For many people, being the executor of an estate in SC is considered both an appointment of honor and a burden at the same time. It is the job of the executor, or personal representative, to oversee the most stressful responsibility regarding the estate of the deceased. A personal representative can be named by the deceased, the family, or state appointed. Often times the job of execution can also be handled through the same law office that was contracted for the establishment of the will. Though in South Carolina, the executor does not need to have a legal background. The person however must have impeccable morals and be both honest and non-biased when it comes to distributing the assets, especially if there was not a will in place.
The duties handled by the executor in Rock Hill and Fort Mill, SC and surrounding areas.
One of the biggest responsibilities handled by the executor is to locate and appraise the assets of the deceased. Assets include any property owned solely, or jointly, by the deceased, stocks, bonds, cash, life insurance policies, real estate, and annuities. The executor has to take stock of everything and oversee not only their appraisal, but before they can distribute them, must ensure every fee is paid accordingly. Taxes, court fees, lawyer fees, debts, funeral costs, and any other fees for services used during collection and appraisal have to paid from the assets. Once all of these are taken care of, then the distribution can begin.
Important decisions and responsibilities of the executor.
In many instances, when there is joint property, the items automatically default to the remaining owner, often times the spouse. In cases where there is no survivor, or multiple survivors, or when there are assets over a certain value, probate court proceedings may be needed to help properly determine the course of action regarding their distribution. In most cases though, the executor can handle the requirements of the estate without needing a court proceeding.
It is also the duty of the executor to ensure that all the paperwork regarding the death is filed properly and that accounts are closed accordingly. Bank accounts, credit cards, leases, any other type of account held by the deceased must be closed properly. It generally requires the correct proof of death by the executor or a lawyer to ensure everything is rendered closed. Aside from executing the wishes of the will, it is also the duty of the executor to see that it is filed properly with the appropriate probate court.
The best way to choose an executor is to retain a good Rock Hill or Fort Mill, SC lawyer.
Often times during the process of establishing a will the question of who will oversee it and the estate is also addressed. The simplest solution, especially in instances where there will be a lot of assets to handle, is to have the lawyer also be the executor. If the state has to appoint one it will be someone outside of the family who has to make the best guess at what the deceased may have wished to be done. It is also more costly to have one appointed by the state, so being prepared by choosing one ahead of time is a sound investment in the future security of your family.