According to South Carolina Code 62-3-601, personal representatives appointed as fiduciaries of an estate must post a surety bond with the probate court unless provided an exemption (more on these exemptions later). The South Carolina legislature enacted the surety bond requirement as a financial security in case personal representatives mismanage the estate’s assets. The bond serves as a guarantee on behalf of the personal representative.
Have any questions? Give us a call at (855) 470-0877 and speak to a live South Carolina probate bond expert.
South Carolina Code 62-3-604 states that the estate's personal representative must file a statement under oath estimating the value of the estate’s assets, and the bond filed shall be in an amount not less than the estimate. The court may increase or decrease the bond amount upon request of the personal representative or interested party or at the court’s discretion.
Jet charges a minimum of $85 per year for the South Carolina Personal Representative bond, with the price depending on the size of the bond. See the chart below to calculate the price for larger bonds. Apply online in minutes or call one of our probate bond experts at (855) 470-0877 to find out exactly how much your bond will cost.
To determine how much the bond will cost, personal representatives can follow the steps listed below:
The bond amount is based on the personal representative’s best estimate of the estate's value.
Personal Representative bonds up to $10,000 in size cost $85 per year. For each additional $1,000 increase to the bond amount, the bond premium will increase by the corresponding amount outlined in the table below. Note that rates may vary based on the applicant’s credit and other underwriting factors.
|Bond Amount||Additional Premium (per $1,000)||Bond Cost (1 year)|
|$0 - $10,000||$85 flat rate||$85|
|$10,001 - $60,000||$5.00||$85 - $335|
|$60,001 - $200,000||$4.00||$335 - $895|
|$200,001 - $500,000||$3.00||$895 - $1,795|
|$500,001 - $1,500,000||$2.00||$1,795 - $3,795|
Jet does not require credit checks for applicants with bond sizes under $25,000, or under $50,000 if the applicant has retained an attorney. Personal representatives may also request the court to reimburse the bond premium from estate funds. Call us at (855) 470-0877 to find out how much your probate bond will cost.
Step 1 – Determine Priority
According to SC Code 62-3-203, the priority for who should serve as personal representative is as follows:
Step 2 – Hire an Attorney
Although not explicitly required, we recommend that personal representatives hire an attorney to assist with the probate process.
Step 3 – Petition the Court
Personal representatives must file a petition with the Probate Court in the county where the deceased person resided at the time of their death. A petition is an application to become a personal representative. If there is a will, the court will determine its authenticity and appoint an executor. If there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator to oversee the probate process.
Step 4 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Unless otherwise exempt, personal representatives must purchase and maintain a surety bond.
South Carolina Code 62-3-705 states that within thirty days of their appointment, the personal representative must notify all the decedent's beneficiaries. The notification must include the personal representative's name and address, whether a bond has been filed, and the location of the court where estate-related documents are on file.
Within ninety days after his appointment, the personal representative must prepare an inventory and appraisement of property owned by the decedent at the time of death and file this accounting with the court and any interested party.
After paying the debts and any taxes owed by the estate and distributing any remaining assets to the heirs, the personal representative must prepare and file a full accounting of their administration to the court to close the estate and release the bond.
South Carolina requires personal representatives to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to being appointed as a fiduciary over an estate’s assets. The bond ensures that the estate’s beneficiaries and creditors will receive compensation for financial harm if the personal representative fails to abide by the regulations outlined in South Carolina Code 62-3-606. Specifically, the bond protects beneficiaries and creditors if the personal representative fails to adhere to all court orders or mismanages the estate’s assets. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the estate’s beneficiaries and creditors if the personal representative violates their fiduciary duties.
According to South Carolina Code 62-3-603, the court may waive or reduce the bond requirement for personal representatives in South Carolina in the following situations:
Jet’s application process is simple and fast - our goal is to get the personal representative bonded as quickly as possible so they can focus on their fiduciary obligations. All we need is the bond amount and basic information about the estate. Applicants for bond limits over $50,000 will likely need to submit documentation from the court for review.
Here are some of the factors Jet considers when underwriting a personal representative bond:
Jet (the Surety) and the personal representative must sign the original bond. Jet fills out the bond form, signs as the Surety, and sends the original bond to the representative to sign and file the completed bond with the probate court. South Carolina also requires the personal representative to have a witness sign on the bond as well. Jet will also send the representative an electronic copy of their bond for reference.
Jet will notify the personal representative well in advance of the renewal date to ensure timely renewal payment. Jet will notify the attorney (when applicable) and the court if you do not pay for the renewal. If an attorney is involved, they may decide to pay the renewal bond premium, but the fiduciary must reimburse them. Upon being notified of the failure to maintain the bond, the court will set a hearing.
The court will release the bond once the personal representative has paid all debts, distributed all assets, and provided a final accounting approved by the court. The personal representative must submit an annual accounting to the court if the estate settlement extends beyond a year.
After obtaining the release, the personal representative simply needs to email a copy to [email protected] so that we can cancel the bond and issue any applicable refund due back to the personal representative.
Personal representatives have a critical role in the settlement of an estate and are relied on by the heirs, creditors, and the circuit court to fulfill these obligations. Complaints regarding failure to uphold duties may arise from the heirs and creditors if they feel the personal representative has not settled the estate properly. Your diligence in keeping receipts and records of all transactions as the personal representative is essential.
Some examples of potential actions that could cause a claim:
Upon receiving court notice of a claim on the bond, Jet has 30 days to pay the claim or ask for additional time to review it. Jet works tirelessly to protect personal representatives against faulty claims, which means that even if the court has requested a bond payout, we assess all documentation provided by the court and the personal representative before paying out the claim. However, if a claim is valid and Jet pays the claimant, the personal representative must pay Jet back as the representative is ultimately liable for their actions.
Below is a list of all the county probate courts located in the State of South Carolina, as well as their addresses and contact information.
|County Court||Phone Number||Address|
|Abbeville County||(864) 366-5312||903 W. Greenwood St., Suite 2300|
Abbeville, SC 29620
|Aiken County||(803) 584-3157||109 Park Avenue SE, Room E126|
Aiken, SC 29801
|Allendale County||(803) 584-3157||P.O. Box 603|
Allendale, MS 29810
|Anderson County||(864) 260-4049||100 South Main Street|
Anderson, SC 29624
|Bamberg County||(803) 245-3008||2959 Main Highway|
Bamberg, SC 29003
|Barnwell County||(803) 541-1032||Barnwell County Courthouse Rm 108|
Barnwell, SC 29812
|Beaufort County||(843) 255-5850||PO Box 1083|
Beaufort, SC 29901
|Berkeley County||(843) 723-3800||300-B California Avenue|
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
|Calhoun County||(803) 874-3514||902 FR Huff Drive|
St. Matthews, SC 29135
|Charleston County||(843) 958-5180||100 Broad Street, Suite 469|
Charleston, SC 29401
|Cherokee County||(864) 487-2583||110 Railroad Ave|
Gaffney, SC 29340
|Chester County||(803) 385-2604||1476 J.A. Cochran Bypass|
Chester, SC 29706
|Chesterfield County||(843) 623-2376||200 West Main Street|
Chesterfield, SC 29709
|Clarendon County||(803) 435-8774||411 Sunset Drive, Suite 1304|
Manning, SC 29102
|Colleton County||(843) 549-7216||239 N Jefferies Blvd|
Walterboro, SC 29488
|Darlington County||(843) 398-4310||1 Public Square, Second Floor, Room 208|
Darlington, SC 29532
|Dillon County||(843) 774-1423||401 W Main St Room 303|
Dillon, SC 29536
|Dorchester County||(843) 563-0105||5200 E. Jim Bilton Blvd|
St. George, SC 29477
|Edgefield County||(803) 637-4000||124 Courthouse Square|
Edgefield, SC 29824
|Fairfield County||(803) 712-6519||101 South Congress Street|
Winnsboro, SC 29180
|Florence County||(843) 665-3031||180 N. Irby St|
Florence, SC 29501
|Georgetown County||(843) 545-3274||401 Cleland St., Room #140|
Georgetown, SC 29442
|Greenville County||(864) 467-7170||301 University Ridge, Suite 1200|
Greenville, SC 29601
|Greenwood County||(864) 942-8625||528 Monument Street, Room: 205|
Greenwood, SC 29646
|Hampton County||(803) 914-2172||1 Courthouse Square, 2nd Floor|
Hampton, SC 29924
|Horry County||(843) 915-5370||1301 Second Avenue|
Conway, SC 29526
|Jasper County||(843) 726-7710||265 Russell Street|
Ridgeland, SC 29936
|Kershaw County||(803) 425-1503||1121 Broad Street, Room 225|
Camden, SC 29020
|Lancaster County||(803) 283-3379||104 N. Main Street|
Lancaster, SC 29720
|Laurens County||(864) 984-7315||100 Hillcrest Square, Suite A|
Laurens, SC 29360
|Lee County||(803) 484-5341||P.O. Box 24|
Bishopville, SC 29010
|Lexington County||(803) 785-8324||205 East Main Street Suite 13|
Lexington, SC 29072
|Marion County||(843) 423-8240||100 W Court Street|
Marion, SC 29571
|Marlboro County||(843) 479-5610||105 Main Street - Courthouse Square|
Bennettsville, SC 29512
|McCormick County||(864) 852-2630||133 S. Mine Street, Room 101|
McCormick, SC 29835
|Newberry County||(803) 321-2118||1309 College St|
Newberry, SC 29108
|Oconee County||(864) 638-4275||415 S. Pine St.|
Walhalla, SC 29691
|Orangeburg County||(803) 533-6280||151 Docket Street, Room 105, 1st Floor|
Orangeburg, SC 29115
|Pickens County||(864) 898-5844||222 McDaniel Avenue, B-2|
Pickens, SC 29671
|Richland County||(803) 576-1961||1701 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 207|
Columbia, SC 29201
|Saluda County||(864) 445-4500||100 East Church Street, Suite 4|
Saluda, SC 29138
|Spartanburg County||(864) 596-2556||180 Magnolia St, 1st Fl, Ste 302|
Spartanburg, SC 29306
|Sumter County||(803) 436-2166||215 N Harvin St|
Sumter, SC 29150
|Union County||(864) 429-1625||210 West Main Street|
Union, SC 29379
|Williamsburg County||(843) 355-9321||147 W. Main Street|
Kingstree, SC 29556
|York County||(803) 684-8513||2 S Congress Street|
York, SC 29745