How to Determine Priority to Serve as a Personal Representative in South Carolina

Posted about 5 years ago. Applies to South Carolina, 6 helpful votes

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1

Are you named as personal representative in the will?

Unless disqualified, the person with the highest priority to serve as personal representative in SC is the person named in a probated will (including a person nominated by a power conferred in the will).

2

Are you the surviving spouse and also a devisee of the decedent?

The surviving spouse of the decedent who is a devisee of the decedent has the next highest priority to serve as personal representative in SC, unless disqualified.

3

Are you another devisee of the decedent?

After a person nominated in the will and a spouse who is also a beneficiary, other devisees have the next highest priority to serve as personal representative in SC, unless they are disqualified.

4

Are you the surviving spouse of the decedent, but not a devisee?

The surviving spouse of the decedent who is not a devisee, if not disqualified, has the next highest priority to serve as personal representative in SC.

5

Are you an heir of the decedent, but not a surviving spouse or devisee?

Regardless of whether the decedent died intestate, are you an heir of the decedent who has not been disqualified? For purposes of determining priority in SC under this step, any heirs who could have qualified under steps 1-4 above are treated as having predeceased the decedent, and the heirs are determined as if the decedent died intestate.

6

Are you a creditor?

45 days after the death of the decedent, any creditor who is not disqualified has priority to serve as personal representative in SC.

7

Have 4 months passed since the death of the decedent?

4 months after the death of the decedent, application by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, a person suitable to the court may be appointed to serve as personal representative in SC.

8

Have you been nominated by someone with priority?

Unless a contrary intent is expressed in the decedent's will, a person with priority above may nominate another, who shall have the same priority as the person making the nomination, except that in SC a person nominated by the testator to serve as personal representative or successor personal representative shall have a higher priority than a person nominated pursuant to this step.

9

Lastly, do not rely on any part of this as advice about a specific legal problem.

This legal guide is solely intended to provide visitors to this website with general information that they might find interesting. It is not intended to advertise my services, solicit clients, provide legal advice, or do anything else besides provide visitors with general information. Do not rely on any part this legal guide, my answers to questions, my profile, my other legal guides, my publications, or anything else on this website that is in any way related or connected to me, as advice about a specific legal problem. This is only general information. Legal advice can only be given by a lawyer who is familiar with the particular facts and circumstances of your case, and I am not familiar with the particular facts and circumstances of your case--regardless of how detailed your question was. To the extent anything here concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.

Additional Resources

S.C. Code of Laws Section 62-3-203

Estate Planning Information Center

The Pocket Legal Counselor: Information You Need for Life's Legal Issues

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