Most people focus on creating a will as soon as possible to help ensure that their family inherits their estate. The act of creating a last will and testament is stressed so often that many people going through estate planning in South Carolina think that it is all they should focus on. While signing a will can be done as soon as person turns 18 in South Carolina even without witnesses most families experience problems later when they encounter heavy probate fees.
Probate is usually necessary whenever anyone leaves property that requires a deed or title. When creating a will many assume that probate fees will only include a small charge for transferring a title or deed into the name of another person. They do not realize that the state uses this process as a time to scrutinize a will and give individuals a chance to file claims or challenges against a will.
Even businesses can make charges against a will that has been made public record thanks to the probate process. Many debts that the deceased might have long since forgotten can be charged against the estate or property being left. In some situations property has to be sold to come up with the cash that is now required to settle the suddenly raised debts. Plus there are government taxes on the estate along with death taxes that must be paid.
It is possible for prepares to get their heirs ready to pay for probate expenses. Many attorneys specializing in probate can give curious individuals an idea of what sort of dollar amount they should expect to pay. This gives families a chance to set aside money to pay any fees or taxes that will be asked for by the state government.
Instead of attempting to scrape up the money to pay for fees that many consider to be outrageous there are ways to avoid paying probate fees. The first way is to take advantage of the opportunity to hold property through “tenancy in common”. This gives heirs the opportunity to sell property independently and will help them avoid going through the probate process.
Another way to avoid probate fees is to make gifts of property and vehicles before death. By transferring the deeds and titles into the names of beneficiaries before death there will be no need to file a will with the government for the probate process. Instead you can simply use an executor to distribute cash and small items to beneficiaries that do not require title exchanges.