Featured in the July 2017 issue of the Insider at the Market Common
Is it important to make a will?
No one likes to think about death; it’s a very uncomfortable subject. However, it’s important to understand what would happen to your property if you pass away without having written a will. This is a question some tend to think about the older they become. It is vital for people to have a will completed correctly, especially, if that person owns personal or real estate property.
What happens if you pass away without a will?
If you die without a will in the State of South Carolina Probate Code determines who is entitled to your property. The South Carolina Probate Code provides that a surviving husband or wife is only entitled to one half of the deceased person’s property, if the deceased has surviving children. The line of succession continues to the deceased person’s parents, brothers or sisters, grandparents, cousins, etc. And if there are no surviving family members who come forward to stake a claim, then the entire estate of the deceased will be turned over to the State of South Carolina.
When a will is properly drawn up and witnessed according to the laws of this state, a person can have the peace of mind that those he or she leaves behind will not be burdened with court costs and fees associated with determining the proper heirs who would inherit under the Probate Code. This advanced planning can prevent significant headaches for your loved ones, during an already difficult time.
Are there any other documents that can assist in end of life planning?
While a will is very important for the distribution of your assets after you pass away, there are several other documents which a person should have with end of life planning. Specifically, a living will, a healthcare power of attorney, and a durable power of attorney are all documents which provide assistance to your loved ones in case you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions on your own. All of these advanced directives are important and essential in the end of the planning.
Written by Woody DuRant
Law Office of Durant
Please call us for assistance in drafting these documents.