A personal representative (PR) is a fiduciary who shall observe the standards of care applicable to trustees as described by Section 62-7-933 (all references are to Sections of the South Carolina Code of Laws). A PR has a duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of a probated and effective will and the South Carolina Probate Code, and as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate.
Personal Representative to Proceed with Court Sanction
A PR shall proceed expeditiously with the settlement and distribution of a decedent's estate under the supervision of the court, as follows: (a) immediately after being appointed, the PR shall publish the notice to creditors required by Section 62-3-801; (b) within 90 days after his appointment the PR shall file with the court the inventory and appraisement required by Section 62-3-706;(c) upon the expiration of the relevant period set forth in Section 62-3-807, the PR shall proceed to pay the claims allowed against the estate, as provided in Section 62-3-807; and, (d) upon the expiration of the relevant period set forth in Section 62-3-1001, the PR shall file the account, proposal for distribution, petition for settlement of the estate, proofs required by Section 62-3-1001, and proof of publication of notice to creditors.
Information to Heirs and Devisees
Not later than 30 days after appointment every PR, except any special administrator, shall give information of the appointment to the heirs (regardless of whether the decedent died intestate and determined as if the decedent died intestate) and devisees, including, if there has been no formal testacy proceeding and if the PR was appointed on the assumption that the decedent died intestate, the devisees in any will mentioned in the application for appointment of a PR. The information must include the name and address of the PR, indicate that it is being sent to persons who have or may have some interest in the estate being administered, indicate whether bond has been filed, and describe the court where papers relating to the estate are on file. The information must be delivered or sent by ordinary mail to each of the heirs and devisees whose address is reasonably available to the PR.
Inventory and Appraisement
Within 90 days after appointment, a PR, who is not a special administrator or a successor to another representative who has previously discharged this duty, shall: (a) prepare an inventory of property owned by the decedent at the time of death, together with such other information as may be required by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, listing it with reasonable detail, and indicating as to each listed item, its fair market value as of the date of the decedent's death, and the type and amount of any encumbrance that may exist with reference to any item; (b) file the original of the inventory with the court; and, (c) mail a copy to interested persons who request it.
If any property not included in the original inventory comes to the knowledge of a PR or if the PR learns that the value or description indicated in the original inventory for any item is erroneous or misleading, the PR shall make a supplementary inventory or appraisement showing the market value as of the date of the decedent's death of the new item or the revised market value or descriptions, and the appraisers or other data relied upon, if any, and file it with the court, and furnish copies thereof or information thereof to persons who receive the original inventory, and to persons interested in the new information.
Possession of Estate
Except as otherwise provided by a decedent's will, every PR shall take possession or control of the decedent's property, except that any real property or tangible personal property may be left with or surrendered to the person presumptively entitled thereto unless or until, in the judgment of the personal representative, possession of the property by him will be necessary for purposes of administration. The PR shall pay taxes on, and take all steps reasonably necessary for the management, protection, and preservation of, the estate in the PR's possession
Successor Personal Representative
A successor PR has the same duty as the original PR to complete the administration and distribution of the estate, as expeditiously as possible, but the successor PR shall not exercise any power expressly made personal to the executor named in the will.
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