Summerville Estate Administration Lawyer
Whether someone dies, either with or without a will, the job of settling the estate falls on a person appointed by the court as the personal representative of the estate. The amount of work that must be accomplished by the personal representative can seem daunting, and some of the tasks require technical expertise beyond the capabilities of the average representative. At Shelbourne Law, our Summerville estate administration lawyers provide practical advice and assistance to personal representatives throughout Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton and Berkeley counties. Read on to learn more about South Carolina estate administration, and contact Shelbourne Law for help if you have been appointed as a personal representative.
Duties of the Personal Representative in South Carolina Estate Administration
Estate administration in South Carolina is typically an informal procedure; a formal proceeding is only required if there is a will contest or other probate litigation is required. In an informal proceeding, the court will determine that the will is valid or that there is no will, and then appoint a personal representative (PR) to administer the estate. The PR is issued letters from the court granting the authority to carry out required tasks. The duties of the personal representative include:
- Notify creditors who may have a claim against the estate
- Conduct an inventory and appraisal of all estate assets
- Pay valid claims and debts of the estate
- Pay taxes owed by the estate
- Conduct a final accounting of the estate
- Distribute assets to heirs and beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or intestacy laws
- File final income tax and estate tax returns
A personal representative has a fiduciary relationship, or position of trust, with respect to the estate. This means that the PR owes duties to the estate to act with loyalty and impartiality, avoid conflicts or self-dealing, and perform duties efficiently and competently. If a PR can’t perform a particular task capably, it is up to the PR to enlist the aid of experts and professionals who can help. These may include attorneys, accountants, appraisers or investment advisors, for example. A PR who fails to fulfill the fiduciary role can actually be held personally liable for financial harm to the estate which follows.
At Shelbourne Law, we have the skills and experience gained from working in probate matters for over 25 years to assist personal representatives with the many tasks that fall on them in the administration of an estate. Count on our attorneys to guide you through every step of the probate process from opening the estate to closing it, ensuring that you fulfill your duties properly and that heirs and beneficiaries receive their distribution in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
Efficient, Effective Assistance with Summerville Estate Administration
For help with estate administration in Charleston and surrounding communities in Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton and Berkeley counties, call Shelbourne Law in Summerville for skilled, professional help from knowledgeable and experienced South Carolina probate attorneys.