Liverpool, NY asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina

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?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Taylor Silver
Taylor Silver
  • Licensed in South Carolina

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.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.