Insolvent Estate: Who Gets Paid

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A decedent’s estate is considered insolvent if it does not have sufficient assets to pay back the decedent’s creditors.  When this occurs, creditors are paid back either in order or based on their priority. Under South Carolina law, if the estate does not have sufficient assets to pay claims in full, creditors should be paid back in the following order:

  • The costs of administration, including attorney’s fees and reasonable funeral expenses
  • Debts and taxes with preference under federal law
  • Reasonable and necessary medical expenses, hospital bills, and expenses related to the last illness of the decedent, including paying the people who took care of the decedent
  • Debts and taxes under with preference under state law
  • All other claims

If You are a Personal Representative, a Lawyer Can Help Ensure You Comply with the Law

As the personal representative of an estate, one of your duties is paying the estate’s debts. An attorney can help you determine who you need to pay first and ensure that the things you do as executor are in compliance with state and federal law.

If You are a Creditor of an Estate, an Attorney Can Help You Enforce the Law

The laws regarding insolvent estates and the payment of creditors are not self-executing. This means that personal representatives may pay creditors out of order, leaving nothing left.  If you have a claim on an estate and are a priority creditor, a lawyer can help you ensure you get paid when you are supposed to.

Call Us Today to Speak with a South Carolina Probate Lawyer

If you have an interest in an insolvent estate or are wondering how to proceed as an executor, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Call Parker Law today at 803-918-5424 to schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced probate attorney in South Carolina.


What is Probate?

Probate is the process of settling an estate and involves the payment of debts and the distribution of assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries, among other things.

Who Needs a Probate Lawyer?

Anyone with an interest in an estate that is going through probate can benefit from speaking to an attorney. In addition, a probate lawyer can help executors discharge their duties in accordance with the law.

Can You Avoid Probate?

In certain situations, you may be able to create an estate plan that avoids probate entirely. An attorney can help determine what options are available to you and your estate.

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