Q: My son is 20, his dad died recently, son has copy of will, current wife is saying no will. Original will has been seen
Will was drafted before the marriage, saying there is no will benefits current wife. She wants to start probate without the will, how should I proceed?
A: Your son needs to speak to a local probate attorney immediately. At the least, he needs to bring the copy of the will with him to his appointment, a list of his father's other children (both living and deceased) and their children, and a list of likely assets contained within the estate.
The reason for speed is due to the fact that assets within an estate can be poached very quickly. While illegal, recovering pilfered funds from a rogue personal representative can be difficult and costly, if not impossible in many circumstances. He needs to get good legal advice as soon as possible.
There are a lot of issues that most likely require a cost-benefit analysis for your son including, but certainly not limited to, when the will was written, who is on the will that son has, whether the will satisfies the requirements of valid wills in SC, whether the witnesses to the copy your son has are still accessible, and the difference in the bequest given to son in the will and what he would inherit under intestate laws.
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