Once you have received the Death Certificate, you should call Probate Court for an appointment. Probate Court staff will inquire as to what assets the decedent owned at the time of death so that a determination can be made on the type of probate proceeding that will be needed. Please call to determine what documents are needed, and to schedule an appointment to open new estates.
The different types of probate proceedings are:
Testate - Occurs when there is a Will (formal or informal)
Intestate - Occurs when there is not a Will (formal or informal)
Small Estate Affidavit - Occurs when the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed twenty-five dollars and exempt real property, costs and expenses, of administration, reasonable funeral expenses, expenses of the decedent, the personal representative, without giving notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the persons entitled thereto and file a closing statement as provided in Section 62-3-1204.
Will File Only - Occurs when there are no assets in the estate, but there is a Will. Estates are probated if the decedent was a resident of Williamsburg County or a non-resident holding property in Williamsburg County.
Special Administrator - Person appointed to secure assets until Personal Representative is appointed.
Determination of Heirs - See an attorney prior to contacting Probate Court.