How Do Probate Courts Work in the State of South Carolina?

In each and every South Carolina county, there is a specific probate court. Probate court is simply a different type of system/courthouse, in which a decedent’s estate will enter to distribute the deceased member’s devise’s, residuals, and pay off debts.Family Law Attorneys

The probate courts of South Carolina will have exclusive original jurisdiction over all South Carolina matters involving or related to someone who has passed away estate and all their belongings, including both personal and actual land property. The SC Probate courts moreover are entitled to hear any will contests, the determination of who is considered to be an “heir” entitled to take from the estate, and also any issues with the construction of the will.

Additionally, probate courts are permitted and mandatorily must hear any cases covering the protection of minors, trusts, marriage licenses and any ” involuntary commitments.” S.C. Code 62-1-302(2012.)  However, Family Court handles matters of divorce, child custody, and alimony.

So the next obvious question is, what actually happens in this so-called probate court? Accordingly, the parties enter into the court, and after the close of the pleadings, the parties are allowed to remove matters from the probate court to the circuit court( which is the typical courthouse you would be thinking of in your head right now), for all matters involving the “formal” probate of the wills, any actions to try title, trusts with discrepancies, appointments of personal representatives for the estate, and most importantly, any action for more then $5,000 that carry with it the Constitutional protection of a right to trial by jury. S.C. Code 62-1-302(2012.)

What is important to note is that these probate courts do not handle any civil liability claims for fatal perishes, such as wrongful death suits. Wrongful death suits are taken care of in circuit court first, and then appealed up if need be. These claims are different then probate because they concern the matters that caused the death to the decedent. Probate would occur later, after the wrongful action was taken care of, and the estate was ready to be distributed by the probate judge in the county in which the decedent died, had property, or left property.

If you have any sort of familial issues, such as the one listed above, and a wrongful death action took place, contact the attorneys at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on how we can help you with your case.

What to Do When You Have a “Personal Injury” in South Carolina?

Personal Injury AttorneyOften times, when people are involved in any sort of serious accident, personal injuries have likely been sustained. Contrary to popular belief, “personal injuries” do not just encompass physical injuries to your person; but also any other type of suffering one maybe dealing with due to the accident.

For example, if you have been injured in a car accident and have to take time off from work, the lost wages you incur will be calculated as a “personal injury.” What about the medical costs that are piling up one after another? Those too are considered to be “personal injuries,” and will be evaluated with your claim. Sometimes even the pain and suffering you have gone through maybe computed into your personal injury claim.

Thus, the next logical question is…what do I do if I have been involved in an accident and I have sustained personal injuries? The obvious answer is to contact a personal injury attorney so you don’t have to go through this alone.

Insurance companies often times get wind of the accident from the opposing party and will attempt to contact you before you have gotten a chance to sort your life back out.

That is what we are here for. We can serve as a buffer to mediate between you and those insurance companies that feel that people are all just numbers.

At Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP, each personal injury case is individual and significant to us. Clients are entitled to speak directly with the partners of the firm as well as any paralegals assisting on the case. We are notorious for returning client’s phone calls the day we receive them, as we know how important it is to speak to your lawyer personally.

We strive to make ourselves personal available and would be honored to assist you with your, or your loved ones personal injury claim today. Contact us toll free at 877-374-5999 for a free consultation.


Can a ‘Fire Pit’ Be Racist? This Man Thinks So….

A Rock Hill, SC man has been apprehended by the police department not for his phone calls about a racist ‘fire pit’, but for having drugs on him at a later time.

According to a police report, the man who called authorities called them to state that a metal lid for a fire pit was racist.  The man thought the fire pit lid, according to him, was a mud pile with the skeleton of a black person outlined around the pile.


The officers suspected the man had been drinking after smelling his breath.  Officers also asked if the man had recently been smoking marijuana.  The man said he had just smoked a blunt and granted officers consent to search him when asked.  The officers found around 1.5 grams of marijuana on the man and arrested him on drug possession charges.

Any criminal charge can bring hardship to the person facing the accusations, especially criminal drug charges.  Contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower to consult with one of our criminal attorneys.  Our criminal attorneys handle many types of criminal cases in North and South Carolina, including criminal drug charges.  Our criminal attorneys also understand the hardships facing criminal defendants that come with any criminal charges.  We are licensed in both North and South Carolina, where you can contact us at 704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll-free.


Lancaster Man Injured While Being Chased by Police on Foot

A local Lancaster Police Department Officer was injured earlier this month when he was involved in a “foot chase,” while chasing after a runaway defendant.

Accordingly, the defendant was hospitalized at Springs Memorial Hospital earlier this month. The Lancaster Police Department responded to a call from the hospital, informing them that the defendant had just shattered the Emergency Medical Services door and ran away.

Apparently, the man was detained by the LPD only minutes before his attempted escape. While the officers were on the way to the hospital to report to the call, one Deputy saw the 24-year-old defendant running along the side of the road.

One officer immediately sprung out of the patrol car and began to chase the defendant ” on foot.” The defendant ran behind a house, jumping a fence and ended up in a resident’s backyard. Incidentally, when the defendant jumped the fence, he landed in the resident’s bird bath and injured himself.

Despite the injury, he continued to run until the officer caught him and placed the defendant under arrest, handcuffs and all. The defendant was brought back to the Emergency Room and restrained there.

The defendant was later released from the hospital, and placed in the custody of the Lancaster Police Department.

Studies conducted in 2010 revealed that 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the U.S.  On average, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic collisions.  Road safety is a responsibility for all road users, drivers and pedestrians alike.  However, pedestrians can take extra precautions to ensure that the inherent vulnerability of walking around motor vehicles can be mitigated as much as possible.  If you are a pedestrian traveler, be sure stay visible to drivers by wearing bright and/or reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight.  Walk and stand clear of buses, hedges, parked vehicles, and other hazards before crossing.

 When you or someone you love has been involved in a serious accident, the Personal Injury Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower can be there to assist you on your path to recovery.  We can investigate all aspects of the accident and hold all parties accountable for your loss. Call us today and speak directly with one of our lawyers at 704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll-free.  

America Remembers 9-11- North and South Carolina Attorney

Today is a day that will be forever remembered in America’s history. This day marks the 11th anniversary of the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001, when the Unites States was attacked by terrorists.

Memorials and ceremonies have been taking place all day, in every state of this great Nation; but it is particularly important to remember that friends and families in New York City still need our support, even after a decade!

In the past, thousands of people would gather around the World Trade Center and what was known as our ” Twin Towers,” to read aloud the 3,000 plus names of the victims who were killed in the worst terrorist attack that this Nation has ever known.

It is disheartening, but after 10 year anniversary, many people feel that the mourning period for this mass devastation should come to an end, and we as a Nation should move on, but not forget. That being said, many elected officials were not speaking publicly for the first time since 9-11, and many families and cities altogether cancelled their “remembrance memorials.”

However, for others, these “ceremonies are just as tough as they were after the first year,” states Marisol Torres as she tightly grasped a photograph of her cousin who lost her life 11 years ago today. “I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t,” said Torres. “I think you learn to live with your grief so in some sense it gets easier but you sort of learn to carry that around with you.”

No matter how you are dealing with the grief of the events that happened 11 years ago today, we at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP want to extend our sympathy out to those who are suffering both publicly and privately, to those who have lost family members or loved ones, and to those who are still grieving for this Nation and it’s loss.

In remembrance of the victims of September 11th, 2001.


On Tuesday, July 24, a 19 year old man from York, James Kyle Rose, has been charged with one count of felony DUI resulting in a death, two counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury and driving under suspension. These charges come just three weeks after Rose was arrested for DUI on July 8.

According to Police, Rose swerved off the right side of the road, hit a tree and flipped over. All four passengers in the car were ejected, and 18-year-old Clover girl, Clarissa Disbrow, was killed. Paramedics took Rose and another passenger to Piedmont Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Another frightening reminder that you don’t have to hit someone else to be charged with Felony DUI. If you are driving under the Influence and one of your passengers are hurt or killed, you could be facing charges such as these. Felony DUI resulting in Death carries up to 25 years in prison. If you find yourself or someone you know charged with Felony DUI, you need to seek the advice of serious professionals trained to represent you.

The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower

If you or someone you know has been charged with any crime, call the experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower at 877-374-5999, for a free consultation with an attorney.  We’ll help you evaluate your options and develop your best defense to get you the best results possible.