South Carolina Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: Dad died with no will. What happens to the house now and in the future regarding ownership?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Mar 23, 2018
Bennett James Wills' answer
Without seeing the deed; it is likely that the house would belong to the mother alone. You should consult an attorney to determine your rights before you sign anything.

Q: Is there an attorney in South Carolina that handles Wills and is there one that you only pay if you win?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Mar 20, 2018
P. Justin Thrailkill's answer
Attorneys are not permitted to solicit business on this forum. I am certain there is an attorney in South Carolina that is right for you, but you are going to have to put in the work to find them. Check out the directory on this website and find some attorneys that practice in the area you are looking for. Good luck.

Q: My son is 20, his dad died recently, son has copy of will, current wife is saying no will. Original will has been seen

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Feb 26, 2018
Taylor Silver's answer
Your son needs to speak to a local probate attorney immediately. At the least, he needs to bring the copy of the will with him to his appointment, a list of his father's other children (both living and deceased) and their children, and a list of likely assets contained within the estate.

The reason for speed is due to the fact that assets within an estate can be poached very quickly. While illegal, recovering pilfered funds from a rogue personal representative can be difficult and...

Q: if you are the executor of an estate how should the bills be paid? home Bills first then funeral expenses.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Feb 22, 2018
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
This is EXACTLY the reverse of how most states process things, and it emphasizes that you NEED to have local representation to make sure you don't make a mistake. I can't say for sure in SC but in MI and all the other states I am aware of the FUNERAL and PROBATE expenses take priority, Taxes are next and 'general obligations take a back seat to all these.

Many states throw in expenses of final illness or injury into that mix.

Seek representation from a LOCAL lawyer who can...

Q: I gifted two vehicles before the reading of the will as i was under duress and then found out they were willed to me.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Jan 22, 2018
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Probably not. If the cars were supposed to be "yours" and YOU gave them away, that sounds like a completed gift.

The fact that you didn't 'dot the i's' and transfer them to yourself through probate first really doesn't matter much.

But this depends on what you mean by 'under duress' -- that is a legal term of art and may not mean what you think it does. Someone putting social or verbal pressure on you to act is probably not 'under duress' .... someone holding a gun to your head...

Q: I need to what I need to do I live in my uncle house paying all his bills due to me putting him in the nursing home

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Dec 6, 2017
Cristina M. Lipan's answer
If your uncle does not have a will, upon his death there will be a probate proceeding held to determine who the rightful heir(s) of the home are. The process is always easier if there is a valid will (which you should retain an attorney to draft).

Information provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

Q: Can you do your own adden to a will? The attorneys we have contacted want to rewrite will even the one who did original

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Dec 3, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
The advice to rewrite the will is sound. You may not want to hear it but codicils ('addendum') to a will are invitations to challenge a will in many cases, and are just bad form these days. ALSO this may have no effect depending on how the property is titled.

PLEASE talk to a local attorney (the one who did the original will is likely a good prospect if he's still working!) who can explain the WHOLE situation to you and don't get stuck on one 'form' of document.

And lastly,...

Q: We have an old will made in Indiana. We now live in SC. Do we need a new will since we have property here?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Oct 30, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Laws differ greatly from state to state. It is ALWAYS a good idea to consult with a local attorney in your new state to review what you have. Chances are he or she will suggest updating the documents so they comply better with that state's law, but some may not need immediate updating -- only a local practicioner can say for sure.

Seek local legal representation and be sure to bring the old documents with you so they can be reviewed.

-- This answer is offered for informational...

Q: My daughter is listed as one of the beneficiaries in my will. She recently changed her last name because she got married

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Oct 29, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
It is not generally necessary to update a will SOLELY to update someone's name. "My daughter Jane Doe" is a pretty definitive identification for purposes of a will even if Jane has changed her name it still identifies HER and not some other person named "Jane Doe" who you've never met.

On the other hand, this is probably as good a time as any to review the document with your attorney to see if maybe other things have changed that would make an update of the will appropriate. You should...

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

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 27, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
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...

Q: Trying to figure out how to deal with selling mom's house i inherited

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 14, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
"Establishing" FMV is determining what a willing buyer and willing seller would agree to for a price. YOU are the seller. You can sell your own property for whatever YOU think is 'fair' but you may want to get an appraisal or otherwise compare what the market is supporting for similar properties.

It REALLY sounds to me like you should be looking to work with a local attorney and perhaps a real estate agent if you need help marketing and determining what a 'fair' price would be....

Q: My mother passed away but didn't have a will. My step father's not giving me any of her things.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Civil Rights and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 11, 2017
Taylor Silver's answer
If she died without a will you are likely entitled to some of her estate. You need to speak to a probate attorney about your predicament as soon as possible to avoid possible loss of estate property.

Q: Does the estate lawyer transfer the titles to the vehicles for the survivors of the deceased?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Aug 17, 2017
Taylor Silver's answer
The only person that has the power to transfer the titles while the estate is open is the person appointed as the personal representative. Have the PR ask the estate attorney for guidance if they are unsure how to go about this.

Disclaimer: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. This answer is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Taylor Silver always recommends speaking to an attorney face to face for all legal questions...

Q: If I now reside in VA and I need to provide a certified true copy of revocation of POA that was filed in South Carolina

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Aug 13, 2017
John Andrew Maghamez's answer
It depends. You need to speak to an estate planning attorney like myself about this it could be a simple fix but it also could require a bit more

Q: Can I write my own will by using a draft will an attorney created without having to get his permission?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Jul 26, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Did you PAY the attorney? If not, then NO you can't just use his work without compensating him for it. That is called stealing.

If you paid in full and just don't want to go all the way back to sign, you should TELL the attorney that, so he knows what is going on and can document that you chose to act against his advice so when the problems you created by editing his work come to light he can defend himself from the heirs who sue him because he 'drafted a lousy will'.

Are you...

Q: If your spouse is still alive but appointed his kid for medical power of attorney does that kick in after the spouse has

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law and Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on Jul 7, 2017
Inna Fershteyn's answer
Unfortunately yes right away. POA is not valid after death. I strongly suggest you see estate planning lawyer right away because it's already a red flag and more problems will follow.

Inna Fershteyn

www.BrooklynTrustandWill.com

718-333-2394

Q: Do I have to have the court in SC to "appoint" me personal representative of a trust in which my mom named me her rep?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Answered on May 17, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Trusts don't have 'personal representatives' they have trustees. ESTATES have personal representatives, and the Court needs to appoint them. It sounds like you've mixed up a couple of issues here, and you'd likely benefit from an appointment with a local estate planning / probate attorney to review things and make sure you are on the right track of taking care of things properly.

Depending on what needs to be done this could be as simple as a single office conference that will not cost...

Q: Do all the siblings have to present in order for the Will to be read ?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Apr 15, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Nobody 'reads' wills to people any more. It is assumed people can read for themselves, and every interested person is given a copy of the will as a part of the probate process.

You need to speak with a local probate attorney to insure you understand how to do this properly. (And don't take what was done in old movies as 'gospel'!)

Seek local legal help!

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

Q: My father died and he has a will there are 7 of us that live other places. Can one of us move into the house before the

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Apr 15, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
CAN you, sure.

SHOULD you? That is a much harder question.

Until someone reads the will, how do you know that won't cause problems? Maybe the Will says "My kids are all deadbeats and I want my house to go to the First Baptist Church so they can renovate it for services" ? Maybe he wants to give the house to the local homeless shelter? Maybe he wants Child X to have the house and you let child Y in instead?

Don't be so quick to do things in the wrong order. Take care...

Q: Ok I'm 28 yrs old and have lived with my gparents since 2001 when my mom got murderedyour Gmail wasy conservator N

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Civil Rights and Probate for South Carolina on
Answered on Feb 24, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
I am sorry to hear of your loss and the hard time you're having. Unfortunately, the ONLY way to transfer land is by a written instrument.

If there is no deed or will leaving real estate to you, you are unlikely to prevail absent some REALLY unusual circumstances. You might want to consult with a local probate lawyer to see if there could be other ways to address the problem, but the facts you provide don't give a lot of hope.

Good luck

--This answer is offered for...

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