Estate Administration

If there is a Will, it must be filed with the Court within 30 days of the date of death. The majority of estates will come under informal procedures. There are no Notices required or Hearings unless demanded by an interested party pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 62-3-204 (1976, as amended).

Formal proceedings are contested matters such as objections to appointments of personal representatives, will contests, lost or destroyed will, and declaratory judgments on intestacy. Formal proceedings require Notices to all interested parties and a Hearing. Formal proceedings must be commenced within the later of eight months from informal probate or one year from the decedent’s death.

Types of Administrations

A Part 5 Administration happens only under rare circumstances where close supervision and continuing authority by the Court is necessary for the protection of interested parties. A Small Estate Administration occurs when the decedent’s estate less liens and encumbrances does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. This cannot take place until 30 days after death. The death certificate, a copy of the funeral bill and obituary must be furnished to the Court.

Under a Small Summary Administration, the appointment of a Personal Representative is made. An Inventory and Appraisement must be filed with the Court. If the total assets that pass through the estate wherever located, and liens and encumbrances are less than twenty-five thousand dollars, the Personal Representative, after giving notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the entitled persons. A verified statement to close and a full account in writing must be filed with the Court and copied served on all distributes and creditors whose claims are neither paid nor barred.

Additional Information

Got a question about Probate Court? See our list of frequently asked questions that might give you the answer. If you have a question that is not on our list, please contact the Probate Court’s office via the Contact Form.