Probate Lawyer in Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, SC
Probate Lawyer Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, 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 Pacolet Mills, SC

Benjamin E. Mays School alumni eye Middle School of Pacolet for community resource center

Alumni of the Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School are banding together to save their former school and help it see new life in the community.The group, a committee of alumni and other community members, would like to see the soon-to-be decommissioned school become a community resource center, providing family, education, health and financial services to the people of Pacolet."Pacolet was determined over three decades ago to be a poverty stricken area, so what we are wanting to do is use that building to fir...

Alumni of the Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School are banding together to save their former school and help it see new life in the community.

The group, a committee of alumni and other community members, would like to see the soon-to-be decommissioned school become a community resource center, providing family, education, health and financial services to the people of Pacolet.

"Pacolet was determined over three decades ago to be a poverty stricken area, so what we are wanting to do is use that building to first and primarily help the economic conditions there in Pacolet," said Vivian Teamer, who graduated from Benjamin E. Mays in 1964.

Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School opened in 1953 as a school for Black students in Spartanburg School District Three, serving Pacolet's elementary school students and all of the district's students in grades 7-12. After schools integrated in 1970, the school was renamed and repurposed several times in the following three decades becoming the school it is today, Middle School of Pacolet, serving grades 6-8, in 1993.

However, the school will be closed in August when students from Middle School of Pacolet and Cowpens Middle School consolidate as the new Clifdale Middle in the renovated former Clifdale Elementary.

The Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School was the first of five public schools in the nation to be named after South Carolina native and SC Hall of Fame member Benjamin E. Mays, a writer, minister, educator, humanitarian, philosopher and early opponent to segregation. Mays mentored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Morehouse College.

Ultimately, the group hopes to restore Benjamin E. Mays' legacy in Pacolet and would name the community center for him.

"The reason we want to continue to keep Dr. Mays' name going is because he's a vital resource, from a historical point of view, that would let people know that we're still on the move upward and we still have families and communities in mind," said committee member Rev. Lewis Mills, of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Greer.

The group asked Spartanburg County School District Three officials for an extension to allow them time to raise funds for and complete a feasibility study for the project, and the school board will make their decision soon.

In the meantime, the group has begun fundraising for the study. They held their most recent fundraiser at the school on June 12 and have also opened an account with The Spartanburg County Foundation to collect donations for the study and their future plans for the building.

If they succeed in acquiring the former school, the group plans to maintain it and partner with community organizations who would provide programming, like tutoring, parenting classes, mental health and financial planning services, and commercial drivers license training. The committee also hopes to house a GED program and testing center in the building.

"(Mays spent his life in education and developing families and individuals, and that's what we want to continue to do," Mills said.

Samantha Swann covers Spartanburg County K-12 schools and colleges and the food scene in downtown and beyond. She is a University of South Carolina Upstate and Greenville Technical College alumna. Contact her at JSwann@gannett.com.

Spartanburg business owner accused of embezzling more than $500K in Pacolet town funds

chughes@gannett.comA Spartanburg man and representative of an Upstate construction company is accused of pocketing more than $500,000 paid to him by the Town of Pacolet to refurbish and repurpose an aging mill building, according to arrest warrants.Thursday, agents with the State Law Enforcement Division arrested 64-year-old Callis Anderson, of 104 Camden Drive, and charged him with embezzling $10,000 or more; breach of trust, $10,000 or more; and failure to pay employees.In June 2014, Pacolet contracted w...

chughes@gannett.com

A Spartanburg man and representative of an Upstate construction company is accused of pocketing more than $500,000 paid to him by the Town of Pacolet to refurbish and repurpose an aging mill building, according to arrest warrants.

Thursday, agents with the State Law Enforcement Division arrested 64-year-old Callis Anderson, of 104 Camden Drive, and charged him with embezzling $10,000 or more; breach of trust, $10,000 or more; and failure to pay employees.

In June 2014, Pacolet contracted with the Anderson Group, Anderson's company, to convert a disused mill building known as the "Cloth Room," into a multipurpose community center, according to a statement from SLED. Over the course of the next three years, the town paid The Anderson Group roughly $568,360 for work on the building.

The work has never been completed, and the warrants state that Anderson used the funds for "personal use and gain."

The warrants state that Anderson also failed to pay a company he contracted with to complete the project.

Pacolet Mayor Michael Meissner said he became suspicious when the town continued to receive invoices for the project with little to no discernible progress on the Cloth Room.

"When I saw how much money had been spent and how much work had actually been done, it really didn't match," he said.

Meissner said the Anderson Group also approached the town at one point during the project and said the renovations would cost more than anticipated. To raise the extra capital, Meissner said he started a personal fund-raising campaign, and the town took out a bond.

"So a bond's going to raise everyone's taxes for a little bit until it's paid off," he said. "... It's a burden on everyone in the community to complete the work, and he didn't complete it."

Meissner reached out to SLED, which recently provided an investigative file to the state Attorney General's Office. Based on the findings of SLED's investigation, Assistant Attorney General James Haarsgaard said there is sufficient evidence to charge Anderson.

Meissner said he's hopeful the charges are the first step to a satisfying resolution for the town.

"I hope that justice can be served for the citizens and that we can get restitution," he said.

Contractor pleads guilty in one of South Carolina's 'largest frauds against a small town,' AG says

COLUMBIA, S.C. —A South Carolina contractor has pleaded guilty in what the state Attorney General's Office calls one of the state's largest frauds against a small town.Attorney General Alan Wilson said Wednesday that Callis J. Anderson, Jr., 68, pleaded guilty to breach of trust, obtaining money or property under false pretenses, and embezzlement felony charges.Above video about Anderson's arrest was published on June 18, 2019....

COLUMBIA, S.C. —

A South Carolina contractor has pleaded guilty in what the state Attorney General's Office calls one of the state's largest frauds against a small town.

Attorney General Alan Wilson said Wednesday that Callis J. Anderson, Jr., 68, pleaded guilty to breach of trust, obtaining money or property under false pretenses, and embezzlement felony charges.

Above video about Anderson's arrest was published on June 18, 2019.

The case began in 2014 when the Spartanburg County town of Pacolet had a dream to build a Senior Center, which they planned to do by transforming an old mill building Milliken had gifted the town, Wilson's office said.

The town received gifts and grants to secure funding for the project and then hired Anderson to oversee the largest and final portion of the project, the transformation of part of the Mill’s old cloth room into a senior activity center, complete with a commercial kitchen so healthy meals could be prepared at the center.

Anderson pleaded guilty to taking money that was intended for the kitchen and other portions of the project and stealing it.

Because of Anderson’s theft, the town ran short of money and had to take out a loan, which was supposed to be sufficient to complete it. Anderson embezzled a portion of that money as well and never completed the project, resulting in the town being in debt and having to repay grants and loans without getting the desired recreation center.

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Circuit Judge Daniel Martin sentenced Anderson on Tuesday to two 10-year sentences and one one-year sentence and ordered him to pay restitution of $115,000, officials said.

They said Anderson immediately paid $60,000 of the restitution, with the judge ordering all sentences suspended to five years of probation, provided the balance of the restitution is paid.

Pacolet Mayor Ned Camby released this statement about Anderson's guilty plea:

"Today was a great day. Callis Anderson—the man who stole the town of Pacolet’s hopes and dreams of a beautiful, welcoming, and special place for all its citizens, but especially its senior citizens, to get together and play, eat, and socialize, has been held accountable for what he did to our town."

Wilson emphasized the importance of prosecutions like Anderson's case.

"Contractor and other white-collar fraud can be every bit as devastating as losses from other types of crimes," Wilson said. "For small towns, the outcome is especially devastating because they have less public money and are disproportionally hurt by these schemes."

The case was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agents Jacob Pridgen and Todd Ruffner and South Carolina Attorney General Investigator Valerie Williams and prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Donald Zelenka and Special Assistant Attorney Generals Tracy Meyers and John Meadors. Mr. Anderson was represented by attorneys Rick Vieth, Jennifer Wells, David Collins, and Stephen Denton, all of Spartanburg.

Spartanburg’s Drayton Mills redevelopment offers glimpse of community reimagined

The redevelopment of Drayton Mills and the surrounding neighborhood continues to take shape and points to how developers are reimagining this historic Spartanburg community.The prospect of bringing new life and vitality to an area that has played such an important role in Spartanburg’s cultural and economic history is exciting, according to Jennifer Calabria, director of land development for ...

The redevelopment of Drayton Mills and the surrounding neighborhood continues to take shape and points to how developers are reimagining this historic Spartanburg community.

The prospect of bringing new life and vitality to an area that has played such an important role in Spartanburg’s cultural and economic history is exciting, according to Jennifer Calabria, director of land development for Pacolet Milliken.

The company manages a portfolio of land holdings across the region totaling more than 26,000 acres. Among those holdings are properties centered on Drayton, and the company is working with CBRE senior associate Brian Scurlock to develop projects that will further develop and redefine Drayton and Spartanburg’s east side.

So far, the mill and the 16 acres on which it sits have been redeveloped into luxury loft apartments and a thriving community of retail shops, offices and restaurants. The redeveloped mill, according to Calabria and Scurlock, is envisioned to be the central hub of a new, modern Drayton community with its own distinct identity, rather like Atlanta’s Buckhead.

As part of that strategic vision, Pacolet Milliken donated property near Mary Black Hospital to Spartanburg School District Seven, which subsequently built a new Drayton Mills Elementary School there. Dan Ryan Builders is developing the Trailside at Drayton Mills neighborhood centered on Dalmatian Drive behind the school, and Calabria says this is an important part of bringing new life and identity back to Drayton.

“We knew it was a special community … and we wanted to do something to help it, revitalize the area and figure out who it wants to be and what it wants to be,” Calabria says.

So far those efforts amount to between $150 million and $200 million in investments by Pacolet Milliken and others to bring new life to Drayton. The next phases will involve bringing more retail options to a 6-acre parcel across Drayton Road from the mill and developing more housing options along Floyd Street behind the mill where Pacolet Milliken owns about 170 acres of undeveloped land.

“We’re trying to create a critical mass,” Scurlock says. “We want Drayton to become less of a pass-through and more of a community destination.”

Drayton Mill historic facts

Textile roots serve as foundation for new vision of community

For decades, abandoned textile mills have stood as proud but derelict reminders of South Carolina’s manufacturing history; however, recent redevelopment trends are bringing new life to communities whose vitality had waned with the closing of those mills.What’s happening in two such communities – Drayton in...

For decades, abandoned textile mills have stood as proud but derelict reminders of South Carolina’s manufacturing history; however, recent redevelopment trends are bringing new life to communities whose vitality had waned with the closing of those mills.

What’s happening in two such communities – Drayton in Spartanburg County and Piedmont in Greenville County – demonstrates how, increasingly, such communities are being reimagined, reinvigorated and renewed.

History as prelude

Drayton Mills contributed significant horsepower to the engine that powered Spartanburg’s economic health for decades and served as the beating heart of a thriving textile community scarcely a stone’s throw from downtown.

Like many textile plants across the state, the mill and its surrounding community suffered a long decline through the latter half of the 20th century. And like many other plants, Drayton Mill sat vacant for years before redevelopment took place.

Unlike many other such sites, the mill was owned by a company, Pacolet Milliken, that served as a caretaker with the goal of bringing new life and purpose to the property. The family-owned investment company was spun out of Milliken and Co. in 2007 and inherited a portfolio of assets and more than 30,000 acres of property across the region.

That connection to the Milliken family’s textile history and vested interest in the economic health and wellbeing of the community help drive Pacolet Milliken’s investment priorities, according to Jennifer Calabria, director of land development for the firm.

Calabria explains the vision behind the various aspects of Drayton’s redevelopment is equal parts honoring the rich heritage of the community and providing a welcoming, attractive home for the new residents and businesses flocking to the region in record numbers.

The early phase of Drayton’s revival saw the mill, which was built in 1905, converted into luxury loft apartments. The 16-acre site has also welcomed the Drayton Mills Marketplace, home to restaurants, shops and offices. Across Drayton Road from the mill complex is a project developed by Orange Capital, an apartment complex called The Lively Drayton Mills.

Calabria says one of the ongoing goals for the project is to develop more single-family housing options to the area. That effort is being spearheaded by Dan Ryan Builders, whose Trailside at Drayton Mills project is mid-way to completion of phase one involving construction of 51 townhomes, more than 30 of which have already been sold.

The project adjoins the new Drayton Mills Elementary School and is traversed by Spartanburg’s popular Daniel Morgan Trail. Those two amenities are key elements attracting new residents to the area, according to Marv McDaris, division president for Dan Ryan Builders.

“Our vision is to create a great-looking community that’s a great place to live,” McDaris says.

The townhomes average about 1,500-1,600 square feet and are priced under $250,000. This type of home with its proximity to trails, schools and retail options are increasingly popular with young professionals starting families and empty nesters who embrace what McDaris describes as a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle. This attitude sees home as a place where you “keep your stuff” but where people spend much of their time enjoying nearby amenities.

Location, location, location

Understanding such generational shifts in where people want to live and how they want to spend their time led Larry Webb to have a eureka moment while looking at a building in Piedmont in Greenville County.

Webb is a senior advisor for investments and development at KDS Commercial Properties and was looking at the old Piedmont Mercantile Building in the community’s downtown in 2019 when a car full of young people helped him see the building’s potential. The group told Webb that they’d been eyeing the area as a place to set down roots, given its lower cost of living compared to downtown Greenville, but they wanted amenities like coffee shops, restaurants, cafes and so on.

That encounter prompted Webb to buy the building and embark on a years-long project to restore the building that is expected to get underway in the coming months.

Undaunted by the delays brought on by the pandemic or the time-consuming procedural delays in getting the building listed as a historic structure or in obtaining state and federal tax credits for the project, Webb is confident that his efforts will pay dividends for the community.

Slated to return the building to its original 1905 condition, the project is already serving as something of a springboard for others to bring their own development projects to Piedmont.

The adjacent 12-acre site of the historic mill Piedmont Number One, which sat vacant until it burned down in 1982, will be the site of up to 60 new townhomes planned by Brad Skelton of Red Oak Developers.

Skelton says the site’s picturesque setting beside the Saluda River and location just a 15-minute drive from downtown Greenville make it an attractive prospect for the thousands of new residents flocking to the Upstate.

“Piedmont is a hidden gem,” Skeleton says. “Piedmont in five or six years will be a destination for people to live.”

He says work on the site is expected to begin by the fourth quarter of this year and expects demand to be strong.

Webb says his project is 70% pre-leased with offices, a tap house and coffee shop among the future tenants.

Skelton says between his project and the mercantile building and another project across the river on the Anderson County side, which will eventually be connected by a planned pedestrian bridge, Piedmont is poised to experience a renaissance.

“We’ve got a lot of runway in front of us,” he says.

Some pros and cons of textile projects

Pros

Cons

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