How does a Personal Representative get appointed?

Appointment of a Personal Representative is granted informally to a person who has priority under South Carolina law. Usually, the Personal Representative is named in the will by the deceased. However, priority can result through the will, by law, by renunciation, or by termination. Any person with priority may nominate another. A person without priority may only be appointed through formal proceedings. Following the service of the formal Summons/Petition, a hearing will be scheduled to determine who is the appropriate person to administer the estate.

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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?