Probate Lawyer in West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, SC
Probate Lawyer West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, SC

7 Stellar Selections for Chinese in Charleston

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot of flavors in the Lowcountry.Look here for our top picks. Read MoreEater maps are curated ...

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot of flavors in the Lowcountry.

Look here for our top picks.

Read More

Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

Looking for a dim sum dinner or lunch in the Lowcountry? Hit up Dragon Palace on Daniel Island for pork buns, shu mai, dumplings, and sesame balls. The interiors are retro fancy with ornate wood carvings and plenty of red. Dragon Palace also offers classics like chow mein, cashew chicken, and egg drop soup.

King BBQ offers Chinese barbecue with a Carolinas influence. The menu centers on smoked meats — five-spice duck, char siu ribs, ginger scallion kielbasa, and rotisserie chicken — and all the ways to serve those proteins — on a sandwich, rice, or noodles. Don’t miss the crispy shrimp toast sliders.

Downtown restaurant Beautiful South serves American-style takeout Chinese classics like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, but there’s also Cantonese roasted meats and Hainanese chicken. Try one of the inventive cocktails, such as the Love Your Enemies, which is a tequila and mezcal milk punch with a hint of oolong tea.

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

Looking for a dim sum dinner or lunch in the Lowcountry? Hit up Dragon Palace on Daniel Island for pork buns, shu mai, dumplings, and sesame balls. The interiors are retro fancy with ornate wood carvings and plenty of red. Dragon Palace also offers classics like chow mein, cashew chicken, and egg drop soup.

King BBQ offers Chinese barbecue with a Carolinas influence. The menu centers on smoked meats — five-spice duck, char siu ribs, ginger scallion kielbasa, and rotisserie chicken — and all the ways to serve those proteins — on a sandwich, rice, or noodles. Don’t miss the crispy shrimp toast sliders.

Downtown restaurant Beautiful South serves American-style takeout Chinese classics like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, but there’s also Cantonese roasted meats and Hainanese chicken. Try one of the inventive cocktails, such as the Love Your Enemies, which is a tequila and mezcal milk punch with a hint of oolong tea.

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

West Ashley offers a change of pace from busy downtown

West Ashley, the area across the Ashley River from peninsular Charleston, offers a change of pace from some of downtown’s more tourist-centric areas of town. Home to more than 40 percent of the city’s population, the area boasts parks, restaurants, breweries and shopping catered to locals.ExploreKnown to some as the “birthplace of South Carolina,” West Ashley is home to the well-preserved colonial village, Ch...

West Ashley, the area across the Ashley River from peninsular Charleston, offers a change of pace from some of downtown’s more tourist-centric areas of town. Home to more than 40 percent of the city’s population, the area boasts parks, restaurants, breweries and shopping catered to locals.

Explore

Known to some as the “birthplace of South Carolina,” West Ashley is home to the well-preserved colonial village, Charlestowne Landing. The 184-acre state park off of Old Towne Road offers an opportunity to explore both the city and the state’s modern origins. With walking trails, marsh views and a small zoo, the state park is a site visitors and locals alike can visit multiple times for different experiences.

For the active set, West Ashley is home to Shadowmoss Golf & Country Club and bowling alley Ashley Lanes. Get practice on your swing at Charleston Golf, a combined golf simulator and bar.

Get a breath of fresh air on the 7.8 mile West Ashley Greenway which starts at U.S. Highway 17 and Wappoo Road and ends at Higgins Pier where anglers can cast a line. There’s another opportunity to fish off of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard at Northbridge Park.

For a different scenic walk, meander via boardwalk through marshes and coastal forest at the Stono River County Park in outer West Ashley.

Shopping

Unlike other areas of the city, West Ashley is home to some large-scale retail spaces that make it an ideal place for furniture stores and other specialty shops.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Inspired by his life’s work and to celebrate his legacy, this week’s topic is justice.

The winner is Robert Peterson with the photo of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Washington, D.C. The honorable mentions are Ken Schaub with a snapshot of the former federal prison known as Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, and Randy Cochran with an image of a quote at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library at the University of Texas.

Next week’s topic is cold, as we deal with our first serious cold snap of the winter.

The rules: Send your best photo to yourphotos@postandcourier.com by noon Thursday. Include your name, town and where the photo was taken. Add your name and the topic to the file. If you want your photo to be eligible to run in the newspaper, it must be at least 1,500 pixels, not have a commercial watermark and not have been published in another publication.

On Fridays, we first announce the editors’ pick of the week at postandcourier.com/yourphotos and declare a topic for the next week. On Saturdays, we publish an online gallery.

On Sunday, the photo pick of the week will appear in this section, Life.

All photos submitted will be considered for publication in The Post and Courier’s yearly magazine, My Charleston. Some images may be selected for other editorial or noncommercial use.

We reserve the right to not publish any photo for any reason.

City leaders move forward with plans to redevelop West Ashley shopping center

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Charleston city leaders are moving forward with plans to redevelop a shopping center on Sam Rittenburg Boulevard in West Ashley.The City of Charleston’s Design Review Board gave conceptual approval on Monday to a new Publix grocery store and retail space that will be built in the Ashley Landing Mall shopping center where a Publix currently sits.The existing Publix is located closer to Sumar Street and was built in the 90s. The new plans are to move the grocery store to the opposite side of ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Charleston city leaders are moving forward with plans to redevelop a shopping center on Sam Rittenburg Boulevard in West Ashley.

The City of Charleston’s Design Review Board gave conceptual approval on Monday to a new Publix grocery store and retail space that will be built in the Ashley Landing Mall shopping center where a Publix currently sits.

The existing Publix is located closer to Sumar Street and was built in the 90s. The new plans are to move the grocery store to the opposite side of the property closer to Charlestowne Drive and add new retail and restaurant space next door.

There is currently a 130,000-square-foot building in that spot, which includes businesses like Dollar Tree and Big Lots inside. The Design Review Board also moved forward with the approval of a partial demolition of the shopping center, which includes these businesses. Robert Summerfield, the city’s Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability, said the leases for the businesses were not renewed in preparation for the redevelopment of the area.

Summerfield added that the plans to revamp the shopping center are in line with the city’s goals to revitalize parts of West Ashley.

“This is right in line with the ideas for the plan, it keeps a major shopping experience with the grocery store right there — keeps it anchored in the community and in that shopping center for those neighborhoods in that area,” he explained.

However, Suzanne Germroth, who lives in Charleston, said she is concerned about the neighborhood losing the businesses currently there because of the project.

“A lot of people rely on these discount stores to maintain their livelihood and what they can afford,” she said. “And I don’t understand why this perfectly wonderful building here has to move across the street.”

Summerfield said the current Publix will stay open until the new one is complete, and the plans for what will happen with the existing Publix building have not been decided.

“Publix has actually done this in a number of places in the markets that they work in. You know they’ll close the store one night in its current space and they’ll open the next morning in the new space,” he said. “In the old space, that again will be I believe in phase two of their development plan.”

This was the first time the conceptual plans for the project went in front of the Design Review Board. The next step for the project will be a preliminary review.

Charleston inks construction contract for West Ashley pedestrian bridge

After some last-minute funding maneuvers, Charleston approved the terms of a construction contract for a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley.It now awaits federal approval before the mayor can sign off on it and work can begin.As construction firms submitted proposals for the project this summer, local leaders became aware that their most recent ...

After some last-minute funding maneuvers, Charleston approved the terms of a construction contract for a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley.

It now awaits federal approval before the mayor can sign off on it and work can begin.

As construction firms submitted proposals for the project this summer, local leaders became aware that their most recent cost projections were insufficient.

That’s when the estimate ballooned from $42 million about a year ago to about $74 million today. As a result, city officials had to secure more funding from county, state and federal agencies. In addition to dipping into the city’s hospitality tax funds, the Medical University of South Carolina chipped in too.

In total, the city’s contribution to the project via hospitality tax funds stands at $13 million.

Construction bidders attributed the higher-than-expected cost projections to rising interest rates, as well as increased labor and material costs. The winning bid came in at $73.8 million.

City leaders had considered scaling the project back when the new estimates were calculated but Councilman Mike Seekings said South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall was determined to find additional help from all levels of government to bring the project across the finish line.

“Secretary Hall put her money where her mouth is,” he said.

With Hall’s help securing an additional $30 million committed from various agencies, the city was able to move forward with a contract with civil contractor, Superior Construction.

NORTH CHARLESTON — To continue efforts to become the Coast Guard’s “operational center of gravity” on the East Coast, officials broke ground Jan. 26 on its new $160 million campus.

This 64-acre site along the Cooper River — just south of the former naval base that closed in 1996 — will house an administration building and redesigned 1,100-foot concrete pier.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed in 2026.

“This Charleston campus will have improved infrastructure that translates into more productive personnel and more efficient operations,” said Capt. Neal Armstrong, the commanding officer of facilities design and construction.

The 51,500-square-foot administration building will provide training and conference room space, and additional rooms dedicated to cutter ship support.

Sustainability is a priority, so the new facility will achieve net-zero energy usage and a net-zero carbon footprint, Armstrong said.

The current Pier November will be replaced with a pier more than three feet taller to enhance durability during coastal storms. It will provide utilities to support five national security cutters and a 90-ton crane, which is critical for dockside maintenance, Armstrong said.

During the design and construction phases nearly 60 subcontractors will support the two main contractors on the project, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and RQ Construction LLC, providing work for nearly 900 people.

Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, said every Coast Guard mission begins and ends at a shore facility. When the ships are not at sea, they need a base that can provide necessary maintenance, she added.

The missions conducted at Base Charleston are vital to protecting national security and economic prosperity, Fagan said, adding that the new campus will aid in “lifesaving work,” including patrolling the waters for smuggled narcotics.

Developer hosts meeting to address Essex Farm community concerns

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents who live near one West Ashley development learned more about the future of their community during a meeting hosted by developers.Cameron Property Company, the company overseeing the development of 26 acres near the Essex Farms community, invited residents to share their concerns and provide input at a meeting Thursday night.The 26-acre lot runs from Essex Farms Drive, down Skye Drive and extends to Dorothy Drive.Developers were accompanied by Charleston city officials representing the ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents who live near one West Ashley development learned more about the future of their community during a meeting hosted by developers.

Cameron Property Company, the company overseeing the development of 26 acres near the Essex Farms community, invited residents to share their concerns and provide input at a meeting Thursday night.

The 26-acre lot runs from Essex Farms Drive, down Skye Drive and extends to Dorothy Drive.

Developers were accompanied by Charleston city officials representing the council, planning department, and traffic department to discuss what potential businesses residents could expect to see.

During the meeting, community members said they were relieved to learn that the developer withdrew its request to change the zoning language to include drive-thru windows at restaurants.

The developer is in talks with a grocery store and gas station, but plans have not been finalized.

Some residents said they are less than pleased about the big changes coming to the Essex Farms community.

Residents also expressed concerns about traffic congestion and the potential for a gas station to be built on the property.

“Tonight’s the first time we’ve heard gas station. That was a shock for all of us. When we purchased our properties, we were told specifically that a gas station wasn’t allowed to be there,” resident Kellie Kinard said.

Development Manager Collins Moe said he wants community input but that the company has the right to build to the zoning order, which does allow a grocery store and gas station.

“We’re going through the appropriate city of Charleston permit steps which require traffic studies. Things that outline what we’re proposing to make sure they meet all the standards with the county, the state, and the city, more importantly, based on where this property lies. At the end of the day, we’re still very far out,” Moe said.

Kinard said she is disappointed and was left with even more concerns and questions.

“I think my husband and I are going to have a serious conversation about whether or not we’re going to list our home. Which is really unfortunate because we love our neighborhood. We have great neighbors, but we do not want this type of development that they’re talking about potentially literally within several feet of our driveway,” Kinard said.

City officials stated that this development was approved many years ago and the zoning goes back to 1997.

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