Probate Lawyer in Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, SC
Probate Lawyer Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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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Law is complicate matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, SC

Union Co. School Board approves motion to close Lockhart Schools

UNION COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Union County School Board of Trustees approved a motion to close Lockhart Schools during a special meeting Monday. The vote comes after a push from the community to save the schools.“Not really surprised but I still had hope,” said Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe. “We have been begging people for a week to pray for us.”She said it’s more than a building for a small town trying to grow.“We try to bring people in with children and the first thing people wan...

UNION COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Union County School Board of Trustees approved a motion to close Lockhart Schools during a special meeting Monday. The vote comes after a push from the community to save the schools.

“Not really surprised but I still had hope,” said Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe. “We have been begging people for a week to pray for us.”

She said it’s more than a building for a small town trying to grow.

“We try to bring people in with children and the first thing people want to know is about the school system and Lockhart has always been very high in scores,” said Ashe.

The high costs of maintaining the building stood out after a facilities study last year, according to Union County School District Superintendent.

“The fact of the matter is.. it’s still an old building with old galvanized pipes that could burst at any moment,” said Dr. William Roach.

After hearing from the public and Lockhart town leaders, the school board approved a motion tonight to close Lockhart Elementary and Middle schools by the end of this school year.

“The big concern is the financial piece where almost double per student is being spent at Lockhart. That’s a concern of elected members to make sure they’re being good stewards of the taxpayers money,” said Dr. Roach.

He says the district will save up to two million dollars each year by moving the students to other schools, and faculty and staff can fill vacancies within the district.

“It’s tough because you hear the stories. You hear the folks say this is the heart of our town,” he said.

Town leaders said they’re now looking at what’s next.

“I hope that they will give the building to the town and hopefully you know, we can’t see right now but hopefully we may can use that and work forward to help build the town,” said Mayor Ashe.

Dr. Roach said students will be reassigned at Jonesville Elementary/Middle, Foster Park Elementary School, and Monarch Elementary School, and Buffalo Elementary school if space is available.

“We are a choice district, and as space permits we’ll continue to allow folks to choose the school they want to go to,” said Dr. Roach. “We’ll have to get folks placed first and then see what our availability is.”

Lockhart says goodbye to its school

aorr@shj.comLockhart’s lone remaining school graduated its last class of eighth-grade students this week.The Tuesday night ceremony was held ahead of Lockhart School’s last official day of classes for students on Thursday. Union County schools trustees made the call to shutter the school earlier this year.The move means students and teachers will be assigned to other schools within the county when classes resume in the fall.It's a conclusion to a proud chapter in the tiny mill village's ...

aorr@shj.com

Lockhart’s lone remaining school graduated its last class of eighth-grade students this week.

The Tuesday night ceremony was held ahead of Lockhart School’s last official day of classes for students on Thursday. Union County schools trustees made the call to shutter the school earlier this year.

The move means students and teachers will be assigned to other schools within the county when classes resume in the fall.

It's a conclusion to a proud chapter in the tiny mill village's history.

“I cannot express how heartbroken I am to see the school go,” Lockhart Mayor Ailene Ashe said. “What we have left is not a whole lot, and most of the buildings are gone. We’ve always wanted to be able to say, ‘You need to come to Lockhart,’ and the school was always an important part of that.”

Ashe has served as the village’s mayor for much of the past two decades, but long before that she was just a girl in love with Lockhart.

She remembers when the school was first built in the mid-1950s after the previous school, which was constructed in the years just after World War I, burned down.

That fire forced the children of Lockhart to take classes for more than a year in an armory up the road, so when the new school opened, Ashe said it was a welcome sight.

Those were thriving years for the community, when textile mills still provided a good living for people in Union County, Ashe said. When those mills closed, much of the work dried up, and Ashe said the community has been on a downward trajectory since.

Citing economic concerns, Union County school trustees authorized Superintendent Bill Roach in February to explore reassigning the school’s 30-plus faculty and staff members to other positions in the district. The call was made in subsequent weeks to close the school, which has served kindergarten through eighth grade students for decades.

Roach declined to be interviewed for this article. Mike Massey, a member of the Union County Schools board of trustees, said he’s sad to see Lockhart lose its school. He voted against the measure in March to close the facility, though he said he understands the reasoning for the decision.

“The school has really been a rally point for this community for a lot of years,” Massey said. “I understand what it means to the town and to its people. I also realize the trustees have to take everything else into consideration, and I don’t have any hard feelings.”

Massey is closer to the situation than most. He attended Lockhart School in his elementary and middle school years, and he graduated from the town’s former high school before beginning his own career in education. He spent his last two years at Lockhart before retiring three years ago.

“They were probably two of my greatest years,” Massey said. “So I guess you could say I started my career and finished it there. Obviously, this affected a lot of people that I know personally.”

Now, Massey said the district must turn its attention to the school’s parents and students, and to its former employees, who will find new homes in the county’s other schools when the academic year resumes this fall.

“How do we get that taken care of with the least amount of fuss and make that as smooth as we can?” Massey asked.

Massey said he believe the students, and especially the parents, will be tremendous assets to the district’s other schools.

“Almost to a parent it’s always been, ‘I’m here for my child, tell me what I need to do,'” Massey said. “It’s a great group of engaged people. They really care about what’s going on, and to a certain extent I think the school’s size helped foster that. It’s my belief they’ll continue that on when they switch schools.”

Ashe said her attention will turn to finding a way to preserve the school property, which she said the school district has been willing to turn over to town leaders. She said upkeep costs could make that prohibitively expensive.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep this a part of this community,” Ashe said.

She said former Lockhart School students and staff will gather at the school for a reunion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 23.

Genesis Digital Assets Expands Bitcoin Mining Activity in ‘Pro-Innovation’ South Carolina

Genesis Digital Assets (GDA), is expanding its U.S. operations, having announced the opening of three new Bitcoin mining data centers in South Carolina.One of GDA's new data centers is located near Anderson, and another two are found between the towns of Union and Lockhart. The three sites all began operations this year and have...

Genesis Digital Assets (GDA), is expanding its U.S. operations, having announced the opening of three new Bitcoin mining data centers in South Carolina.

One of GDA's new data centers is located near Anderson, and another two are found between the towns of Union and Lockhart. The three sites all began operations this year and have a combined total capacity of 33 megawatts (MW).

Additionally, last year GDA broke ground on a 40-megawatt (mw) mining data center in Texas.

One of the world's largest Bitcoin miners, GDA operates mines across Europe, Asia, and North America, and reportedly accounts for about 2% of the Bitcoin network's total hash rate.

Asked about GDA's strategic interest in the state, CEO and Founder Andrey Kim told Decrypt, "Given its abundance of clean electricity from hydro and nuclear energy sources, we consider South Carolina one of the country's most exciting states." He added that it's among the most "pro-innovation states."

New Texas Senate Bill Seeks to Slash Bitcoin Mining Incentives

GDA employed 150 local workers to construct its three new data centers.

“We were impressed to see how these local communities welcomed us so warmly as an opportunity for their economy,” Ankit Joshi, GDA's Head of North America said.

As opposed to the state's neighbor to the north, where a county-wide Bitcoin moratorium was enacted this year, interest in the sector appears to be growing in South Carolina.

Last year a South Carolina delegation, including State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and members of the South Carolina Emerging Tech Association Inc., took an exploratory trip to El Salvador to learn about the country's adoption of Bitcoin.

One of GDA's newest mining sites, the Pacolet data center, is located very close to a Lockhart Power hydroelectric plant.

Kim told Decrypt that GDA strives "to place our data centers near sources of clean energy to ensure our operations run on the most environmentally friendly energy possible."

SC State Guard called in after tornado heavily damages North Central High School in Kershaw County

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — A tornado touched down Saturday night in Kershaw County and damaged a high school, football stadium, and buses, but no one was injured.The tornado touched down Saturday night according to the National Weather Service and struck North Central High School's property.The weather team is still evaluating the track but have determined it was a high end EF-2 Tornado. Richard Okulski, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service Columbia office, said the preliminary estimate for wind speeds is a...

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — A tornado touched down Saturday night in Kershaw County and damaged a high school, football stadium, and buses, but no one was injured.

The tornado touched down Saturday night according to the National Weather Service and struck North Central High School's property.

The weather team is still evaluating the track but have determined it was a high end EF-2 Tornado. Richard Okulski, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service Columbia office, said the preliminary estimate for wind speeds is around 130 miles per hour.

The tornado began near the intersection of Lockhart road and Keys Lane according to the National Weather Service.

The impact on the school is immediately evident and is extensive. The roof was blown off of part of the building and damage was done to multiple classrooms. The stands in the football stadium were torn up and a goal post was bent over. In the bus barn nearby, several school buses had heavy damage. Trees near the track were snapped. Concrete stadium bleachers were collapsed along with the press box.

The tornado continued along across the gym lifting all the HVAC units off the roof. The tornado lifted the roof off most of the main building and an older auditorium, then collapsed an exterior wall along a portion of the west side of the building.

It moved four school buses and resulted in broken windows and other damages to the 25-30 school buses parked there. Two large light stands near the baseball field were damaged.

The tornado's path was about a half a mile and about 150 yards wide.

Kershaw County Schools spokesperson Mary Anne Byrd said the State Department of Education is assisting with bus replacements and will be sending students from North Central to an older vocational school about ten minutes away that wasn't being used to send students in light of the damage to the school.

Drone Video shows damage at Kershaw County School

Students in the district were scheduled to be off on Monday and Tuesday due to teacher planning purposes.

Byrd said that the entrance to the school was damaged, along with significant damage to the football stadium, concrete bleachers, and the bus fleet located on the campus. From visual inspections, all of the buses on site except for three had some form of damage to them.

Storm damages Kershaw County school

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Kershaw County: North Central HS

"Fortunately, no one was here on campus so all the damage is physical," said Byrd, "It's buildings, it's buses, it can be replaced."

No word yet on a damage estimate.

Lara Broughton, an English teacher at the school, was shocked to see the damage Sunday afternoon, saying "the pictures on social media do not do it justice. And then, when you get here and you really see how bad it is, it is completely devastating."

School officials caution that NO GofundMe sites or any other fundraising has been set or or being done.

The South Carolina State Guard was called in to help secure the site and will be stationed at the school for the next 48 hours, according to LTC Scott Malyerck. Guard members are trained law enforcement officers, says Malyerck, and will be working with local law enforcement agencies and emergency services to make sure the area is safe.

Lockhart Power To Build Industrial Spec Building

Image: A rendering of Midway Green Industrial Park.On April 26, Lockhart Power Company and Union County broke ground on the Midway Green Industrial Spec Building – a new industrial building designed for a manufacturing company. The building will be located in Midway Green Industrial Park, a 142-acre, South Carolina Certified Park adjacent to SC Highway 49 in Union. Midway Green is owned by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises...

Image: A rendering of Midway Green Industrial Park.

On April 26, Lockhart Power Company and Union County broke ground on the Midway Green Industrial Spec Building – a new industrial building designed for a manufacturing company. The building will be located in Midway Green Industrial Park, a 142-acre, South Carolina Certified Park adjacent to SC Highway 49 in Union. Midway Green is owned by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, the parent company of Lockhart Power.

Lockhart Power Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Midway Green Development, LLC, and Union County’s Union County Facilities Corporation, a nonprofit organization, have joined forces to construct Midway Green Industrial Spec Building. The project will include a 100,000 square foot building plus a 100,000 square foot building pad for expansion on 24 acres of land. The building will be one of only a handful of its size and quality in the state. The utility infrastructure within Midway Green Industrial Park includes several million gallons per day of excess water and sewer capacity, more than 30 megawatts of electric power capacity provided by Lockhart Power, and natural gas.

This will be the fourth spec building built in Union County. Others are currently occupied by Haemonetics, Gestamp and Timken Industrial Bearings. The Midway Green building will be the only available building for manufacturing in Union County.

The two organizations have partnered on several large infrastructure projects which have positioned Union County as a viable and competitive option for industrial development.

“We are very excited about this project and the impact it will have on our community,” said Frank Hart, Union County supervisor. “We believe that this type of public-private partnership will be a model for economic development in rural S.C. counties going forward.”

“Lockhart Power, its parent company Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, and the extended Milliken family continuously strives to make a real difference in Union,” said Bryan Stone, chief operating officer at Lockhart Power. “Our significant investment in this speculative manufacturing building is one way in which we are doing so, and we couldn’t be more excited to meet the next world-class company who will call Union its home.”

Engineering for the spec building was completed by DePaul Engineering, Inc. Upstate firm McMillan Pazdan Smith has been selected as the project architect and THS Constructors, based in Greenville, will be the general contractor for the project.

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