Posted By Alan Donald @ Nov 14th 2019 2:00pm In: Probate

Our real estate services fully complement the Probate Attorney's. In this 2nd of 3-episode series Probate and Elder Law Attorney Michael Sgobbo talks about remuneration for Personal Representatives and the functions that a real estate can perform for an estate that are outside of the functions for a probate attorney. 

Our team helps Personal Representatives or Executors determine the best property disposal strategies and offer a team of "allied resources" - service providers relating to real estate or complementary services that a Personal Representative may need to help perform their functions.

Whether they choose to have a quick, cash sale, and "as-is" sale or wish to clean and improve the property to maximize the return for the estate, we have the service providers to assist at every step. In addition, we offer Project Management services, if the Personal Representative lives out of town or is unable/unwilling to take on the required tasks.

Call/text 843-864-3777 if you have any questions or if we can help!


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Script from the video above:

Alan: So Michael where do your services stop and the Personal Representative needs to take up the slack and do things that need to be done for the estate that your services don't cover?

Michael: Sure that’s a great question, and for each estate and each Personal Representative it will be a little bit different, for the most part though, there are things that we don't physically get involved with - the biggest one is dealing with the real estate - we don't go to the house and we're not going to help the Personal Representative clean out the house, fix up the house, market the house or sell the house. Those are things that we're not going to be able to functionally do, and that honestly is your job, which is to help the representative with those issues - you know, finding people to help them with estate sales, finding people to help them clean up the house, to repair the house, to value the house. Those of the things that you provide an excellent service for.

Alan: Can a Personal Representative be paid for their functions?

Michael: Yes, a Personal Representative can be paid for their functions. The Probate Code here in South Carolina caps that fee at 5% of the value of the estate. I often tell my Personal Representatives that they need to take a fee. Some of them feel awkward about taking a fee. It is a lot of work being a Personal Representative, being an Executor. It's time consuming, it's stressful, it's difficult, it's emotional and I believe that they need to be compensated for their time and effort - simply because it's just not an easy job!

Alan: Michael, can you avoid probate? I’m sure that it is probably too late for some people, but if your parents or your elder relatives and not deceased yet, is there a way to avoid probate?

Michael: You know, that's another great question Alan, after somebody dies it's a little bit late to approach that question. Prior to someone passing away there is a way to avoid probate - we do a lot of what are called "living trusts" here in South Carolina, the purpose of which is to avoid probate when somebody passes away. We put their "probatable assets" into the trust and then the trust controls the distributions, without dealing with the probate court, without dealing with the probate system. However, as we've discussed, the issues for somebody are dealing withal estate are the same - whether mom and dad had a trust or went through probate, they may still need someone like you to assist them with the house - fixing, repairing, cleaning out, marketing and selling the house. So whether it’s in a trust or whether it’s part of an estate, I still believe it's a really good idea to hire a professional to assist with the real estate.

Alan: Does it cost anything to file a probate? Are there any fees involved?

Michael: Generally there's a little bit of expense up front - there's a $25 opening fee here in South Carolina, you have to advertise the estate the and the newspaper of circulation in the county. Charleston county has 3 or 4 options some of the smaller counties have 1 option - those advertising fees can be anywhere from $30 to a $125 to advertise. The Probate Court also charges that probate fee based on the value of the estate. Within 90 days we're required to file an inventory with the probate court that lists all of the assets. And the probate court then calculates a fee based on that inventory that we filed. And it's a pretty good sized fee! It can be in the thousands of dollars just to the probate court...

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For immediate response contact us at (843) 900-0155!

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