Charleston County Probate Judge
Charleston County Probate Judge
First, we offer our sincere condolences for the loss of your spouse, grandparent, mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, cousin or friend. We understand the great difficulty the passing of a loved one can cause. We are here to help you. One reason I ran for Probate Judge was to assist citizens and make them aware that the probate process does not have to be an unbearable experience. Accordingly, the following information concerning the statutory requirements of probating an estate is provided to assist you. The staff of the Probate Court will be pleased to provide information and assistance to the extent allowed by South Carolina law. Because our staff cannot provide legal advice, we recommend you consult with an attorney. Probate Court has professional estate clerks that handle your estate from start to finish. I conduct a monthly Estate Workshop, which is open to the public and provides an overview of probating an estate.
The second reason I ran for Probate Judge was to stress the importance of estate planning. We hope that you will take this opportunity to review your estate planning documents. You should consider a Last Will and Testament, a Trust, a Declaration of Desire for Natural Death (otherwise known as a Living Will), a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, a Durable Power of Attorney for Business Affairs and other advance directives. You will need legal counsel to complete your estate planning. For more information about "Why you need a Will", please call the South Carolina Bar Law Line toll free at 1-800-521-9788, ext. 160. As a public service, we provide samples of the statutory Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney documentation. We hope that you will take this opportunity to review and update your estate planning documents, as well as encourage other family members to complete their estate plan.
As your Probate Judge, I am here to serve you. If you should have questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know. I thank you for electing me as your Probate Judge and hope that we help make probate a pleasant experience considering the circumstances.
Irvin G. Condon
Upon receipt of the Inventory, a Court cost will be assessed and billed. See Probate Court fees on the attached back sheet.
The filing of returns and/or payment of any South Carolina and Federal estate taxes or income taxes are the responsibility of the Personal Representative.
Also, while debts or claims may be paid at any time by a Personal Representative, you may incur personal liability if any preferred creditor is damaged or injured by such payment. Claims which are not valid claims may be disallowed through proper procedures.
The 30-day period can be waived if a Waiver (Form 111ES) is signed by all interested parties.
* 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.
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.
Charleston County Probate Judge Irv Condon conducts a free workshop estate planning and probating an estate. The workshop is open to the general public and there are no fees or costs associated. Workshops are held generally on the first Monday of the month, unless that Monday is a holiday, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the Grand Courtroom on the second floor of the Charleston County Historic Courthouse, located at 84 Broad Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401.
We ask that you kindly register with the Estate Division in advance to ensure enough materials will be provided for all attendees. For upcoming workshop dates and registration please contact the Estate Division of the Probate Court at 843-958-5030.
For more information on Charleston County's Probate Court please visit: https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/probate/index.php
Accountings - Reports that contain the annual and final fiscal reports showing what has come into the account and the disbursements that have gone out of the account.
Affidavit of Collection - A way to handle the assets under $10,000 and it cannot include any real estate.
Beneficiary - A person or charity or dog or cat that receives assets that were pre-directed to the individual.
Bond - What the Personal Representative must purchase from an insurance company if there was not a Will or if someone demands it. The Personal Representative must purchase a bond for one and one half times the amount of the personal property only.
Certified - Attested true copy of a document from our Court with seal. Cannot certify any document that does not originate from our Court.
Conservator - One who takes care of the finances of a minor or incapacitated person.
Decedent - The person who died.
Devisee - Someone who is named in a Will to receive.
DOD - Deed of Distribution (Transfers real estate to the legal heirs or devisees).
Domiciled - Where the person lived.
Encumbrances - Debt of the estate that is attached to an asset. Example: Mortgage on a house, loan on a car, etc. (NOT everyday debt like doctor bills, credit card payments, etc.)
Estate Papers - The original probate papers such as Wills, inventories, letters, accountings and related papers.
Guardian - One who takes care of the physical well being of a minor or incapacitated person.
Health Care Power of Attorney - A legal document that allows another party to handle the health decisions of another person.
Heir - Someone who takes from an estate if there is not a Will.
I/A - Inventory and Appraisement (Yellow Form) - Listing of the assets (both probate and non-probate) that the decedent had in his/her name at time of death and date of death values.
Intestate - When someone dies without a Will.
In Trust - When someone directs assets to be set aside for a persons benefit.
Living Will - A legal document that allows a party to make medical decisions about another person's continuation of life prior to death.
Non-Probate Assets - Assets that are not used by the Personal Representative to pay debt of the estate or to distribute to heirs or devisees. These assets usually have a beneficiary, payable on death, or joint right of survivorship status.
Power of Attorney - A legal document that allows another party to handle the business affairs of someone else.
PR - Personal Representative (Person in charge of the estate) Use to be called executor or executrix.
Probate - The legal process of wrapping up a person's affairs, paying their bills distributing their assets after death.
Probate Assets - Assets that are used by the Personal Representative to pay debt of the estate or to distribute to heirs or devisees. These assets do not automatically go to another party at time of death.
Pro Se - Someone who defends himself without an attorney.
RTSC - Rule To Show Cause - being summoned to court to tell the Judge why you have not complied with the duties of Personal Representative.
Rule 4 - Administratively closing an estate by Court order.
Special Administrator - A person chosen to take the place of a personal representative to handle the affairs of the estate. This person is usually an attorney.
Testate - When someone dies with a legally valid Will before death.
Venue - Where someone lives.
Will - A legal document that states the wishes of a person at the time of his/her death.
Will Books - Recorded transcripts of original probate Wills that give information about proving the Will and qualifying the personal representative.
Will For Record - When a party files an original Will with the Court after someone dies and there are no assets to transfer.
Alison V. Atwood, Probate Clerk of Court- Estate Division
Sharon Clark, Estate Clerk
Theresa Padron, Estate Clerk
Jamie A. Robinson, Estate Clerk
Tleshia T. Schoenith, Estate Clerk
Robin B. Simmons, Estate Clerk
City of Charleston
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Town of Ravenel
Town of Rockville
Town of Seabrook Island
Town of Sullivan's Island
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