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Cost of Probate in South Carolina

Curious about the cost of probate in South Carolina? Read our guide that covers everything about South Carolina probate fees.

Byron Ricardo Batres

Byron Ricardo Batres, @ByronBatres

General Manager, Probate, Trust & Will

Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing property after the death of an estate owner. It’s common in the state of South Carolina. Probate happens in many (but not all) instances of administering an estate. Yet despite how common it is, many people still have questions as they navigate the process. One of the most common questions is in regards to the average cost of probate in South Carolina. Here’s the truth: the cost of probate will depend on a number of things, like:

  • How complexity and big the estate is

  • If any heirs contest the Will

  • What type of Estate Plans are used  

  • Decision to use a probate attorney

  • Etc.

[Need help with probate? We offer helpful probate services and will work with you to find the plan that meets your needs. Learn more.]

Common Probate Fees in South Carolina

While there are a range of probate costs, some are pretty non-negotiable. If you’re navigating probate, you may want to be prepared to pay some (or all) of the following:

  • Miscellaneous court and filing fees

  • Any incurred attorney fees

  • Personal Representative compensation - South Carolina is a reasonable compensation state, but fees are generally capped at five percent

  • Various other professional fees

  • Probate Bonds (Fiduciary Bonds) as required by county courts

  • Etc. 

Common Questions About Probate in South Carolina

How Long Does Probate Take in South Carolina?

Probate will take at least eight months to be settled in South Carolina. Of course, very large or very complex estates can take longer.

What is UPC in South Carolina?

South Carolina is one of 18 states in the U.S. that have formally adopted the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). The UPC was originally established in an attempt to create a set of national standards to streamline the probate process across the nation. The code notes that there are three types of probate proceedings:

  • Informal

  • Unsupervised

  • Supervised formal 

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in South Carolina?

Because probate lawyer fees in South Carolina can vary, it’s difficult to give a concrete dollar figure. Some probate attorneys charge hourly, and others charge a flat fee.

How to Avoid Probate in South Carolina?

It’s fairly common to want to avoid probate, and there’s some good reasoning behind this. Probate is generally a stressful, time-consuming process. If you’re hoping to avoid probate in South Carolina, you can attempt to do so through any of the following strategies:

  • Establish a Revocable Living Trust

  • Title property as: 

  • Joint Tenancy

  • Tenancy by the Entirety 

  • Community Property with Right of Survivorship

  • Create assets that will TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)

Also note, estates with a value below the “small estate” threshold can most often avoid probate or at least go through a faster version of it. 

What is Considered a Small Estate in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, you can use an Affidavit if an estate value is less than $25,000. You must wait 30 days after the death, and a probate judge will need to approve it. 

There is also potential to use a summary probate procedure, which is a possibility when an estate value is less than $25,000.

Who Pays Probate Fees in South Carolina?

Probate costs and probate attorney fees in South Carolina are paid for by the estate.