Skilled Probate Attorneys and Litigators in Orangeburg, South Carolina
Guiding you through the process of probate and settling disputes
Probate follows what is typically a painful emotional loss. The knowledgeable, meticulous probate attorneys at Horger and Connor, LLC have 42 years of experience in probate law and know how to ease the stress of probate by guiding executors and beneficiaries through the complex process. Most executors have rarely if ever probated a will and know little about the process. We can guide you through all aspects of probate, including:
- Filing the will with the South Carolina probate court
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously probating the estate
- Finding and collecting assets
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Valuing and managing the estate
We assist executors with the arduous process of collecting, managing, valuing, protecting and liquidating the assets of the estate. Horger and Connor, LLC has a team of experts available to assist in every aspect of estate probate. When appropriate, the firm calls upon accountants, financial advisors, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with executor duties. We can access expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectables for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.
Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between beneficiaries. Our professional courtroom presence can calm the emotionally-charged process of probating a challenged will or disputed executor or judicial decision. When it is in the best interests of our client to preserve cordial familial relationships, our attorneys are adept at mediating these disputes. When necessary, we assertively defend our client’s beneficiary rights within the South Carolina probate court.
At Horger and Connor, LLC, we have represented aggrieved parties in probate cases for 42 years. We are ready to assist you in inheritance controversies arising from:
- Lack of capacity
- Undue influence
- Breach of fiduciary duty
Preventing exploitation of the elderly
Many probate disputes stem from suspicions that a particular individual took advantage of the declining health or dementia of the deceased to insinuate himself into the will to the detriment of the rightful heirs. We are familiar with such cases and know exactly what kind of evidence is necessary to make a showing of undue influence or lack of capacity. If a caretaker or family member manipulated an unfair change in the will, that change can be invalidated.
Demanding accountability and fairness
The individual chosen to be the personal representative of the estate or to hold power of attorney has a fiduciary duty to dispatch his obligations professionally and in accordance with the wishes of the testator. Any deliberate fraud or negligence in accounting for assets can and should be challenged in probate. We have vast experience dealing with estate matters and can form a quick and accurate appraisal of whether matters are being handled competently and honestly.
Don’t expect success if you handle objections yourself
Many beneficiaries hesitate to hire an attorney because they trust the probate court to do what is fair or wish to keep a family dispute within the family. However, there are things you should consider before attempting to handle a probate issue yourself. The court is not an investigative body. Just because you bring up an issue does not mean the judge is obligated to search for supporting evidence. You can present allegations, but without the firm basis a professional attorney can provide, your suspicions may receive little consideration. Moreover, a seasoned attorney who has been through probate negotiations before is likely to produce a settlement that satisfies all parties and allows the proceedings to move forward at less cost to the estate.
Contact us for efficient probate administration and effective litigation services in Orangeburg, South Carolina
When you need experienced probate representation, call Horger and Connor, LLC at 803-395-0073 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.