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 or Hearings required 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 judgements 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 Summary Administration of Small Estate 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.
Below are questions to determine what type, if any, estate administration is needed:
1. Was the decedent permanently living in County of Florence at the time of death? If not, please contact the Probate Court of the appropriate County or State.
2. Did the decedent die within the last ten (10) years?
3. Did the decedent own personal property valued more than $25,000 or any real estate?
A. If you answered YES to all of these questions, please follow the link to access FORM 300ES PETITION/APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT (Download Form Here). Should you encounter a problem you may contact our office at (843) 665-3085 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a package of forms required for Full Estate Administration. This package will include most of the forms you will need throughout the entire process; however, the first step is to complete FORM 300ES PETITION/APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT to the best of your ability. Be sure to sign and notarize where indicated and return with the following:
• A copy of the death certificate.
• The original Will, if there was one.
• Court Cost for initial court fees and publication made payable to Florence County Probate Court for either choice below:
Upon completion of the FORM 300ES PETITION/APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT it is recommended that you drop the completed package off to the court along with a copy of all required documents. Once all the required documents are received by the court, the documentation will be reviewed and an estate clerk will contact you within 48 hours to schedule an appointment. If you are unable to come for an appointment you may mail the paperwork to: Florence County Probate Court, 181 N. Irby St., Suite 1300, Florence, SC 29501
B. If you answered YES to 1 and 2 but the decedent did not own any real property and the value of the personal property is less than $25,000, please follow the link to FORM 420ES AFFIDAVIT FOR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY (Download Form Here). Should you encounter a problem you may contact our office at (843) 665-3085 or send an email to email@example.com to request that we mail this form to you. After receiving and completing the Affidavit, be sure to sign and notarize where indicated and return with the following:
• Original Death Certificate.
• Copy of paid funeral bill
• Affidavit as to Reimbursement for Payment of Funeral Bill
• Check made payable to the Florence County Probate Court as follows:
NOTE: There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period from date of death to file a FORM 420ES (AFFIDAVIT FOR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY).
Upon completion of the FORM 420ES AFFIDAVIT FOR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY it is recommended that you return the completed form and all required documents to the court. If you are unable to come for an appointment you may mail the paperwork to Florence County Probate Court, 181 N. Irby St., Suite 1300, Florence, SC 29501. Once all completed documents have been received into the court an appointment will be scheduled.
Please note you must file original documents. Faxed documents cannot be accepted.