Step One: Application and Opening
Once documents are filed, it may take from one to three weeks for the estate to be opened. Full probate is usually an eight month to one year process. Once the estate is opened, our office will complete FORM 370PC, NOTICE TO CREDITORS. This Notice will be published once a week for three successive weeks in one of the three Lexington County newspapers of your choice. Notice is required by law and is not optional.
Bond is required in the following circumstances:
- a) Appointment of a Personal Representative NOT named in the Will (unless they are the sole devisee);
- b) Appointment of a Personal Representative of an intestate estate (unless they are the sole heir);
- c) Bond for the Personal Representative is expressly required by the Will or
- d) if demanded by an interested party.
Bond may be waived if all heirs and devisees sign a Waiver of Bond (A minor may only waive bond through a properly designated Guardian ad Litem).
Step Two: Administration of the Estate
INFORMATION TO HEIRS AND DEVISEES - FORM 305PC (Download Form Here).
This form must be delivered by the Personal Representative within 30 days of appointment. This form is used to notify all persons with an interest in the estate of the name, address and telephone number of the Personal Representative, as well as the date the Personal Representative was appointed and the Will, if any, was probated. Along with this form, you will also need to file FORM 120PC, PROOF OF DELIVERY and any other time it is required that notice be sent to heirs, devisees, and other interested parties. (Download Form Here).
INVENTORY AND APPRAISEMENT - FORM 350PC (Download Form Here).
This form must be completed within 90 days of the appointment of the Personal Representative. This form provides a summary of the assets of the estate and their value. If unusual circumstances prevent filing the Inventory and Appraisement on time, it is possible to request more time to file by submitting a FORM 352PC – MOTION FOR EXTENSION (Download Form Here). Failure to file one of these forms within 90 days can result in penalties against the estate and the Personal Representative individually.
Once the inventory is filed the estate will remain open until the creditor’s claim period expires. After expiration of the creditor’s claim period, the final step in the process will begin, which is closing the estate.
Step Three: Closing the Estate
The following forms will be necessary to close the estate:
ACCOUNTING - FORM 361PC (Download Form Here).
This form shows how the assets of the estate have been received and disbursed. It is important to keep accurate records so that the accounting will be clear and exact.
DEED OF DISTRIBUTION - FORM 400PC (Download Form Here).
This form releases the real property to the heir(s) or devisee(s). This form must be filed at the Register of Deeds office in the county where the property is located. A clocked copy from the Register of Deeds office will then need to be filed in the Probate Court.
RECEIPT AND RELEASE - FORM 403PC (Download Form Here).
This form acknowledges receipt from the Personal Representative of any and all assets that have been distributed to the heirs and devisees. This form releases the Personal Representative of liability.
PROPOSAL FOR DISTRIBUTION - FORM 410PC (Download Form Here).
This form indicates any estate assets yet to be distributed. Please note that if the ending balance on the Final Accounting has a zero balance this indicates all estate assets have already been distributed and this Proposal is not required.
APPLICATION FOR SETTLEMENT - FORM 412PC (Download Form Here).
This form asks the Court to approve the distribution of estate assets, approve the accounting and discharge the Personal Representative.