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Longs Probate and Estate Planning Lawyer

Longs Probate and Estate Planning Lawyer

Longs Probate and Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning and probate court are essential parts of ensuring that your family and loved ones benefit from your assets and estate after you pass. Probate distributes your estate to your heirs, but it can also cause significant stress for your loved ones. Estate planning protects your assets in life, provides instructions for your end-of-life care, and can avoid a long probate process after your death. Working with an estate planning and probate attorney in Longs, SC can help you understand the options available to you for your estate and help you be prepared for the future.

Longs Probate and Estate Planning Lawyer

Axelrod & Associates: Longs Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys

Whether you need an estate planning attorney to help you plan ahead or you have lost a loved one and need the legal support of a probate attorney, we can help. At Axelrod & Associates, our attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience across various areas of law. We have worked for years in probate administration, ensuring that an individual’s wishes are followed after their death. We handle complex and straightforward estate planning, determining what your goals are for your assets and helping you achieve those goals. We are proud to help the communities around Longs protect their assets, themselves, and their families.

Understanding Probate Court

Unless you have a comprehensive estate plan in place, your assets and estate enter probate court after your death. A will is one document in an estate plan, but it does not keep assets out of probate.

Probate court administers and distributes the assets in your estate, including all personal property, real estate, and vested interests. These assets are appraised and categorized by the state probate court, then administered and distributed according to the deceased’s will. If there is no legally enforceable will, the estate is distributed according to state intestate inheritance laws.

Why Is It Beneficial to Avoid Probate?

Probate provides your family members with the care and benefits from your estate. Unfortunately, probate can take a long time, even years, and your loved ones cannot benefit from your estate while it is in probate court. Additionally, the benefits they receive will be reduced due to the court costs and any federal inheritance taxes your estate will be subject to. During a difficult grieving period, your family will have to deal with probate proceedings.

Probate court also limits the control and certainty you have about the distribution of your assets. With no will, you have no control over the assets. Even with just a will, however, it can be easier for interested parties to contest its legality and make the will void. Probate court can frequently be contentious, especially if a will is vague or doesn’t cover important assets and needs.

Understanding Estate Planning

A complete estate plan can avoid a lengthy probate process by keeping the majority of your estate out of probate. By creating a revocable or irrevocable living trust to place your assets in, you retain control of the assets during your life, and your trustee successor retains ownership of these assets after your death. This prevents your assets from ever passing to the state’s ownership. It also keeps this portion of your estate out of the public record, giving your family more privacy.

Comprehensive estate planning is harder to contest, especially when completed with the help of an estate planning attorney. It can also provide powers of attorney to loved ones and professionals for when you need care at the end of your life.


Q: How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in South Carolina?

A: In South Carolina, the average cost of a probate attorney is $150 to $400 an hour. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee for probate if your case is straightforward. These costs may be much higher if the attorney has significant experience. An attorney with more experience is also more likely to handle the probate process more effectively and prevent common mistakes. An attorney can guide you through the probate administration process. If you are creating your will and are looking to avoid the cost and time of probate for your loved ones, an attorney can help with estate planning.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for Probate in South Carolina?

A: An attorney isn’t required for the probate process, but they are beneficial. The most effective way to protect your family’s rights and interests during probate is to work with a probate attorney. An attorney can:

  • Help with legal forms.
  • Ensure that you meet deadlines.
  • Prevent tax errors or other mistakes.
  • Contest a will or fight against a will contest.
  • Work to make the process as smooth as possible.

When you’ve just lost a loved one, it is not always easy to handle these things by yourself. Working with a professional can ensure that things are done correctly.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Go Through Probate in South Carolina?

A: The probate fees in South Carolina are dependent on the size and amount of the estate. The probate fees are:

  • Estates up to $4,999: $25
  • Estates $5,000-$19,000: $45
  • Estates $20,000-$59,999: $67.50
  • Estates $60,000-$99,999: $95.00
  • Estates $100,000-$599,999: $95.00 and .15% everything over $100,000
  • Estates $600,000 and above: $95.00 and .25% everything over $600,000

There may also be additional court fees and costs. An estate may also be subject to federal estate taxes, along with inheritance and estate taxes in other states where properties are located. These costs are one of the main reasons why it’s beneficial to avoid probate. Probate also costs loved ones significant time and stress at a time when they are grieving.

Q: How Much Does an Estate Have to Be Worth to Go Through Probate in South Carolina?

A: Any estate enters some form of probate, although assets in a trust can avoid the probate process. Estates that are valued under $25,000 and have no real property qualify for a simplified form of probate court. Estates above this threshold go through the standard probate process. Small estate proceedings generally take 1 to 2 months, while other estates may take anywhere from 8 months to a year.

Contact Axelrod & Associates

If you need compassionate legal guidance to protect your assets or while dealing with the probate administration process, contact Axelrod & Associates.


Need help? Contact Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

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