Probate Lawyer in Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, SC
Probate Lawyer Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant, SC

Fresh start for retail space as supermarket chain to enter Charleston market

MOUNT PLEASANT — A North Carolina-based supermarket chain plans to enter the Charleston market, stepping in after another grocery store’s plans fell through.The Fresh Market has taken over the lease from discount grocer Lidl for a space in Bowman Place ...

MOUNT PLEASANT — A North Carolina-based supermarket chain plans to enter the Charleston market, stepping in after another grocery store’s plans fell through.

The Fresh Market has taken over the lease from discount grocer Lidl for a space in Bowman Place Shopping Center, according to a document filed Sept. 27 in the Charleston County land records office.

A spokeswoman for the Greensboro-based specialty grocer said the company “did not have anything to share at this time” on its open schedule.

Peter Stone of Mount Pleasant’s planning department said Fresh Market has not presented construction plans to the town, which usually considers building and facade alterations as well as signage through the Commercial Design Review Board.

German company Lidl, with its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., had planned to move into a 26,000-square-foot space in the Dick’s Sporting Goods-anchored retail center near Bowman Road and Johnnie Dodds Boulevard.

Work came to a halt more than a year ago.

A Lidl representative did not respond for comment.

The Fresh Market now has the remainder of the 15-year tenant agreement Lidl signed three years ago next month. The lease also included an option for 15 more years.

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The site originally held a 20,000-square-foot kitchen store, but it closed in early 2020. Lidl wanted a larger space, so it added 6,000 square feet and a loading dock in the rear of the building.

The Fresh Market has nine stores in South Carolina. Its closest location to Charleston is about 70 miles up the coast at Pawleys Island.

The chain offers an upscale assortment of fresh produce, meat and seafood along with a deli, bakery, prepared foods and fresh-cut flowers. The store also has beer, wine, coffee and bulk nuts along with various other items.

In 2017, Fresh Market first eyed the state’s fourth-largest municipality and its 95,000 residents who have a median household income of more than $106,000, according to U.S. Census figures.

Publix eventually brought one of its small-format specialty grocery stores called GreenWise Market to the 21,535-square-foot space in Indigo Square Shopping Center off U.S. Highway 17, where Fresh Market was looking.

GreenWise Market, near Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, closed in 2020 about 16 months after it opened. It’s now the site of outdoor gear retailer REI Co-op.

Another specialty grocer also made a run in Mount Pleasant. North Carolina-based Southern Season shuttered its store off Coleman Boulevard in 2016, less than three years after it opened. It’s now the home of Gold’s Gym.

Last year, South American retailer Cencosud acquired a 67 percent stake in The Fresh Market. Existing grocery store shareholders retained a minority equity interest in the company.

The Fresh Market, with 159 stores in 22 states, was founded in 1982. The size of its stores average about 21,000 square feet.

The Bowman Place location is near a 4-mile stretch of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard between the Ravenel Bridge and Interstate 526 that’s teeming with supermarkets. They include Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Publix, Traders Joe’s, Aldi and Walmart.

Lidl has a dozen stores in South Carolina, with two in the Charleston area in Goose Creek and North Charleston.

Leaders address future of cruise ships in Mount Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A new push by the cruise industry to sail ships out of Mount Pleasant is grabbing the attention of town leaders.According to Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and Town Councilwoman Guang Ming Whitley, a lobbyist paid by the cruise industry is aiming to bring the ships to Patriots Point.Councilwoman Whitley said they are proposing to build a 30,000 square-foot terminal and a 1200 car parking garage. The councilwoman and the mayor both share the same stance and firmly oppose the idea.&ldq...

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A new push by the cruise industry to sail ships out of Mount Pleasant is grabbing the attention of town leaders.

According to Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and Town Councilwoman Guang Ming Whitley, a lobbyist paid by the cruise industry is aiming to bring the ships to Patriots Point.

Councilwoman Whitley said they are proposing to build a 30,000 square-foot terminal and a 1200 car parking garage. The councilwoman and the mayor both share the same stance and firmly oppose the idea.

“The people that are pushing this have no interest in this land, they have no leasehold stake in this land, and I think what’s offensive about this is they are trying to push an issue on the town about land that they have no right to be pushing this issue on,” said Mayor Haynie.

Mayor Haynie said state law doesn’t even allow for ships of that kind at Patriots Point.

“Once this got out, I’ve heard from so many residents, ‘don’t ever have cruise ships in the Town of Mount Pleasant,’” the mayor told News 2.

Meanwhile, Councilman Gary Santos had a different take.

“The benefit is, it will create more jobs for people in Mount Pleasant, definitely. And it will create revenue for, you know, the Medal of Honor Museum and the Yorktown and the business over there,” the councilman said.

He also predicted there would be certain regulations such as noise limitations.

South Carolina Ports Authority President and CEO Barbara Melvin weighed in on the potential for cruises in Mount Pleasant as well.

“We will continue to have concerns unless there is a permit application that thoroughly addresses impacts to safe navigation in the harbor, as well as impacts to operations and maintenance of the channel. We encourage those pursuing this to gauge support of Mount Pleasant, as that is a critical component.”

While this proposal has yet to appear on a town agenda and will likely come across many obstacles if it does, Santos said he wants to hear from the people of Mount Pleasant.

“We need to put that out there and let the citizens decide what they want to do and not just have the mayor and one councilmember come out with their opinion and try to stop something that may be really good for Mount Pleasant,” said Councilman Santos.

This conversation comes as the cruising industry in the City of Charleston gets ready for a shift. The contract between the South Carolina Ports Authority and the Carnival Cruise Lines will come to an end in 2024.

Charcuterie concept opens first South Carolina location in Mount Pleasant

Graze Craze, a new charcuterie concept known for crafting grazing boards and boxes, has opened its first South Carolina location at 3373 South Morgans Point Road in Mount Pleasant.The new storefront is located in the National Crossing shopping center at the main entrance of the Charleston National neighborhood, according to a news release. Graze Craze is a part of Big Flavor Brands, the food service division of Starpoint Brands, a family of companies affiliated with United Franchise Group.At Graze Craze, charcuterie experts, kn...

Graze Craze, a new charcuterie concept known for crafting grazing boards and boxes, has opened its first South Carolina location at 3373 South Morgans Point Road in Mount Pleasant.

The new storefront is located in the National Crossing shopping center at the main entrance of the Charleston National neighborhood, according to a news release. Graze Craze is a part of Big Flavor Brands, the food service division of Starpoint Brands, a family of companies affiliated with United Franchise Group.

At Graze Craze, charcuterie experts, known as grazologists, design arrangements that feature an array of ingredients that are ideal for grazing, like fresh fruits and vegetables, premium meats and cheeses, artisanal sweets, nuts and more, the release stated.

The Mount Pleasant Graze Craze is the only one of its kind in the Charleston area, and the franchise owners behind the new store Keith and Kendra Lovas are thrilled to share something completely new with the community they call home, the release stated.

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“The wonderful people of Mount Pleasant love to gather and celebrate,” said Keith Lovas in the release. “There is no better centerpiece for a special occasion than a Graze Craze charcuterie board — it’s unmatched in quality, beauty and functionality.”

The Lovas enjoy playing a role in their community with Kendra working at a local elementary school and Keith coaching youth sports teams through the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department, according to the release. In addition to serving exceptional grazing boards, the Lovas plan to use their Graze Craze to expand their local involvement and sponsor sports teams, further supporting kids in being active and chasing their dreams. The Lovas are also interested in bolstering regional business development through their involvement with the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce.

Graze Craze charcuterie arrangements incorporate an assortment of flavors, like the popular Gone Grazey board, balanced to provide a bit of everything – a mix of cured meats, premium cheeses, crackers, fresh produce, nuts and more. The Vegegrazian is designed with a medley of fresh fruits and vegetables for anyone embracing a plant-based lifestyle.

The artisan-inspired charcuterie offerings at Graze Craze are available in different size options, from Char-Cutie-Cups and Picnic Boxes for nibbling to sharing-size boards with enough fresh food to feed a large party, the release stated.

Meet the candidates: Mark Flannery

Tell me about your professional background and how you feel it makes you a good fit to be a council member.I’ve been teaching in Charleston County since 2016. This is my 24th year teaching. The local aspect of teaching, most of my career has been in teaching elementary school, but still the local aspect of working in the community where I live has always been something that I really like. Now I’m in North Charleston, so it’s the greater community where I live. I think this is a theme of why I’v...

Tell me about your professional background and how you feel it makes you a good fit to be a council member.

I’ve been teaching in Charleston County since 2016. This is my 24th year teaching. The local aspect of teaching, most of my career has been in teaching elementary school, but still the local aspect of working in the community where I live has always been something that I really like. Now I’m in North Charleston, so it’s the greater community where I live. I think this is a theme of why I’ve chosen to run for Town Council because I would like to see Mount Pleasant make its own decisions on a local level and be responsible for them and with citizens participating in the process. I lived in France for seven years and I have a Bachelor of Science in French and psychology and a master’s degree in educational technology. I’ve just always been part of the local community and have worked well with others.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing the town today, and what plans do you have to address this?

I have a daughter, a six-year-old, and we went to James Island yesterday to go rock climbing in James Island County Park. I would like to see the green spaces improved in Mount Pleasant to make it something where travelers don’t have to go across town to go to the (County) Park. I know that there’s a bike path in … Laurel Hill County Park and just a dirt road going in a half-mile circle and there are things that we can put back there that would be places you can take your kids and take your family.

The other thing is I think that health all across the United States is a problem. We pay more for healthcare. We have more healthcare issues related to obesity and diet. I would like to be somebody who spreads the message of healthy eating and healthy lifestyles lead to better lives. We have a great little local market there at Boone Hall...we have the Farmers Market on Tuesday and Boone Hall is open the rest of the week.

The results of the Public Input Matters survey found that throughout all seven districts in town, respondents feel that traffic in Mount Pleasant needs to be improved. What are some concrete solutions that you feel can address this?

The traffic in Mount Pleasant and housing in Mount Pleasant — I don’t know if ‘victims of our own success’ is the right word for it. We have a very unique geography here. We are a virtual island in that there’s no shortcuts. There’s one way in and one way out. You may come across I-526 or I-26 or you go north towards McClellanville and Georgetown up (Highway) 41. There just isn’t room.

I know that the Town Council has a plan and they’ve already hired a company to look into certain traffic solutions. As a new council member, I’m not sure if I would be able to offer anything different to what they have already decided on.

Another area Public Input Matters survey takers responded to was housing availability. Forty-one percent of respondents felt that affordable housing options should be increased. How do you feel this can be accomplished?

I think it speaks well to the people in Mount Pleasant that we want things for people like affordable housing, but whether or not there is a feasible solution to providing that affordable housing — where are we going to put affordable housing? It makes sense that people want affordable housing but do they want the affordable housing in their backyard?

I want to live locally, I want to buy locally, want to shop locally, but we can’t escape the fact that a lot of our local decisions are made on a state and national and global level. How does Mount Pleasant make affordable housing when the interest rates are 7.75 percent? There are things happening on a national level that we just can’t control that can make our job of creating affordable housing next to impossible.

Is there anyone who has served as a role model to you, either from politics, past experiences or family members, that you look to and consider while you run for office?

One thing my dad always taught us was sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do, but you can take solace in the fact that it’s the right thing to do. I am a part owner of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. with my brother Eric and when Washington D.C. decided to impose the vaccine mandate on restaurants … we were the only restaurant in Washington, D.C. to actively say no, we’re not going to check people’s health papers. It was very hard on my brother to do that, and he’s such a big part of the local community. What I just really admired was his courage and even though it financially wasn’t the best decision. Financially, it wasn’t a great decision, but it was the right decision to make and his principles are something that I truly admire and I try to follow that example in my own life.

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Business owner sets sights on MPW Commission

A local business owner and longtime Mount Pleasant resident is pursuing an open seat on the Mount Pleasant Waterworks Commission this fall.Pete Loy enters a semi-crowded field of candidates for the open seat on the MPW Commission. Four other individuals filed for candidacy, including newcomer and energy strategist Ashton Raffety, local leader John Wright, former MPW General Manager Clay Duffie and 2015 Town Council candidate Julio Avendano.Loy started Citadel Enterprises, a remodeling company based in Mount Pleasant, in 1991. A...

A local business owner and longtime Mount Pleasant resident is pursuing an open seat on the Mount Pleasant Waterworks Commission this fall.

Pete Loy enters a semi-crowded field of candidates for the open seat on the MPW Commission. Four other individuals filed for candidacy, including newcomer and energy strategist Ashton Raffety, local leader John Wright, former MPW General Manager Clay Duffie and 2015 Town Council candidate Julio Avendano.

Loy started Citadel Enterprises, a remodeling company based in Mount Pleasant, in 1991. After over 30 years in the business, Loy said he feels that his company is at a place where he can take a step back and start focusing his energy on community involvement and running for an open seat on the Mount Pleasant Waterworks Commission felt right.

“As a successful business professional, I can bring a businessman’s perspective with fresh ideas,” he shared.

The Citadel Enterprises President graduated from the Citadel in 1987 and is a Bishop England High School alum. He shared some additional experience in conservation: he was a chairman for the East Cooper Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina, as well as a former State Director for the organization. Loy said that if elected, he would take a look at opportunities to be proactive in storms and weather events and look at ways to sustainably provide water and wastewater.

“Environment is a concern there because ... we have this phenomena of weather events, rising speeds. These weather events are happening more frequently,” Loy said. “It will only be a bigger challenge as time goes on, so we need to find ways to provide sustainable sources of water and wastewater.”

Loy also mentioned monitoring growth and development as it relates to the utility.

“Generally speaking, I want to be able to control it. I don’t want to shut it down, but it needs to be sustainable. It needs to be smart and it needs to pay for itself. We’re faced with sprawl and development and you don’t want to infringe on anybody’s property rights, but we just need to be smart about it.

If elected, Loy said he would prioritize taking time to listen, both to the other six members of the commission and MPW’s customer base. He also feels his experience as a successful business owner will help him focus on attracting qualified new hires.

Loy commended the work that MPW has already done in improving the water quality in the Town, and the effective collaboration between the current Board of Commissioners.

“They’ve worked well together. They get along. We’re very lucky to have (MPW General Manager) Allan Clum. He’s intelligent. He’s a collaborator. So that’s a good thing, so I would be walking into being set up for success,” Loy said.

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