One of the most overwhelming aspects of losing a loved one is having to attend to the legal responsibilities involved with collecting and managing the deceased person’s estate. Estate administration generally involves collecting the assets of the decedent’s estate, paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the proper beneficiaries. Whether your loved one’s estate plan consists of beneficiary designations, a basic will, a sophisticated estate plan with one or more trusts, or no planning at all, the attorneys at the Vitollo Law Firm are prepared to guide you through whatever steps are needed to complete the administration of the estate.
The administration of most decedent’s estates in South Carolina will require some form of a probate process. The most common assets distributed as part of the probate process include real estate, automobiles and bank accounts titled solely in the deceased person’s name. The attorneys at the Vitollo Law Firm are available to help you through all aspects of the probate process, including the appointment of a personal representative, the preparation of a deed of distribution, the distribution and titling of assets, and the preparation of the inventory and closing documents.
Trusts can be structured many different ways, and the duration of trusts can vary significantly, depending on whether the trust was created to provide income to a spouse, to benefit multiple generations of beneficiaries, or merely to avoid probate. Whether the trust administration process is intended to last several months or several decades, the knowledgeable attorneys of the Vitollo Law Firm are available to guide you through the trust administration process.
Approval of Wrongful Death Settlements
Under South Carolina law, a claim for negligence that resulted in the death of another cannot be settled without court approval, and the party requesting court approval must first be appointed as personal representative. As a result, a wrongful death claim cannot be settled without initiating a probate process to appoint a personal representative. The attorneys at the Vitollo Law Firm are available to facilitate wrongful death settlements and to provide assistance with the appointment of a personal representative, the allocation of the proceeds between the statutory beneficiaries and the probate estate, and with the preparation of the petition for court approval.