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Wednesday, April 19, 2023

How Much Does the Executor of an Estate Get Paid in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, an executor is the person appointed in a Last Will and Testament that will be responsible for managing the estate throughout the probate proceedings. The personal representative of an estate is the same role as the executor, but is appointed by the court instead of the Last Will and Testament. A court may need to appoint a personal representative in a number of case such as when the decedent died without a valid will or a will appointed an executor who is unable or unwilling to serve in that role. Regardless of the official title, the executor or personal representative of an estate has extensive responsibilities that can be quite demanding. As such, they are entitled to compensation for their efforts.

How Much Does the Executor of an Estate Get Paid in South Carolina?

An executor plays a critical role over the course of probate proceedings. Their responsibilities begin with opening probate proceedings as well as identifying and securing all assets of the estate. They will be responsible for managing estate assets throughout the process. The executor must also notify potential creditors of the estate and review all creditor claims to ascertain which ones are valid and will need to be paid off from estate assets. The executor will need to value the assets of the estate and, in some cases, will need to see off assets in order to satisfy creditor claims.

This all can be a lot. It makes sense, therefore, that an executor of an estate is entitled to compensation. Sometimes, compensation for an executor is provided for in the will of the decedent. The probate court will look for any such orders for the executor’s pay within the will. A judge may determine the provision reasonable and pay an executor accordingly. A judge also, however, has the authority to withhold payment to the executor should the will provision be unreasonable in light of the work required by the executor or if the executor acted inappropriately in carrying out or failing to carry out their prescribed duties.

Compensation of an executor, however, is most often based on the value of the assets held in the estate they are administering. South Carolina prescribes that executors receive up to 5% of the value of the estate’s personal property as payment for services rendered. The 5% is only applied to the value of personal property. This means that the value of real estate is not included unless it has been sold off by the personal representative during administration of the estate. The 5% is the default rate when no other provisions for the executor’s payment are present. If there is a written provision for the payment of the executor, for instance one found in the decedent’s will, the court is likely to grant the executor the amount stated by the decedent for services rendered.

Estate Planning Attorney

Have you been appointed to serve as executor of an estate? It is likely that you will have questions along the way. Reach out to the dedicated team at Monk Law for assistance. Contact Monk Law today.


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