When people pass away, they leave behind their assets and property, but they also leave behind their debts. Each situation is different, and some decedents might have minor debts, while others might have many creditors seeking to fulfill a significant amount of debt. One of the first steps a personal representative should take is to determine whether the estate is solvent or insolvent.
A solvent estate is one that has enough assets to fully cover the remaining debts. The personal representative then has the responsibility to pay off the estate’s debts before distributing the remaining property to beneficiaries.
Creditors must present their claims to the personal representative and probate court within one year of the death or eight months after the first notice to creditors is published. If creditors fail to make a valid claim in this timeframe, they are barred from collecting the debt from the estate.
Personal representatives should verify that each claimed debt is valid and challenge any debt claim they believe to be in error. It is important that they do not make any improper distributions to beneficiaries before the debts of a solvent estate are settled.
Speak with a South Carolina Probate Attorney for Assistance Today
Handling a solvent estate can be a complicated matter, and a dedicated South Carolina probate lawyer from Parker Law can help personal representatives, creditors, and other parties involved in the process. Call 803-918-5164 or contact us online to learn more.
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Does Every Estate Have to Go Through Probate?
Not every estate in South Carolina has to go through probate, as estates valued less than $25,000 or that only have one beneficiary (the executor) can use a simplified process.
Who Can Make Claims on a Solvent Estate?
Any creditor of the deceased can make a claim against the estate, and the personal representative would need to determine which claims are valid or not.
Do You Need Legal Help to Administer a Solvent Estate?
Many personal representatives need assistance verifying debts of a solvent estate and handling other administration matters. Never wait to call a probate attorney.