If I am appointed in a Will as a Personal Representative in Charleston, South Carolina, do I receive a set fee or a percentage of the Estate after it goes through Probate for performing my duties?
Depends on what the will says. Charleston, SC has no bearing on it as it is governed by the S.C. Code. Some wills say no fee but reimbursement for expenses paid. Some set a flat fee or % fee or state the "statutory fee." 62-3-719 is the statutory fee section of the Probate Code and it states as follows:
(a) Unless otherwise approved by the court for extraordinary services, a personal representative shall receive for his care in the execution of his duties a sum from the probate estate funds not to exceed five percent of the appraised value of the personal property of the probate estate plus the sales proceeds of real property of the probate estate received on sales directed or authorized by will or by proper court order, except upon sales to the personal representative as purchaser. The minimum commission payable is fifty dollars, regardless of the value of the personal property of the estate.
(b) Additionally, a personal representative may receive not more than five percent of the income earned by the probate estate in which he acts as fiduciary. No such additional commission is payable by an estate if the probate judge determines that a personal representative has acted unreasonably in the accomplishment of the assigned duties, or that unreasonable delay has been encountered.
(c) The provisions of this section do not apply in a case where there is a contract providing for the compensation to be paid for such services, or where the will otherwise directs, or where the personal representative qualified to act before June 28, 1984.
(d) A personal representative also may renounce his right to all or any part of the compensation. A written renunciation of fee may be filed with the court.
(e) If more than one personal representative is serving an estate, the court in its discretion shall apportion the compensation among the personal representatives, but the total compensation for all personal representatives of an estate must not exceed the maximum compensation allowable under subsections (a) and (b) for an estate with a sole personal representative.
(f) For purposes of this section, "probate estate" means the decedent's property passing under the decedent's will plus the decedent's property passing by intestacy. This subsection is intended to be declaratory of the law and governs the compensation of personal representatives currently serving and personal representatives serving at a later time.
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