Greenville Probate & Probate Litigation Lawyers

Legal Help in Wrapping Up the Affairs of the Deceased

Since a deceased person cannot own assets, anything owned by the deceased on the date of his or her death must be identified, applied and disbursed. Probate is the legal process of wrapping up the affairs of the deceased (paying final bills) including taxes, and distributing all assets.

The attorneys of the Gilreath Law Firm, P.A., capably guide clients through the probate process. Our background and training in tax law and our record of results in probate litigation make our law firm a wise choice for probate issues.

We are available to help you learn about probate and ways to streamline the process, to discuss ways to reduce or eliminate estate taxes, and to designate someone to manage your affairs in the event of your incapacitation or death. If disputes, such as will contests, arise during the probate process, we can resolve them through negotiation, mediation or probate litigation.

Our probate lawyers have represented clients in large, complex probate disputes. For example, the personal representative of the estate of entertainer James Brown is among our clients.

The Steps in the Probate Process

There are usually three phases to the probate process:

1. Collection, inventory and appraisal of all assets that are subject to probate

2. Payment of taxes and creditors

3. Formal transfer of estate property according to the will, or by the state laws of intestate succession, if there is no will.

How We Can Help

Our law firm's services include:

  • Preparing and filing of the will and other required documents
  • Preparing estate tax returns
  • Probate litigation including spousal elective share
  • Assessing the decedent's assets
  • Determining liabilities
  • Maintenance and support of survivors
  • Determining potential creditors
  • Reconciling all personal representative transactions and distribution of the assets

What Happens When There Isn't a Will?

When the deceased has specified his or her wishes via estate planning tools such as wills and trusts, probate will be a relatively smooth and efficient process. If there is no will and the person died "intestate," the estate is administered according South Carolina's laws.

Upon payment of the debts and expenses of someone who has died without a will, the remaining estate will be distributed to the decedents' heirs (usually according to the family tree) as determined by the state of South Carolina.

To arrange a consultation about probate or inheritance dispute issues, please contact Gilreath Law Firm, P.A., in Greenville, South Carolina.

Learn more: Visit our probate FAQ page.