Can a non-South Carolina resident serve as the personal representative of an estate?

Yes, the facts and details of your situation need to be discussed with an attorney and/or the probate court, but likely you can complete an “Appointment of Agent for Service of Process”, SCRCP Form #121ES naming a SC resident who agrees to receive service of all lawful process in any action at law or equity related to the estate.  Attorneys often serve in this capacity, but one is not required.

However, this is not the rule for all states.  A few states, including Kentucky, allow only relatives to serve as an out-of-state executor and Ohio allows it only if the out-of-state executor comes from a state that permits non-residents to serve.  Some states allow out of state executors for wills, but not for administrators of intestate (i.e. the decedent died without a will) estate.

There is no problem with a non-South Carolina resident serving as a trustee.

Check with an attorney knowledgeable on wills, trusts and probate administration.

Disclaimer:  Information contained in this column is meant to be of general information on frequently asked questions concerning disability, elder law, estate planning and probate law, and does not contain specific legal advice to a client.  No attorney-client relationship is created by reading this column. 12/2019

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