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South Carolina Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Can a married man who has been married to his only wife for 60+ years in his will give 100% to theirchildren an not her?

Doesn't the wife already own 50%? Why does she only get a lifetime right on the house? The wife says she had no knowledge of what the will said before his death.

Taylor Silver
Taylor Silver answered on Sep 7, 2021

Provided there is no question that the two were married, at the very least she is likely entitled something called an "elective share" and there may be other issues that protect her interest to probate (or non probate) property.

Probate issues are often complicated looking, but a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: My Aunt recently committed suicide after selling her house. She had no will and left no note

She just sold her house in in NC and moved in with my Dad(her brother) in SC. I had been talking to her a lot recently and she had told me several times she felt like something was going to happen to her and she didn't want my dad to have her money. Being she has no surviving spouse, parents... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 30, 2021

If the facts you related are true, there is nothing you can do. Her husband will inherit. The only exception would be if you can prove that she did not kill herself; rather, her husband killed her. If he killed her, then he does not inherit.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for South Carolina on
Q: How to change the name on a real estate deed of owner passed away over 25 years ago?

Hi, my question is in reference to a home that was given to me by my aunt before she died. The original name on the deed is my uncle who has been deceased for about 25 years. His wife gave me the home before she died about 15 years ago. I have lived in the house since then. Their children all live... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 8, 2021

Hire a competent attorney to search the title, determine heirship, draft and record an Affidavit of Heirship, then draft a Deed for the other tenants in common to convey their interests over to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: The deed has our deceased mother's name at the beginning, and heir's and at the very end it says forever.

With the forever be in at the end she got a mortgage and me nor my sister signed on that mortgage on agreement to the mortgage nor did we see any of the money so is there any type loophole with the , forever, that gets us out of the mortgage.? So we can keep the land for our children

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 30, 2021

You might be misunderstanding the meaning of typical wording in a deed that says "to [name of Grantee] and her heirs and assigns forever". That does not mean that title is vested in the heirs along with the grantee. It just means that the grantee acquired fee title. The signatures of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for South Carolina on
Q: My daughter died at age 35 in Florida, 401K left to dead Grandmother, Grandad still alive. Does it go to him or estate?

They were married at her death and he was her beneficiary of life insurance in SC.

Ellen S Deutsch Taylor
Ellen S Deutsch Taylor answered on May 19, 2021

Any account or life insurance that has a beneficiary goes directly to beneficiary outside of a probate. You didn't mention if she owned Florida real estate or if she had a will. Different rules would apply for intestate or homestead property.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: If a person have joint tenant with the right of survivorship in SC when will does it comes effect? before death or after

My grandmother deeded the land to multiply people under survivorship joint tenant in SC before my my grandfather death is that legal. An my grandfather didn't signed the deeds either to the people she deeded the land to. An what are the consequences behind her doing this if it was illegal. Can... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 7, 2021

She can convey her interest in the property. Assuming the grandparents own the property as husband and wife, then if she survives her husband, the conveyance vests. If not, then the conveyance is extinguished. It is a future interest conveyance, and very legal.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My mother passed and left me 50% of the property. She gave her sister the other 50 with the intent of sharing 25% with m

My sister has taken over the house. Is that legal?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 22, 2021

I suspect that the real property actually went to the Heirs which would include you and your sister, as it appears no Will was Probated. But whatever the case, a title search is necessary and you may wish to file an Action for a Sale for Partition if both you, the sister and the aunt own the real... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: Should my 2 sisters and I sign a renunciation of rights for our step-mom to take over probate? Can she sell the house?

There are 3 daughters from previous marriage. Step mom is not on the title so probate says we are the heirs. Step mom wants us to sign renucation of right to administration of bond.

we want her to stay as long as she wants/lives obviously but we don't want her to be able to sell it.... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 21, 2021

You should hire your own attorney to represent you and your interests in the matter. Don’t sign anything without having your attorney review if first. No attorney in this forum can give you personalized advupice without reviewing all of the relevant documents and your particular circumstances.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: I was willed a piece of lane along with 5 of my uncles who have all died im last living owner none left a will.

Do heirs have more rights than i do what rights do claimed heirs have. To property i am last living owner. And its a bit of confusion do they have same rights as i do whats the difference

Evan Guthrie
Evan Guthrie answered on Dec 9, 2020

This may depend on how long it has been since the deceased person passed away and if the others named in the will or related persons of the deceased survived the deceased person. A probate lawyer can help determine how to best proceed in what is most likely a Determination of Heirs situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: I have a judgement against me to the tune of around $13,000. My husband and I both have a will.

If my husband dies before me, will the judgement become due after the transfer of assets to me? Also, will a irrevocable trust be advisable to keep all creditors and judgement at bay? I am the one with a judgement. My husband would do the trust by himself with me as beneficiary, hopefully to avoid... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Nov 9, 2020

The judgment is due now. The judgment may grow dormant or become unenforceable over time if the judgment creditor does not keep it alive by taking certain steps, such as, for example, issuing an execution or garnishment every so often. Joint bank accounts with your husband may be vulnerable now... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: As a beneficiary in SC am I entitled to see the will if I am not an executor?

my older 3 siblings are executors I am youngest

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Sep 3, 2020

In South Carolina the original will should be filed with the probate court with in 30 days of the decedent's death. If the will has been filed, as a beneficiary of the will you should be able to review the will at the local probate court.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: How to get a clean title?

7 adult siblings were deeded the home house (1/7th interest each). 2 have died with nothing to probate so probate was not filed for them.

Home house is now in foreclosure. Bank has approved short sale. 1 of the deceased (in 2016) has 2 heirs and the other deceased (in 2020) has 5 heirs.... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 19, 2020

A competent attorney can draft and record an Affidavit of Heirship which discloses to the world who the Heirs-At-Law are. I am not following your foreclosure process: are the Heirs selling the home with the money going to the Bank with no foreclosure? If true, then the Affidavit will be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: Can you fund a Revocable Trust with only a house listed as an asset? Can you avoid Probate by doing this?

What is the best way to protect bank accounts that is used regularly and you don't want to include it in a Trust?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 23, 2020

Funding a revocable trust with only the house as an asset will avoid probate as to the house. If your goal is to avoid probate altogether, then a non-probate transfer method should be engaged for each and every asset. For bank accounts, another option is to designate death beneficiaries. This is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina on
Q: I've a 56 yrs old sibling who stays in the house with my Mom.Our Mom indicated in her Will all assets from the sale of

the home are to be divided equally among her children which is fine. The sibling that stays with her is very irresponsible, never helped her pay the mortgage and we know he will not be able to maintain the house by himself if she dies. He has a girlfriend; the family does not approve and know she... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 22, 2020

In her will you mother can require that the house be sold and the proceeds split rather than leave the house to her children in equal shares. She can also name one child as the executor who, after being appointed by the court, will have sole responsibility to manage and effectuate the sale.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: I was living with my boyfriend for 9 years in his home when he passed in Feb, 2020. He paid the mortgage.

His surviving spouse is giving me 30-day notice (in which I know she can do) but can she label me as tenant and state that I owe rent when there was never a lease between him nor her? She also did not allow me to remove something given to me by my dad. Can she withhold my property stating it is... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 18, 2020

The surviving spouse has no right to anything that is yours.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: My mother passed away 4 years ago, 3 months ago my stepfather has finally opened her estate. What does this mean?

I know my mother left me some property in her will but I haven't heard anything about it since she passed. Do I still get to receive it?

Taylor Silver
Taylor Silver answered on Jun 13, 2020

You should not make assumptions. However, if you assume the will was filed and valid, and that the estate can otherwise afford to pay all valid liens and judgements, that the deceased had valid legal title to the property, and that your step father follows the law and directions in the will... You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: I'm told im not an interest in my dad's estate did he make that decision or does the person who is appointed??

My stepmother turned in a will from 1990 giving her the power to make all decisions I know my dad would not remove me as a beneficiary

Taylor Silver
Taylor Silver answered on Jun 13, 2020

Executors if estates have a legal obligation to follow the directives of a valid will, if one exists. SC Probate Court files are public, in general, so you should be able to get a copy of the filed will from the court where the estate is opened.

If you want answers and explanations about...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Can I be made to move out of a place that I have been living there for the last 6 to 7 years while my grandparents proba

Before my grandparents passed away. I helped on the farm..When things got broken, grass needed to be cut or anything on the 55 acres I would do. My father passed away when I was 15, do I least get my father's half? My uncle is making me move out of a place that is my home, the place is still... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 7, 2020

You need to hire a probate attorney to help you sort this out. You may or may not be entitled to a share of your grandparent's estate, but you need to act quickly so you do not lose your rights due to failure to timely assert them in the probate case.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: my father passed and i moved in house and have been paying all the bills.want to rehab property.

siblings want nothing to do with property...and i want to rehab property for mom and me...there was no will...but i have lived here and all bills are in my name...

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Apr 7, 2020

You need to contact an attorney in your area that does probate work. Without more information it is going to be really hard to answer your question. Who's name is the property in? Did your father's estate go through probate?

I would recommend that you call and speak to a probate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for South Carolina on
Q: Is it legal to gift/give 14k to my grandchildren and put in a CD and be the custodian, any paperwork required?

I want to lower my tax interest and still remain in control of monies. Can this be done by just putting CD in their SS#?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 2, 2020

Take a look at opening 529 accounts for them for education purposes or a regular old Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts at a bank or brokerage. More information here:

https://www.cumberlandlegacylaw.com/how-to-gift-money-to-children-using-utma-or-ugma-accounts

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