Probate Lawyer in Fingerville, 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 Fingerville, 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 Fingerville, 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 Fingerville, SC
Probate Lawyer Fingerville, 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 Fingerville, 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 Fingerville, 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 Fingerville, 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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phone-number 843-936-6680

Latest News in Fingerville, SC

Man Said ‘Witches’ Told Him to Throw ‘Pitbull-type Canine’ Off of a Bridge in South Carolina, Authorities Say

A dog is alive but “clearly” shaken up after a man allegedly threw the canine off a bridge to fall dozens of feet — twice.Authorities in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, identified the defendant as Shannon Lee Cantrell, 43, and allege that he committed the offense in plain view.“On Monday, October 3, 2022, Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Officers responded to a call of someone tossing a dog from a bridge located on Highway 11 in the Fingerville area of Spartanburg County,...

A dog is alive but “clearly” shaken up after a man allegedly threw the canine off a bridge to fall dozens of feet — twice.

Authorities in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, identified the defendant as Shannon Lee Cantrell, 43, and allege that he committed the offense in plain view.

“On Monday, October 3, 2022, Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Officers responded to a call of someone tossing a dog from a bridge located on Highway 11 in the Fingerville area of Spartanburg County,” the county wrote.

Officers said they spoke with a witness at the site and searched the area below the bridge. They claimed to find Cantrell putting the dog in a chokehold.

“Officers removed the male, brown-and-white pitbull-type canine,” authorities said. “Cantrell stated that ‘witches’ told him to throw the dog from the bridge. The dog was thrown twice. Cantrell told officers that he was the owner of the canine and released ownership to Spartanburg County.”

Officers said they measured the distance from the bridge to the ground. It was 34 feet, authorities said.

The 1-year-old dog was wet from being in the water below, but did not have any visible injuries, police said.

“However, the canine was clearly shaken by the incident and was transported to Greenville County Animal Care for assessment,” authorities said.

The county said Environmental Enforcement got an arrest warrant under the law for ill treatment of animals — state statute 47-1-40 (B):

(B) A person who tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal or by omission or commission causes these acts to be done, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment of not less than one hundred eighty days and not to exceed five years and by a fine of five thousand dollars.

Cantrell was taken to the Spartanburg County Detention Center, where he remains locked up under a $5,000 bond. He faces a count of animal cruelty.

[Images via Spartanburg County]

Have a tip we should know? tips@lawandcrime.com

Here's what was found in seven Spartanburg area public drinking water systems

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, issued its 2021 Tap Water Database that shows what contaminants are commonly detected in trace amounts in public drinking water sources nationwide and in South Carolina.Here is a brief look at each of the seven water systems in Spartanburg County and what Environmental Working Group found from April 2019 to March 2021. A link is available explaining...

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, issued its 2021 Tap Water Database that shows what contaminants are commonly detected in trace amounts in public drinking water sources nationwide and in South Carolina.

Here is a brief look at each of the seven water systems in Spartanburg County and what Environmental Working Group found from April 2019 to March 2021. A link is available explaining the contaminants for each system.

? Inman Campobello, Inman, serves: 33,176; no violations; 19 contaminants detected; 16 at trace levels with no federal standard. Three below legal limits were Haloacetic acids (HAA5), 29.8 ppb, legal limit, 60 ppb; Total Trihalomethanes, 39.8 ppb, legal limit, 80 ppb; Chromium, 0.226 ppb, legal limit 100 ppb.

From April 2019 to March 2021, Inman Campobello WD complied with health-based drinking water standards. No violations.

See report: Inman Campobello WD

? LCF Water District (Liberty-Chesnee-Fingerville), Chesnee, serves: 16,971; 19 contaminants detected, 14 at trace levels with no federal standard. Five below legal limits were Haloacetic acids (HAA5), 20 ppb, legal limit 60 ppb; Total trihalomethanes, 22.1 ppb, 80 ppb legal limit; Chromium (total), 0.313 ppb, legal limit 100 ppb; Fluoride, 0.695 ppm, legal limit, 4 ppm., Nitrate, 0.0265 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm.

From April 2019 to March 2021, LCF Water District complied with health-based drinking water standards. No violations.

See report: CF Water District, Chesnee

? Metro Subdistrict B, Spartanburg, serves 1,849; 18 contaminants detected, 13 at trace levels with no federal standard. Five below legal limit were Haloacetic acids (HAA5), 20.6 ppb, legal limit 60 ppb; Total trihalomethanes, 22.1 ppb, legal limit 80 ppb; Chromium (total), 0.0929 ppb, legal limit, 100 ppb; Fluoride, 0.695 ppm, legal limit, 4 ppm; Nitrate, 0.0265 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm.

From April 2019 to March 2021, Metro Subdistrict B complied with health-based drinking water standards. No violations.

See report: Metro Subdistrict B, Spartanburg

? SJWD Middle Tyger WTP, Lyman, serves 60,592; 16 contaminants detected, 11 at trace levels with no federal standard. Five below legal limit were Haloacetic acids (HAA5), 25.6 ppb, legal limit, 60 ppb; Nitrate, 0.298 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm; Total trihalomethanes, 43.9 ppb, legal limit, 80 ppb; Chromium (total), 0.166 ppb, legal limit, 100 ppb; Fluoride, 0.146 ppm, legal limit, 4 ppm.

From April 2019 to March 2021, SJWD Middle Tyger WTP complied with health-based drinking water standards. No violations.

See report: SJWD Middle Tyger WTP, Lyman

? Spartanburg Water System, Spartanburg, 142,671 people served; 18 contaminants detected, 14 at trace levels with no federal standard; four below legal limit, Haloacetic acids (HAA5), 22.1 ppb, legal limit, 60 ppb; Total trihalomethanes, 35.0 ppb, legal limit, 80 ppb; Chromium (total), 0.0929 ppb, legal limit, 100 ppb; Nitrate, 0.0265 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm.

From April 2019 to March 2021, Spartanburg Water System complied with health-based drinking water standards. One violation. In August 2020 there was one occasion when levels of pH in two different distribution sites fell slightly below the optimal range, as determined by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

See report:Spartanburg Water System

? SWS-Landrum Water Treatment Plant, Spartanburg, serves 4,269; 12 contaminants detected, 7 at trace levels with no federal standard; Five below legal limit, Haloacetic acids, 26.3 ppb, legal limit, 60 ppb; Total trihalomethanes, 32.6 ppb, legal limit, 80 ppb; Ethylbenzene, 0.0474 ppb, legal limit, 700 ppb; Xylenes, 0.428 ppb, legal limit, 10,000 ppb; Nitrate, 0.0983 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm.

From April 2019 to March 2021, SWS-Landrum Water Treatment Plant complied with health-based drinking water standards. No violations.

See report:Sws-landrum Water Treatment Plant, Landrum

? Woodruff Roebuck WD, Woodruff, serves 25,923, 25 contaminants detected, 19 at trace levels with no federal standard; six below legal limit, Haloacetic acids (HAA5), 28.1 ppb, legal limit, 60 ppb; Nitrate, 0.613 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm; Nitrate and nitrite, 0.460 ppm, legal limit, 10 ppm; Total trihalomethanes, 56.4 ppb, legal limit, 80 ppb; Chromium, 0.161 ppb, legal limit, 100 ppb; Fluoride, 0.508 ppm, legal limit, 4 ppm.

From April 2019 to March 2021, Woodruff Roebuck WD complied with health-based drinking water standards.

See report:Woodruff Roebuck WD

Contact Bob Montgomery at bob.montgomery@shj.com

Landrum Wanderings: Remembering summer fun at Rainbow Lake

The days are sunny, the temperatures mild, it’s the time of year when I like to take a drive down some country roads. Today I’m headed down Rainbow Lake Road, leading out of Fingerville. I’ve learned that Rainbow Lake no longer exists, but I’m curious. I want to see if I can locate where this popular summer bathing and picnic spot once existed.I’ve done my research and learned that Rainbow Lake was created by the Spartanburg Water District and existed from 1929 until 1967. A trip to the ...

The days are sunny, the temperatures mild, it’s the time of year when I like to take a drive down some country roads. Today I’m headed down Rainbow Lake Road, leading out of Fingerville. I’ve learned that Rainbow Lake no longer exists, but I’m curious. I want to see if I can locate where this popular summer bathing and picnic spot once existed.

I’ve done my research and learned that Rainbow Lake was created by the Spartanburg Water District and existed from 1929 until 1967. A trip to the Spartanburg Historical Society gave me background information. Ron Swain at the museum dug out a wonderful print by Mike Turnage entitled “Summer’s Call” depicting a busy day at the lake.

I drive out Route 11, turning right at the sign that reads “Rainbow Lake Road.” The first time I saw this sign I envisioned a pretty lake, perfect for fishing and small motorboats. I was saddened to learn that it had been drained. But if you are of a certain age, were a teenager in the late 50s or early 60s, you probably have some nostalgic memories of afternoons spent at Rainbow Lake.

When I Google Rainbow Lake on my computer, I discover videos, slide shows, and descriptions of fun times at the lake. In 2006, John Lane posted “I lived for the moment at the first of June when my mother finally said, ‘This weekend, Rainbow Lake is open.’ When that happened I knew I could stay out at the lake all day every Saturday and watch the teen boys do cannonballs and jackknives and suicide dives off the three-story concrete tower. The dive off the tower was a rite of passage I never achieved at Rainbow Lake. They closed the lake before it happened.”

The entry continues, “And if I didn’t want to swim or sit I could always eat French fries or drink a cherry Coke made with real syrup at the pavilion and wait 30 minutes and then go back in.”

A video shows teenage girls in two piece bathing suits, wading in the water, protecting their poufy hairdos from getting wet. The boys are showing off diving, a lifeguard patrols in a rowboat, sunbathers rub on sun tan lotion to help their skin absorb the sun, not block it. There’s a lot of smiling and splashing as the film plays out.

Most of the structures, bathhouses, rest rooms, pavilions, and rock walls were built by the CCC Camps of the 1920s. A video made in 2008, when some former Rainbow Lake regulars had an opportunity to revisit the grounds, shows these old stone structures along with the large field that was once a lake. I was hoping to locate this field on my drive and discover whether these structures still existed, but the location eluded me.

I pass Rainbow Lake Middle School and cross the bridge over the wide, rapidly flowing Pacolet River. I surmise that perhaps the river had been the water source for the lake. Heading back towards Fingerville, I turn off on a narrow road, crossing a creek. I’m surprised by some large candy canes leading to the entrance of a Christmas tree farm called Christmas Hill. I’ll tuck this place away for a possible story next Christmas. The signs along the road indicate it’s a popular place to find the perfect Christmas tree. The road dead ends so I retrace my route and head back to the main road.

Continuing my journey back on Route 11, I decide to stop for strawberries at Geary Jolley Farms fruit stand, The Peach Basket. I select a pint of red, luscious looking berries and proceed to the counter where Robert McKinney rings up the sale. I decide to probe a little and find out if Robert has memories of Rainbow Lake. He smiles, “Rainbow Lake was a part of growing up. They had a wading area for little kids. The bottom of the lake was all sand, the water was clear and not at all muddy. Beach music played all the time and you could buy hotdogs. It was a lot of fun.”

I inquire about the structures that I saw in the video and he describes a pavilion that is still in use. “They enclosed a pavilion and now you can rent it. My family rented it every Christmas. We’d put up a Christmas tree and have a feast there. It has a kitchen, tables and chairs, and a big gas burning fireplace. You rent it from Spartanburg Water and it’s used all the time for weddings, reunions, and family gatherings. We would call January 1 to reserve it for the next Christmas,” he laughs.

I read online about an effort in 2001 to revive the old lake. Shelia Bailey spearheaded a plan to redevelop Rainbow Lake. The entry online reads, “After listening to a friend reminisce about the old lake, she decided to drive to the property and have a look around. Bailey saw a grassy field, but she ‘could hear the kids playing and just felt this awesome place.’ Rainbow Lake became a mission for Bailey. Council members, however, were reluctant to bite.”

As I depart with my strawberries, music from an old Cowsills song, “Indian Lake,” written by Tony Romeo, plays in my mind. If I substitute the words, “Rainbow Lake,” I’m sure it describes this South Carolina, summer fun spot.

The air is fine with the sweet smelling pine

And the countryside’s pretty,

Indian Lake, is a scene you should make, with your little one,

Keep it in mind if you’re looking to find, a place in the summer sun,

Swim in the cove, have a snack in the grove,

Or you can rent a canoe

At Indian Lake

To quote John Lane again, “Losing Rainbow Lake was like losing a little of our soul. There’s something about swimming in lake water that’s never been replaced for me.”

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