2018 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 62 - South Carolina Probate Code
Section 62-5-422. Powers of conservator in administration.

Universal Citation: SC Code § 62-5-422 (2018)

Section effective January 1, 2019. See, also, Sections 62-5-408 and 62-5-424 effective until January 1, 2019.

(A) Except as otherwise qualified or limited by court order, a conservator, acting reasonably in the best interest of the protected person and in efforts to accomplish the purpose for which he was appointed, may act without court approval to:

(1) invest and reinvest funds of the estate as would a trustee;

(2) collect, hold, and retain assets of the estate including land in another state, until, in his judgment, disposition of the assets should be made, and retain assets even though they include an asset in which the conservator personally is interested;

(3) receive additions to the estate;

(4) deposit estate funds in a financial institution including a financial institution operated by the conservator;

(5) make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations to buildings or other structures, demolish, improve, raze or erect existing or new party walls or buildings;

(6) vote a security in person or by general or limited proxy;

(7) pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities;

(8) sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; consent directly or through a committee or other agent, to the reorganization, consolidation, merger, dissolution, or liquidation of a corporation or other business enterprise whose stock or shares are publicly held;

(9) hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the conservatorship so that title to the security may pass by delivery, but the conservator is liable for an act of the nominee in connection with the stock so held;

(10) insure the assets of the estate against damage or loss, and the conservator against liability with respect to third persons;

(11) borrow money to be repaid from estate assets or otherwise; advance money for the protection of the estate or the protected person and for all expenses, losses, and liability sustained in the administration of the estate or because of the holding or ownership of estate assets; and the conservator shall have a lien on the estate as against the protected person for advances so made;

(12) pay or contest a claim except as limited by Section 62-5-433; settle a claim by or against the estate of the protected person by compromise, arbitration, or otherwise except as limited by Section 62-5-433; and release, in whole or in part, a claim belonging to the estate to the extent that the claim is uncollectible;

(13) pay taxes, assessments, and other expenses incurred in the collection, care, administration, and protection of the estate;

(14) allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as provided by law, including creation of reserves out of income for depreciation, obsolescence, or amortization, or for depletion in mineral or timber properties;

(15) pay a sum distributable to a protected person or his dependent without liability to the conservator, by paying the sum to the protected person or the distributee or by paying the sum for the use of the protected person or the distributee either to his guardian or, if none, to a relative or other person with custody of his person;

(16) employ persons including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents even though they are associated with the conservator to advise or assist the conservator in the performance of his administrative duties; to act upon their recommendation without independent investigation; and instead of acting personally, to employ one or more agents to perform an act of administration, whether or not discretionary;

(17) prosecute or defend actions, claims, or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection of estate assets and of the conservator in the performance of his duties;

(18) execute and deliver all instruments that will accomplish or facilitate the exercise of the powers vested in the conservator;

(19) review the originals and obtain photocopies of the protected person's fully executed estate planning documents, including those documents referenced in Section 62-5-425;

(20) enter into a lease of a residence for the protected person for a term not exceeding one year;

(21) access, monitor, suspend, or terminate the protected person's digital assets and accounts in electronic format, including the power to obtain information as to the protected person's account number, user name and agreement, online tools, addresses, or other unique subscriber or account identifiers, including passwords, and any catalogue of electronic communications considered necessary by the conservator for administration of the conservatorship, consistent with the provisions of Part 10, Article 2, Title 62; and

(22) exercise the protected person's rights as trust beneficiary to the extent provided in Article 7, Title 62.

(B) A conservator acting reasonably and in the best interest of the protected person to accomplish the purpose for which he was appointed, may file an application with the court pursuant to Section 62-5-428(A) requesting authority to:

(1) continue or participate in the operation of any unincorporated business or other enterprise;

(2) acquire an undivided interest in an estate asset in which the conservator, in a fiduciary capacity, holds an undivided interest;

(3) buy and sell an estate asset, including land in this State or in another jurisdiction for cash or on credit, at public or private sale; and to manage, develop, improve, exchange, partition, change the character of, or abandon an estate asset;

(4) subdivide, develop, or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of plats and adjust boundaries; adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration;

(5) enter into a lease as lessor or lessee, other than a residential lease described in Section 62-5-422(A);

(6) enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement;

(7) grant an option involving disposition of an estate asset or to take an option for the acquisition of any asset;

(8) undertake another act considered necessary or reasonable by the conservator and the court for the preservation and management of the estate;

(9) make charitable gifts pursuant to the protected person's gifting and estate plan if the estate is sufficient to provide for the health, education, support, and maintenance of the protected person and his dependents;

(10) encumber, mortgage, or pledge an asset for a term extending within or beyond the term of the conservatorship;

(11) pay a reasonable fee to the conservator, special conservator, guardian ad litem, attorney, examiner, or physician for services rendered;

(12) adopt an appropriate budget for routine expenditures of the protected person;

(13) reimburse the conservator for monies paid to or on behalf of the protected person;

(14) exercise or release the protected person's powers as personal representative, custodian for minors, conservator, or donee of a power of appointment; and

(15) exercise options to purchase securities or other property.

(C) A conservator may request instructions concerning his fiduciary responsibility and may file an application for ratification of actions taken in good faith or for the expenditure of funds of the protected person; the court may approve or deny an application pursuant to subsection (B) above, or may require the commencement of formal proceedings.

(D) The attorney-client privilege between the protected person and the protected person's counsel must not be removed by the appointment of a conservator.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 539, Section 1; 1988 Act No. 659, Section 8; 1997 Act No. 152, Section 24; 2000 Act No. 398, Section 10. Formerly Code 1976 Sections 62-5-408 and 62-5-424, renumbered and amended by 2017 Act No. 87 (S.415), Section 5.A, eff January 1, 2019.

Editor's Note

Prior Laws: Former Section 62-5-422 was titled Sale, encumbrance, or transaction involving conflict of interest; voidable; exceptions., and had the following history: 1986 Act No. 539, Section 1. See now, Code 1976 Section 62-5-419.

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