Opening a Probate Estate and Choosing a Personal Representative

Posted by the Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston Estate and Probate Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC.

To open an estate in Charleston and across South Carolina you must show the probate court some proof of death, usually a death certificate. Also, the original Will of the decedent should be filed with the Probate Court if a Will exists. A small fee must also be paid up front, with additional fees to follow depending on the size of the estate.

Usually, it is best for the person who will serve as personal representative to open the probate estate. The personal representative is responsible for administering the estate, also known as the executor or administrator. Ultimately, the Probate Court determines who will be named personal representative based on South Carolina Probate law, and certain people have priority over others.  If the Will names a personal representative that person has the highest priority to be appointed personal representative.

If there is no Will and, therefore, no named personal representative, the surviving spouse has the highest priority to serve, followed by children and then other intestate heirs.  Issues can arise when the surviving children are minors, and I strongly suggest you contact a probate and estate attorney in this situation to discuss your options.

If you feel someone that has priority to serve as personal representative should not serve, you can object to their appointment with the Probate Court. If you wish to make an objection a probate and estate lawyer can help you petition the Probate Court.

Charleston, SC Probate Attorneys

Our Charleston Probate and Estate Lawyers handle probate and estates in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.  Our probate lawyers can help to ensure that your loved one’s estate is handled properly and efficiently.  Please give our Charleston probate attorneys a call today to discuss any probate and estate issues you may have. Oftentimes any fee incurred by employing our probate attorneys can be paid from the assets of the estate.