What does it mean to "probate" a will?

Probate means the Will is admitted as valid under South Carolina law. Informal probate admits the will as valid. Formal probate requires a hearing to confirm the validity of the will. If the will has erasures, white-out, or other markings, the Court may require a formal probate proceeding.

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1. What does it mean to "probate" a will?
2. How do I know if I need to go through the Orangeburg County Probate Court?
3. What if the deceased did not have a will?
4. Do I need an attorney to probate a will?
5. What is an Executor?
6. How does a Personal Representative get appointed?
7. What are the duties of the Personal Representative?
8. Where do I start and how much does all of this cost?