience store Friday near Cowpens.

The Cowpens Fire Department said the SUV crashed into the Hot Spot on Battleground Road.

Firefighters were able to shore up the building to allow employees to retrieve their belongings and make it safe for repairs.

Nobody was injured in the crash.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Upstate veteran surprised with thousands of dollars in home repairs free of charge

Five Star Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical surprised Army veteran Herbert Johnson at his home in Cowpens Wednesday. Infinite Scroll Enabled GET LOCAL BREAKING NEWS ALERTSThe latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.Your Email AddressPrivacy Notice COWPENS, S.C. —Herbert Johnson is an Army veteran who served in the '70s and current...

Five Star Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical surprised Army veteran Herbert Johnson at his home in Cowpens Wednesday.

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COWPENS, S.C. —

Herbert Johnson is an Army veteran who served in the '70s and currently lives in Cowpens with an American flag flying outside of his home.

Johnson lives alone, and he said for more than a decade, he's had to "get by the best he can" without certain additions to his home that many would consider to be necessities.

"I've been struggling with issues for a number of years, about 12 to 15 years," Johnson said. "Heat, air conditioning, water problems and water pressure. I tried repairing it myself when I was able and I tried, but I never could get it quite right."

Johnson currently deals with limited mobility, pushing through severe arthritis in one leg and a torn ACL in the other. To get around, Johnson utilizes a walker, a wheelchair at times, and a ramp outside of his home to make accessing the ground easier.

"In this day and age, you just have to get by the best you can, and that's what I've been doing. I don't have heat or air inside," Johnson said. "Sometimes I just put the unit in the window, and the toilet basically works when it wants to. It always runs. You can't use the toilet and the kitchen sink at the same time."

Due to his health, Johnson felt it was time to finally call a professional to come out and take a look at what repairs needed to be made. He called Five Star Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, or Five Star Today.

"I was here at the home a few days ago," said Stephen Burdett, who is a plumber at Five Star. "We had a service line going into the house that had several leaks. His water service was in excess of 50 years old. That being the case, with a lot of pressure and weaker pipes, it gives over time. The valves in your toilet will continue to run. You’ll start having leaks in your faucet. You can have pinhole leaks in all of your piping under the house.”

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After Five Star's first visit, Johnson said the price tag was something he just couldn't afford.

"The price was running about $13,000," Five Star General Manager Ingrid Verseeuw said. "Stephen also noticed there was no air in the home, and that it was a veteran. We're always looking to see how we can help the community here. He brought it to my attention that there was no way he could pay for it. Everybody came together from my team and the suppliers, and we're just happy to be able to help."

A large team from Five Star showed up unannounced to Johnson's home Wednesday morning to surprise him with free services, to honor Johnson for his service to the country.

"You know what, I was watching the 700 Club, and a miracle had just happened on that show this morning, and this felt like a blessing," Johnson laughed. "A miracle to me. I thought I saw one truck. Then I came out and saw five, six trucks and I said, 'What are they doing? Do they think I'm going to sign a contract or something?'"

Five Star spent several hours at Johnson's home letting him know how much they appreciated his service and how happy they were to be in a position to provide a blessing.

"Five Star is providing (a) new water supply line for this home, as well as a new heating and air conditioning system free of charge," Verseeuw said.

Johnson said he's forever grateful for the company's generosity.

"They realized I was in serious need for repairs," Johnson said. "They showed up and told me they were going to take care of it. Just goes as a reminder for everybody that there’s always hope no matter how bad your situation is. As long as you believe in God, our country and our freedoms, things can get better."

Johnson said he's excited to have his house return to feeling more like a home.

Fire guts Cowpens, S.C., church sanctuary on Christmas weekend

COWPENS, S.C. (BP) — A fire raged through the buildings of Cowpens First Baptist Church on Saturday. More than a dozen local fire stations responded, but ultimately the sanctuary and the attached education building were declared a complete loss.The fire, which started Saturday afternoon, was noticed by a church employee who notified authorities. By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had engulfed the church buildings. The fire department was unable to save the sanctuary and education building because of concerns over struct...

COWPENS, S.C. (BP) — A fire raged through the buildings of Cowpens First Baptist Church on Saturday. More than a dozen local fire stations responded, but ultimately the sanctuary and the attached education building were declared a complete loss.

The fire, which started Saturday afternoon, was noticed by a church employee who notified authorities. By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had engulfed the church buildings. The fire department was unable to save the sanctuary and education building because of concerns over structural integrity, but successfully prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the campus, salvaging the church’s family life center.

Dozens of church members and residents from the community, along with interim pastor Kermit Morris, stood down the street and watched helplessly as the once pristine worship center became a pile of charred rubble.

“This is a devastating loss for our church,” Morris said. “It’s heartbreaking to see the building going up in flames. My first thought was, ‘this is so sad,’ but my immediate second thought was, ‘where are we meeting tomorrow?’ I knew it was critical for us to gather as a family on Sunday.”

The church, founded in 1878 and located in the Spartanburg area of upstate South Carolina, held services Sunday at a local high school. They plan to meet at the Broome High School Fine Arts Center again this week before returning to the church campus Jan. 10 for services in the family life center.

“We’ve had so many pastors and churches reach out offering to help and to pray for the church,” Morris said. “Area churches are providing chairs, a sound system and other needs as we shift to meeting in the family life center.”

This is not the first time the sanctuary at FBC Cowpens has suffered a fire. In Dec. 1987, while renovations were taking place, a fire caused major damage. Though not a complete loss, the sanctuary interior was severely damaged. The building reopened in 1989. Further renovations to the sanctuary were completed in 2016.

Now, all that is left are memories.

“We stood on the sidewalk for 5 hours and watched it burn,” Morris said. “I told them, ‘That’s not the church. That’s a bunch of buildings. The church is meeting tomorrow.’ We will always have the memories, but we are starting fresh and moving forward. God has big plans for us and we will move forward with those plans.”

Morris said a team will reenter the buildings as soon as

possible to recover anything salvageable before they are demolished. After the first of the year, the church plans to begin working with construction and architecture companies on rebuilding.

At Battle of Cowpens the Scots-Irish of SC Helped Save Our Republic

There are many important dates in American military history that most are familiar with. However, there is one date that receives little attention, but is one of the most important in securing our nation’s freedom.It was January 17, 1781. The new republic was teetering, her knees were wobbly, and her back was against the wall. People were hungry, commerce had almost come to a halt, and our currency had been greatly depreciated. Furthermore, on the battlefield, the British had taken Charleston and Savannah and just a few months b...

There are many important dates in American military history that most are familiar with. However, there is one date that receives little attention, but is one of the most important in securing our nation’s freedom.

It was January 17, 1781. The new republic was teetering, her knees were wobbly, and her back was against the wall. People were hungry, commerce had almost come to a halt, and our currency had been greatly depreciated. Furthermore, on the battlefield, the British had taken Charleston and Savannah and just a few months before had soundly defeated the Southern Continental Army at the Battle of Camden, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolutionary War.

Just two days before on January 15, 1781, General George Washington wrote to his friend John Laurens, who had just been appointed to our mission in France, about our military’s “sufferings, for want of clothing, for want of provisions, for want of pay.” Washington’s letter went on in great detail to explain the plight of America and the dire straits it was in both from a military and civilian perspective.

But then, just two days later on January 17, 1781, something happened. The Scots-Irish of the backwoods of South Carolina came together to turn the tide of the American Revolutionary War and rout the British at the Battle of Cowpens. These rugged pioneers, who had come to America seeking a better life, set in motion a chain of events that would ultimately lead to the British surrender at Yorktown in October of that year.

Led by General Daniel Morgan, a brilliant military tactician, the American forces conducted a “double envelopment” of the British which, in fact, would be the only double envelopment of the war. A double envelopment, also called a pincer movement, is a military maneuver in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks of an enemy formation.

At the Battle of Cowpens, the British were led by “The Bloody Butcher,” Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton was known for his ruthless tactics, including slaughtering American soldiers after they had surrendered in a previous battle.

The American victory at the Battle of Cowpens was actually depicted in the movie "The Patriot." In fact, Mel Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, is a composite portrayal of General Morgan and Francis Marion (the “Swamp Fox” and father of modern guerilla warfare). Daniel Morgan was one of America’s best military minds. While his accomplishments have been honored with the naming of Morgan Square in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the new Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington, D.C., he still remains one of our most underappreciated battlefield commanders.

Although the National Park Service is postponing the Battle of Cowpens anniversary due to the government shutdown, that isn’t stopping the descendants of those who fought at the Battle of Cowpens and others in the community from commemorating this historic event. Wofford College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is located close to the Battle of Cowpens and will present a Battle of Cowpens commemoration designed to educate both students and the public alike on the significance of what occurred at the Battle of Cowpens. It will take place this Friday at the college. Education is a national security issue, and events like this are important.

President Reagan reminded us that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” He went on to say, “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

God has blessed America over the years by giving us men and women who exemplify the spirit of those Scots-Irish pioneers at the Battle of Cowpens. They put America above self, put on the uniform, and are willing to give their lives for their country. This week, let’s honor those early American pioneers who helped give us the freedom we enjoy today.

Van Hipp is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.” He is the 2018 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden Leadership Award for National Security. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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