If there is a Will, this must be filed with the Court within thirty (30) days from the date of death. The majority of estates will come under the informal procedures. There are no notices required or hearings unless demanded by an interested party pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws, § 62-3-204 (1976, as amended).
Formal proceedings are contested matters such as objections to appointments of personal representatives, will contests, lost or destroyed will and declaratory judgments on intestacy. Formal proceedings require notices to all interested parties and a hearing. Formal proceedings must be commenced within the later of eight months from informal probate or one year from the decedent’s death.
A Part 5 Administration happens only under rare circumstances where close supervision and continuing authority by the Court is necessary for the protection of interested parties.
A Small Estate Administration occurs when the decedent’s estate less liens and encumbrances does not exceed twenty five thousand dollars. This cannot take place until thirty (30) days after death. The death certificate and a copy of the funeral bill must be furnished to the Court. Under a Small Summary Administration the appointment of a Personal Representative is made. An Inventory and Appraisement must be filed with the Court. If the total assets that pass through the estate wherever located, and liens and encumbrances are less than twenty five thousand dollars, the Personal Representative, after giving notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the entitled persons. A verified statement to close and a full account in writing must be filed with the Court and copied served on all distributees and creditors whose claims are neither paid nor barred.