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

Walgreens closing, leaving no pharmacy in one Spartanburg Co. town

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – The only Walgreens in one Spartanburg County town is set to close, which means the residents will no longer have a drugstore.Healthcare Communications for Walgreens announced that the Walgreens at 6950 South Pine Street in Pacolet will close on November 6.It said when a store closes, patients’ prescriptions will automatically be transferred to the nearest Walgreens. In this case, those patients’ prescriptions will be transferred to Walgreens at 2198 Southport Road.“We’...

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – The only Walgreens in one Spartanburg County town is set to close, which means the residents will no longer have a drugstore.

Healthcare Communications for Walgreens announced that the Walgreens at 6950 South Pine Street in Pacolet will close on November 6.

It said when a store closes, patients’ prescriptions will automatically be transferred to the nearest Walgreens. In this case, those patients’ prescriptions will be transferred to Walgreens at 2198 Southport Road.

“We’ve been here for about 5 years, and I have used this Walgreens the whole time,” said Tammy Stricklend, shops at Walgreens. “I have an autistic son and they are really loving and are concerned about him getting his medicine on time and not going without it.”

The biggest concern, Stricklend said, is the lack of transportation in the area. For elderly residents who can no longer drive and walk to this Walgreens to get their prescriptions, this loss will completely change their lifestyle.

“We have people here in town that walk to the pharmacy and now when they have to go to Spartanburg it’ll be hardship on them,” said Mayor Ned Camby, mayor of Pacolet.

Mayor Camby said for as long as the building has been open, it’s been a pharmacy, and the Walgreens employees have stayed the same for years.

“I’ve talked to the people in there and a lot of them don’t even know if they’ll have jobs right now, so my prayer is that they’ll be placed somewhere that’s not too far from their homes,” said Stricklend.

The goal for Mayor Camby and the town of Pacolet is to now replace the Walgreens with another pharmacy. Residents like Stricklend said they hope the town’s goal is fulfilled, instead of seeing the Walgreens go through the same cycle other closed stores have.

“I would hope that something else comes in because I hate that more than anything,” said Stricklend. “Because businesses are here, then the buildings close and stay empty and that’s a loss for the community and the area and Pacolet is a small area.”

Walgreens said the closure of the Pacolet Walgreens was justified, among other things, “by taking into account our existing footprint of stores, dynamics of the local market, and changes in our patients’ and customers’ buying habits.”

Walgreens said patients will receive notice about the transfer through mail.

ONLY ON 4: a look inside an all-Black school in Pacolet built in 1915

PACOLET, S.C. —Josephine McBeth and Mary Ruby's families were raised together in Pacolet, South Carolina.We sat down for the first part of our interview inside Ruby's assisted-living facility."Here I am. I was in the first grade in 1947," McBeth says.Ruby adds, "and here I am right here."McBeth and Ruby, exchanging stories from their childhood, reflecting how education has molded them into the women they are today, in 2023.They both attended Marysville Schoo...

PACOLET, S.C. —

Josephine McBeth and Mary Ruby's families were raised together in Pacolet, South Carolina.

We sat down for the first part of our interview inside Ruby's assisted-living facility.

"Here I am. I was in the first grade in 1947," McBeth says.

Ruby adds, "and here I am right here."

McBeth and Ruby, exchanging stories from their childhood, reflecting how education has molded them into the women they are today, in 2023.

They both attended Marysville School in Spartanburg County.

According to the town of Pacolet, in 1915 the Pacolet Manufacturing Company built the school to educate the children of Black families who worked the mills of that area. It was also created to keep Black workers and their families separate from white workers.

"Even though we were Black and our education was second class, we still excelled and did well in school," Ruby says.

Josephine McBeth attended first grade in 1947.

Mary Ruby was there in the first grade in 1939, then again for third through seventh grade.

Ruby says up until college, all of the schools she attended were segregated.

"The kids now they have everything at hand, given to them. Our father bought our books, and a lot of times our books would come from the white schools. Many times our books where you'd be reading, and sometimes you'd be missing a page many of them would be torn out. Everything was second hand, even desks chairs," Ruby says.

"We'd walk to school, some kids would walk 3 or 4 miles.. I would walk just over 2 miles. The whites that'd ride to school, they'd throw things at us."

"It was very tough, going to school in the rain or cold weather. There were no janitors. Everything was inferior, but it didn't take from what was inside of you. It made you strive better to be better," Ruby adds.

Both women say adversities meant to keep them on the outside strengthened their friendship.

Ruby eventually moved to Detroit, Michigan, spending 63 years serving communities as the director of mental health in Wayne County.

She's now back in the upstate of South Carolina, near her children.

Ruby says, "material things can be removed. What you have here, your intelligence, no one can take that from you."

McBeth graduated from USC Upstate, then graduated from Webster University with a master's degree in counseling.

Since 2005, McBeth has been Mayor Pro Tem of the town of Pacolet, where she attends monthly council meetings.

She exclusively showed WYFF News 4 inside the school.

"We had one lady who cooked our lunch in the kitchen downstairs. Her name was Miss Littlejohn. She made food for the entire school. About 80 to 90 kids."

"It wasn't anything fancy, maybe pinto beans or slaw with a fruit cup some days. Or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with soup. And to drink, you'd have a choice of either milk or Kool-Aid, but ya'll may not know about the Kool-Aid, haha."

"Some days, we'd have chicken, not nuggets. Creamed potatoes and green beans. And something with chocolate and bread sometimes."

McBeth says, "music has been my thing all my life, you know, and I love music. I try to sing a little, but I do like music. And it's been a dream of mine ever since this building's been here. Everytime I drive up on the yard, I always say this needs a cultural center."

McBeth said when she was growing up, it cost 50 cents for music lessons.

She says her family didn't have the extra money for her to attend.

She says if Marysville School becomes a cultural center, she'd love for children to have more access than she did.

"Clean it up, and the flooring, and good lighting. You need good lighting. I would even keep the benches. I would clean them up and polish them up good."

She says, "when you bring something that you've never had, and make it grow, here I am. I'm going to make it happen."

New family resource center targets Pacolet community struggles

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg School District 3 has donated their former middle school building in Pacolet, so it could be transformed into what it is now, a new family resource center.In an area that lacks access to things like healthcare and parenting support, it comes at a crucial time for Pacolet residents.Jerry Rice has spent much of his life doing non-profit work. So when he came to Pacolet, where the poverty level rate is 21.2 percent, above the national average of 13.6 percent, he knew he could help.&l...

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg School District 3 has donated their former middle school building in Pacolet, so it could be transformed into what it is now, a new family resource center.

In an area that lacks access to things like healthcare and parenting support, it comes at a crucial time for Pacolet residents.

Jerry Rice has spent much of his life doing non-profit work. So when he came to Pacolet, where the poverty level rate is 21.2 percent, above the national average of 13.6 percent, he knew he could help.

“The infant mortality rate is very high, four times the rest of Spartanburg County,” said Rice, executive director of the Benjamin E. Mays Family Resource Center. “Readiness for school, a quarter of the children that go to school are not ready for school on all five domains of readiness.”

Rice is directing the new center which will offer a range of services, like basic healthcare, addiction recovery classes and dental needs. The former middle school’s cafeteria and computer lab will also be utilized.

“The public can come in to use that lab to do what they need to do, if they want to hunt for a job, if they want to play fantasy football, if they want to find recipes, if they want to build a resume… whatever they need to do, that lab is available for them to use,” said Rice.

Named after an Upstate native who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and dedicated his life to educating others, this location is aiming to carry on Benjamin E. Mays’ legacy.

“There’s tremendous opportunity in this community, there are buildings and land that’s available that aren’t as expensive as Spartanburg and I think people in this community can really take advantage of that to provide services in Spartanburg, but someone needs to help them figure out how to do that,” said Rice.

Rice said this will not only give residents the help they need, but show them how to take advantage of resources to become independent. By doing so, the center will show people who they can really be when they have the right resources.

“It’s really important to me that I can help people achieve what they can achieve, that they can meet their potential,” said Rice.

The family resource center is providing services as needed right now but will officially open on September 7th.

If you would like to learn more or donate, click here.

Man pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Upstate town

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet b...

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.

Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet by embezzling money from a renovation project.

The project was to renovate an old mill building into a senior center.

Anderson Jr. was contracted between 2014-2016 to work on the renovation, according to officials.

“That dream was stolen from the town by this greedy person, Mr. Anderson,” Pacolet Town Administrator Patrick Kay said. “It will never be what was originally dream up for the town.”

The judge ordered Anderson Jr. to pay $115,000 in restitution. He is also under probation and will face jail time if he violates it.

The Mayor, Ned Camby, said he’s glad Anderson is being held accountable for his actions, even if the town is not getting the full amount back.

From the Attorney General’s Office:

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the contractor charged in one of the largest frauds against a small town in South Carolina in years has pleaded guilty and been ordered to pay restitution of $115,000.

Callis J. Anderson, Jr., 68, pleaded guilty to Breach of Trust, Obtaining money or property Under False Pretenses, and Embezzlement felony charges in front of acting Circuit Judge Daniel Martin on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson provided $60,000 of the restitution immediately and was sentenced to two 10-year sentences and a one-year sentence, with all sentences suspended to five years of probation, provided the balance of the restitution is paid.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, who assigned prosecutors from his office to handle the case, emphasized the importance of prosecutions such as this one. “Contractor and other white-collar fraud can be every bit as devastating as losses from other types of crimes. For small towns, the outcome is especially devastating because they have less public money and are disproportionally hurt by these schemes,” Wilson said.

The case began in 2014 when the 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. The town obtained 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.

The state alleged, and Anderson pleaded guilty to, taking money that was to be 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.

Reached for comment, Pacolet Mayor Ned Camby indicated “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.”

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, SC (WSPA) — Multiple streets and roads in Western North Carolina and the Upstate have closed due to flooding from the onslaught of rain.

Bagwell Farm Road is closed until further notice due to debris. Drivers are asked to use Glenn Forest Boulevard as a detour for Bagwell Farm Road.

Hatchett Road in the Walnut Grove area is also closed.

According to Broad River Fire & Rescue, part of NC-9 is closed at High Rock Acres. There are trees and power lines down across the area. Additionally, roads are icy, so drivers have been urged to avoid travel.

In Greenville, parts of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, areas of Unity Park, the River Street underpass, the McDaniel underpass and the Sliding Rock Creek Bridge are closed.

Water is rushing down steps at Greenville High School. Students are having an e-learning day due to the weather.

Boilings Springs Road at Sugar Creek is closed due to the road being flooded.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Greenville County until 3 p.m.

Streets in Hendersonville are flooded due to large amounts of rain. The city has asked that individuals to not walk, swim or drive through the flood waters.

According to the City of Hendersonville, barricades have been put in areas impacted by flooding. Drivers are urged to not drive around barricades. Citations will be given out to drivers who ignore barricades.

The area’s Flood Response Plan has been upgraded to Flood Level 3, which means that flooding is actively happening.

The following roads and intersections are closed either by the City or the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT):

Laurens County

Residents in Laurens County shared images of flooding in the area.

A small SC town trusted him with a dream. Now half its annual budget is gone.

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for th...

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.

The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.

But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.

The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for the town of 2,300, town manager Patrick Kay told The Post and Courier.

Earlier this week, Spartanburg contractor Callis J. Anderson Jr. pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement, breach of trust and obtaining money under false pretenses.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said it weighed whether it was better to take the 68-year-old to trial where he faced as much as two decades in prison or strike a deal that would have the town get back at least a portion of the money.

In 2019, the State Law Enforcement Division accused Anderson of stealing $568,360 from the town between the time he was awarded the renovation contract in 2014 to 2017.

In the Aug. 14 deal, Anderson was sentenced to five years probation on the condition that he pays back $115,000 of the money he was paid.

The town had hoped for much more.

“He stole a dream,” Kay said. “He stole a portion of the community’s future. The $100,000, the town appreciates giving something back, but it pales in comparison to what he actually stole.”

Anderson’s attorney, Rick Vieth, didn’t respond to The Post and Courier’s request to comment.

The Attorney General’s office said that while the restitution is not all of the money that was taken, Anderson wouldn’t agree to a deal that required him to pay more.

“It was best for the town to get the $115,000 rather than zero,” Robert Kittle, spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, told The Post and Courier. “It’s a sure thing with the plea, but not necessarily for the trial.”

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