Fort Mill Times

I’m seeking your vote for probate judge

Seeking your vote for probate judge

Albert Einstein is often credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. The voters of Lancaster County have elected the same probate judge over and over again during the past twenty years. They undoubtedly didn’t know the true results they were getting. Our probate court is ranked in the bottom third in the state. On average, it takes nearly two years to settle an estate in Lancaster County - 41% longer than the state average, and three times longer than the best performing courts in the state.

You deserve better.

The current judge obviously believes that the solution is to throw more of your money at the problem. She requested a 46% budget increase over last year’s spending, but money is not the source of the problem – it’s the management of the process. All probate courts in the state deal with the same laws; the same issues; and use the same computer systems. How do the other courts handle their workload so much better? If I’m elected, I will visit the top five courts in the state to learn how they can be so much more effective in this environment than our court. I’ve already met with attorneys and other professionals who deal with probate courts on a regular basis. They’ve described a lack of responsiveness, inconsistent procedures and insensitivity as contributing factors to the poor performance of this court. I’ve also met with family members who have gone through the probate process with this court. They echo the sentiments expressed by the professionals, except it’s much more personal because it has an emotional and financial impact on them.

The only way we can get a different result from our court is to elect a different probate judge. I will immediately visit and implement the best practices employed by the top performing courts in the state. I will also improve service by increasing the outreach to the public. I would extend the hours, provide satellite services in the outlying areas of the county, and host free workshops which would counsel residents on wills and estate planning.

We don’t need to throw more money at this issue to fix the problem with the court. We need to do something different. Elect a new probate judge. If I’m elected, I will implement changes in court operations that will improve both the service and professionalism. You deserve it, but you’ll have to take action in the voting booth to start the change.

Jerry Holt

Republican Candidate for Probate Judge

Indian Land