Yonkers, NY asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina

Q: My mom lives in SC and has very little to pass along, but wants to exclude my two siblings.

My aunt tells me if mom has her will drawn up by a lawyer it MUST go to probate, but if mom writes out will herself and has it witnessed & notarized, it doesn't need to go to probate. I just want to be covered if siblings want to contest will.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Howell, MI

A: WRONG answer. ANY will, if it is to be enforced, needs to go through Probate after a person dies. And your sibs can contest a will no matter who writes it, but if it is done by a licensed attorney there is a bit of a 'presumption' that things were done properly and there's no 'undue influence' (nobody was FORCING your mom to exclude siblings) AND you can usually assure the exclusion is done properly to prevent someone from saying 'mom didn't really mean THAT' etc.

PLEASE have your mother consult with a local SC lawyer to insure this is done right. Trying to 'do it yourself' is almost always a bad idea and a recipe for disaster!

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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