Avoidance of probate fees is one of many benefits of funding a revocable trust, particularly in South Carolina where there is no cap on probate fees. Under the South Carolina Code, the probate fee is $845 on the first $600,000 of estate assets plus $0.0025 in excess of $600,000. For example, for a decedent with probate assets titled in the decedent’s name of $1,000,000, the filing fee is $2,845 ($845 + .0025 x $400,000). For decedent with zero probate assets and $1,000,000 of assets titled in the name of decedent’s revocable trust, the probate fee for assets of $0 to $4,999 is $25. The difference between funding a revocable trust and not funding a revocable trust can be significant.
To fund a revocable trust consider changing ownership and titling of accounts such as bank, brokerage, stocks, bonds, and real estate; assigning rights in certain assets such as tangible personal property, notes receivable, partnership and LLC interests; and updating beneficiaries for life insurance.
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