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Documents you will need to bring with you to the Probate Court when Opening an Estate

 

IF THE DECEDENT HAD A WILL:

  1. ORIGINAL Will

  2. Proof of Death - Original Death Certificate - No Copies.

  3. Completed Application for Informal Probate and Appointment (Form #300ES)

  4. Filing Fee (Ranges from $25.00 to $95.00 based on value of the probate assets).

  5. You will need to furnish the Court with a Creditor's Publication Selection Sheet. The fees range from $30 to $120. Note: Fees are payable to the Charleston County Probate Court. If payment is made by check, two separate checks are required. The court does not accept credit or debit cards. If the date of death of the decedent has been over a year, no publication is required.

IF THE DECEDENT HAD NO WILL:

  1. Proof of Death - Original Death Certificate - No Copies.

  2. Completed Application for Informal Appointment (Form #300ES).

  3. Filing Fee (Ranges from $25.00 to $95.00 based on value of the probate assets).

  4. If more than one heir and unless you have priority (surviving spouse) you will need to have Renunciations signed by the other heirs allowing you to be the Personal Representative (Form #302ES).

  5. You will need to furnish the Court with a Creditor's Publication Selection Sheet. The fees range from $30 to $120. Note: Fees are payable to the Charleston County Probate Court. If payment is made by check, two separate checks are required. The court does not accept credit or debit cards. If the date of death of the decedent has been over a year, no publication is required.

  6. You will need to furnish the Probate Court with a Fiduciary Bond in the amount of one-and-a-half times the total value of the personal property in the decedent's name only. If the personal property is valued at $20,000 or less, a waiver of bond can be signed by the heirs to waive bond on the Personal Representative. You can call an Insurance Company and check with their staff on how to purchase the bond. You may also obtain a Waiver of Bond form from the Probate Court (Form #344ES).

  7. Death Certificate for deceased person with higher or equal priority to serve as Personal Representative.

* Any Formal Petition filed with the Court must be accompanied by a Summons (Form #SCCA401PC) and $150.00 filing fee. Once service has been accomplished, a Proof of Delivery (Form 120PC) must be filed with the Court.

AFFIDAVIT OF COLLECTION (For estates under $25,000 and no real estate in decedent's name)
YOU MUST WAIT AT LEAST 30 DAYS FROM DATE OF DEATH TO COME TO THE PROBATE COURT.

  1. ORIGINAL Will (If Applicable)

  2. Proof of Death - Original Death Certificate - No Copies.

  3. Completed Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property Pursuant to Small Estate Proceeding (Form #420ES).

  4. PAID Funeral Bill (Showing WHO paid the funeral bill)

  5. Filing Fee of (Estate value of $0 to $5,000 = $25.00, value of $5,000 to $20,000 = $45.00; $20,000 to $25,000 = $67.50)

  6. You will need to furnish the Court with the vehicle registration or title, mobile home registration or title, boat title or registration, along with proof of the fair market value of the assts. (If Applicable)

  7. You will need to furnish the Court with copies of bank statements to include the balance and the account number or copy of insurance policies with the policy numbers. (If Applicable)

  8. You will need to furnish the Court with statements from any known creditors who need to be paid.

NO ASSETS -WILL FILED FOR RECORD OR INFORMAL PROBATE OF WILL ONLY.

 

If the decedent did not have any assets in his/her name at the time of his/her death but did have an original Will, you MUST turn the ORIGINAL Will into the Probate Court to be filed for record only (Form #306ES). An original Death Certificate is required an a filing fee of $10.00. If filing for informal Probate of Will o nly, you will need to file Form #300ES, original Death Certificate, and a filing fee of $25.00. If you require Medical Records only for  the decedent and no probate assets have been discovered and you have priority to serve, you must file a completed Form #300ES, original Death Certificate, and a filing fee of $12.50.

 

Please call the Probate Court at (843)958-5030 for any additional questions and prior to coming to the Court in order to avoid being turned away due to the lack of having all required documentation. You are encouraged to make an appointment prior to coming to the Probate Court. Thank you.

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