If I move to a different state, are my documents still valid? Generally, yes. Although your documents are typically still valid when you move to a new state, we recommend talking to an Estate Planning attorney just to double check.
I hear conflicting information on trusts. Do I need a trust? The majority of our clients do not need a trust; however, this depends on your assets, goals, and family situation. A trust is a form of property ownership where legal and equitable title are split. In a trust, a trustee holds the legal title to the property for the use and enjoyment of the trust beneficiaries. The best way to determine if you need a trust is to speak with a qualified estate planning attorney to understand the reasons you may or may not wish to include one in your estate plan.
How can I avoid probate? This question generates a lot of confusion as often people are really asking how they can avoid taxes as opposed to the actual probate process. Whether or not you have to go to Probate Court is dependent on the assets you have at death and how they are held. Probate is not always a bad thing, it just serves to transfer title once someone has died. Please hop over to our blog for several posts related to this question!
Where can I find a copy of my deed? You can find a copy of your deed at the Register of Deeds Office in the county where your property is located. Many counties have records available online now, but they may only go back a few years. If you can't find your deed our office staff can assist you after your consult.
What is the difference between a will and a living will? These documents are often confused but are very different. A will (often called a Last Will and Testament) disposes of your property at death. Meanwhile, a living will is a medical care documents which contains statements of your wishes regarding life support and palliative care which are often important end of life decisions. Provence Messervy can assist you in preparing both of these documents.
ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Please see our blog for the most comprehensive answers to common questions!
What does this information to heirs and devisees form mean? This documents serves as a notification to interested parties that the estate is opened and a personal representative has been appointed. It also includes the address of the court to assist you if you are interested in what has been/will be filed. It does not necessarily mean that you will benefit from the estate, it is intended to serve as an informant. If you've received this document and have questions or concerns that aren't being answered by the Personal Representative, it's wise to consult an attorney so you don't give up any of your rights by waiting too late.
How long does probate take? The answer depends on the assets involved, but it usually takes a year and often longer to begin and complete the entire probate process. Our blog has a great explanation of the process, exceptions and more.
Is the personal representative and/or family responsible for the deceased’s debts? Generally the answer is no. Usually only the assets of the estate are available for unsecured creditors such as credit cards, medical bill and other debts. Secured creditors (like car loans and mortgages) may still need to be paid to keep the asset. Dealing with creditors without proper legal advice can be a costly mistake.
Where do I file the Will? You file the Will in the County of the deceased’s residence at the time of their death. Wills should be filed within 30 days of his/her death. There is no need to file before the death because the court’s in South Carolina will not accept or store wills How much does it cost for your firm to handle an estate? An estate administration consult costs $80 for up to one hour of an attorney's time. This is a great chance to get basic questions answered and determine if you need further legal assistance. There is no obligation to hire us at the end of the consult. At the conclusion of the consult, the attorney will do his or her best to assess costs based on the facts discussed. The majority of our estate administration clients wish they'd hired us sooner as the costs were much less than expected and often helped them save thousands in money owed to creditors. We suggest you read our blog and check our online reviews for client testimonials in the estate administration area. You can schedule your consult online now if you're feeling overwhelmed or confused about the process.
ESTATE / PROBATE LITIGATION
What types of cases has your firm handled? We've litigated virtually every type of probate litigation case that exists. We handle creditors claims, common law marriage claims, will contests, estate defense, trusts litigation, petitions to determine heirs and much much more. We encourage you to read our blog and learn more about this unique are of law. Ready to discuss your case? Please contact us to schedule a consult.
How much does it cost to contest a will? We'd love to have a crystal ball in order to answer this question. The best we can do is offer a reduced fee consult to better assess your case. A litigation consult costs $80 for up to one hour of an attorney's time. This is a great chance to get basic questions answered and determine if you have a case. There is no obligation to hire us at the end of the consult. We suggest you read our blog and check our online reviews for client testimonials in estate litigation. You can schedule your consult online now if you're ready to get your questions answered about your case.
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