Serving as an estate executor does not mean you require a law degree or any kind of advanced legal training. The state of South Carolina does list some requirements for a person to serve as an executor, but they are not numerous. It is likely almost anyone you know is qualified under law to handle your estate after you pass away, though knowing who the law disqualifies can help narrow your list of executor candidates.
According to the South Carolina probate code, an estate executor cannot be under eighteen years old. This would not be a problem for most people, but if you intend for a child to handle your estate, it may help to have an alternative candidate ready if your child is currently very young and may not reach legal age before you pass away. An executor candidate should also be suitable to handle court proceedings since a court may disqualify someone who is not competent at the job.
Some South Carolinians who are potential candidates to be executors already serve as probate judges. The state probate code generally disqualifies such persons to be executors except if a judge is also a family member of the decedent. Also, serving as an executor should not interfere with the proper performance of the judicial duties of the judge. Additionally, the estate should be administered in a different county.
In some instances, a person may not have close family members that can serve as an executor, or there may be conflict within the family if a relative is chosen to serve. Whatever the reason, South Carolinians have the option of choosing a corporation to be an executor. Under law, a corporation chosen to serve as executor should be based in the state itself or have a representative within the state, such as an agent, an employee or an officer.
The legal qualifications for serving as an executor are important, but ultimately whoever is best suited to handle your estate is a decision you must make after careful consideration. Since the estate needs of South Carolina residents will vary, do not read this information as legal counsel; it is only offered as general information.