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South Carolina Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: If the decedents have longed passed away and their estate is still in their names and there are two elderly children

still living, with no will, how can they get the estate assigned to their names

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Dec 5, 2023

Hire a competent SC attorney to search the title and determine heirship. An Affidavit of Heirship needs to be drafted and executed by an affiant with knowledge of the Family. Record the AH as the source of title for the present owners. Someone has to pay the taxes even though the other... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: How does a life estate deed work? Who puts the deed in the reminders name when life tenant dies

2011 my father passed away 2 properties left to me in a life estate. mother lived there until 2015. I moved there 2015. the property taxes were behind. tax office told me I had to pay back taxes before I could put deed in my name couldn't afford to pay the back taxes ($8000 for 2015 &... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Nov 2, 2023

Property Taxes have nothing to do with the Title. Apparently you need to hire an attorney to search the title and determine record ownership. Usually the grantor makes one Deed conveying life estate(s) to someone, then either conveys a remainder estate to someone or retains it himself. There... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Hi,my husband had taken out td fit loan almost 2 yrs. ago unfortunately he passed in Dec.72022. His name only am I respo

Went to probate then to bank said I may have to pay off.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 18, 2023

In South Carolina, when a person passes away, their debts are typically paid from their estate, which includes their assets and property. If your late husband had a TD Fit Loan in his name only, it would typically be considered his individual debt, and the responsibility for paying it off would... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: I want to change my POA to a different person. I have a trust

can i just scrap the original trust and do a simple will?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 2, 2023

You can amend your trust or revoke the existing Power of Attorney and draft a new one without necessarily scrapping your original trust. Depending on your goals, you might not have to do away with the trust entirely to change your POA.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Can the executor sell a house without being on the deed, or would I have to distribute the deed through probate first?

I am planning to sell the home to a cash buyer, but before that I need to know if I have the authority to do so in South Carolina.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 20, 2023

In South Carolina, an executor can sell a house without being on the deed, but they need the appropriate authority, either granted by the will or by the probate court. It's essential to ensure the house has been formally transferred through probate and that the estate holds clear title to the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My dad passed away Easter Day 2021 my mom just passed away May 28th 2023 they did not leave me as beneficiary

I do not have no brothers or sisters I'm my only child I was born in 1981 why do I have to go to probate they own their own home they did not have no liens on it or anything they made me personal representative at probate for something I think everything is rightfully mine don't have no... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jul 21, 2023

In situations like yours, where a person passes away without a will (intestate), their assets typically go through the probate process to determine how they will be distributed. The probate court will handle the distribution of the estate according to state laws, which can vary depending on the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for South Carolina on
Q: I am the beneficiary on my deceased sister’s POD bank account. Do I have the right to get a copy of bank statements?

The bank (Family Trust Federal Credit Union) said only the executor of the estate can get bank statements. Aren’t beneficiary accounts outside the realm of the estate and the executor? My sister lived in Arizona when she passed. I live in NY. The bank account is in South Carolina, where she used... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 2, 2023

As a beneficiary of a POD bank account, you may have the right to receive bank statements related to the account. However, this can vary depending on the laws of the state where the account was held and the specific terms of the account agreement. Generally, if you can provide proof of your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for South Carolina on
Q: I am the beneficiary on my deceased sister’s POD bank account. Do I have the right to get a copy of bank statements?

The bank said only the executor of the estate can get it. Aren’t beneficiary accounts outside the realm of the estate and the executor? My sister lived in Arizona when she passed. I live in NY. The bank account is in South Carolina (Family Trust Federal Credit Union),where she used to live. I... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 2, 2023

As the beneficiary of your sister's POD bank account, you may have the right to obtain copies of the bank statements. However, the bank may have policies in place that require the executor of the estate to request the statements on behalf of the beneficiaries. You should contact the bank... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: I am the remainderman on a life estate deed with my mom and brother as life estate clients. Can I sale my ownership

My life tenants have put up a sale sign as of yesterday after tress have fallen on house and septic tank and other issues. The value is not up to par, I doubt they had insurance since they asking to sale , and no one mentioned anything to me

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jan 17, 2023

In theory, yes, you can sell your remainder interest, but as a practical matter you might find it difficult to find a buyer who is willing to wait until both life tenants pass before he can take possession of the property.

The life tenants could also sell their life estates but, again, as a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for South Carolina on
Q: If a piece of property is in a trust for a person's daughter, can the parent lease out part of the property to someone?

Mother is alive and lives on property, wants to lease part of it to a nonprofit,can that be done?

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Nov 1, 2023

Is the Mother the Trustee? If so, then yes. Trustee makes these decisions in accordance with the Trust terms.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Can a claim be made against an estate after it has been closed. My father had a small estate opened in SC 7 months

After death. It was closed by the probate judge within 2 weeks since the only asset was a mobile home valued at 7500.00. Now a neighbor submitted a claim for $1000.00 saying my dad and his wife owed them money. Is this even valid?

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 11, 2023

Administrator needs to file an objection to the claim as barred, or possibly even ignore it. Consult with a SC attorney that knows Probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for South Carolina on
Q: I live in South Carolina, do you need a notary signature and seal for a dual power of attorney?

My mother has dementia, we are doing paperwork while she is still mentally here but no money for an attorney. Will, living will, dual power of attorney. I know we can file at the court house, we just wanna make sure we have the paperwork done right.

Zach S. Naert
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Zach S. Naert
answered on Jun 29, 2023

You should consult with an attorney. If your mother has dementia, she may not have capacity to execute the documents. You may need to pursue a guardianship. You should consult with an elder law attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My uncle reopened my grannys estate i think he stole some property that she left me my brother How do I find out
Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 1, 2023

A good starting place is reading the Probate File wherever the Estate was Probated. If real property, then search her former title at Circuit Court where land lies. A SC attorney may be able to help you further. If conversion/embezzlement occurred, then you and the other would be... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for South Carolina on
Q: How can they be made to leave!? My mom passed away almost 1 year ago and left and 2 sisters and 1 the house. The oldest

Had power of attorney and I'm assuming she is dealing with probate. She doesn't talk to me and isn't authoritative with the situation. The other sister lives in the house with 7 other adults she now has there. No power, no water. They have the carport covered completely and the yards... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 1, 2023

All tenants in common have the right to occupy their property, utilities or not. You may wish to hire an attorney to file for a Sale For Partition.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Contracts, Civil Litigation and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: How can I get an appointed attorney for a person with mental disabilities and poor. Trustee is stealing his money.

The petitioner is indigent, has mental and physical disabilities, the trustee has been committing frauds and not distributing his money so he can’t pay for an attorney. Can the court appoint an attorney and order the trustee to pay for it or get him an attorney probono? I have been assisting him... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 10, 2023

You should consult an attorney about appointing a guardian of the person because of his physical and mental disabilities.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Military Law for South Carolina on
Q: In SC I am a military member, my spouse is smoking pot illegally and harassing me with it because he knows I can't smoke

By harassing me i mean he smokes it obnoxiously in my face and continues to follow me around with it. I feel like he is trying to sabotage my health and career, and I feel unsafe around him. We are divorcing. The house is mine. He is forcing me out. He pays nothing on the house and is now trying to... View More

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 28, 2022

There are not enough details here to provide you with specific information about your rights. The best course of action is to consult with an experienced South Carolina divorce lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My father left me all his belongings in his Will. How do I get his stuff from his girlfriends house, car etc legally.

I live in Tacoma, WA. His car, photos, police memorabilia and belongings are at his girlfriends house in which he stayed. She is not cooperating with me Getting his stuff although I am the sole beneficiary in his will. They weren’t married. I have the Will but, I want to get the stuff with no... View More

Erik Špila
Erik Špila
answered on Aug 22, 2022

Dear Mrs or Mr,

at first I would like to note that I am not able to answer this from the exact point of view of your jurisdiction. So I will be telling a general legal advice and how I would proceed in your case.

In my country there is a special type of action that can be filed to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for South Carolina on
Q: Is it possible to reverse a sale of a delinquent tax sale of a dead person's property(unnotified heirs)

Property was sold with out notification to heirs living on the property

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jul 18, 2022

Consult with a competent SC attorney to exercise your Redemption Rights quickly if you still have them. Time is of the essence. It will take money, or forget it as someone should have paid those Taxes.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Can executor retain property that was sold prior to death, that was never in deceased name, as marital property.

I have bill of sale for property contents were owned my me, which executor said I forged however court found me not guilty.

Executor stated he had property in side outside storage building but does not.

Hes basically stolen my livelihood using probate court.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 10, 2022

It appears that you have already lost your Case. You might hire an attorney to file an Appeal, but you must act quickly, and the personal property may not be worth it.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for South Carolina on
Q: My partner is an executor of his father’s estate, which has a mortgage being paid by grandparents.

His grandfather is paying a mortgage on the house my partner inherited, and he is threatening to foreclose on the home. What rights does my partner have? Will we be forced into homelessness with no further say in the matter?

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 2, 2022

Whoever owns the mortgage is the one the that can foreclose. If the notemaker buys the note, then he can foreclose. It sounds like he is threatening to quit paying the note. Being the executor probably has no relevancy here.

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