What Do I Do When a Family Member Dies?

If the family member had a will, you need to provide it to the probate court in South Carolina, or the Clerk of Court in North Carolina.

In South Carolina, an individual in possession of the will of a person who has died, must present the will to the court in the county in which the deceased resided within thirty days of the decedent’s death. The failure to provide the will to the probate court can result in a finding of contempt of court. The will may be provided to the court without opening a probate estate.

In North Carolina, the person named in the will as the executor should apply to probate the will. However, if the executor does not apply to have the will proved within 60 days after the death of the testator, any devisee named in the will, or any other person interested in the estate, may apply to probate the will. Notice must be given to the person named as executor. See N.C.G.S. § 28A-2A-2, Executor failing, beneficiary may apply. The Clerk of Court has the power to compel production of a will and, as in South Carolina, the failure to provide a will may result in a finding of contempt of court.