What Necessitates a Last Will and Testament in South Carolina?
Do you believe that the people in your life will be able to make the decisions you would if you passed away today? And even if they know everything about you, what make you certain that they will respect your wishes including the absurd ones?
While we trust our loved ones and expect them to do right by us, things often change when you are not watching and worse when they know that there is nothing you can do about it. So, even if you trust that person with your life, don’t overlook the need for a written and signed document highlighting your wishes regarding asset distribution and who gets what. The free last will and testament in South Carolina that's created as a downloadable form online will give you the power to decide what happens to your estate, as well as the things you need to do to control your assets and debts in the afterlife. So, why don’t you get your free South Carolina last will and testament form online today?
Wondering why else you’d need a last will?
The powers of the living will ends at death.
A living will is a legal instrument you use to grant directives to an agent or an attorney-in-fact. The directives are the things you want the agent to do when you are unable to because of incapacitation. Often, the living will holds your advance healthcare directives, and it may include your wishes regarding your finances. The living will is no longer enforceable after death.
On the other, hand, the need for the last will springs from your death. And you can use the last will to ensure that your wishes regarding asset protection and childcare are enforced upon your death. So, even with a living will, the last will is crucial especially in estate planning.
Protection of your kids
Using a complex will, you can name an individual or a couple as the guardians for your minor kids upon your death. We recommend discussing this with the person you are considering for guardianship before you name them. You could also name a successor for the primary guardianship. The other role of the guardian is to manage the inheritance you leave your kids.
Appointing a guardian is crucial when you are looking for someone to take care of your children should you and your spouse die at the same time or if you are the only parent.
At the same time, you could use the will to create an irrevocable education trust for your kids. The education trust works well when you want to accumulate assets.
The best way to do this is to use the will to create a trust that will protect the estate. A dynasty trust will protect your assets and keep them in the family, a credit shelter trust will protect your large estate from high taxes, and the disclaimer tax shelters inherited asset for the spouse in the event of divorce.
The last will and testament in South Carolina will also help you address matters around blended families or if you remarry. In case you marry, remarry or divorce, the names of beneficiaries in the older last will and testament will vary hence the need for a new or an amended will to cater for the new or changed list of beneficiaries.
If you are setting up a business, put in place a business succession plan. A business succession plan is crucial for anyone who wants the business to stay in the family.
If you have a pet, you should set in place a system that ensures its care for the rest of its natural life. A pet trust does the trick, and it will be running until the animal dies. So, you are certain that even in your death, that animal gets excellent care.
The validity of the will
To make a last will, you must be of age - you should not be considered a minor and you must be of sound mind. Note that in legal terms, the person creating the will is the testator.
You also have to sign the will or get someone else to sign the will as per your explicit directions and in your presence.
You also need two witnesses present at the time of signing the will. The witnesses will attest that you signed the will or that the person who signs it on your behalf was acting on your specific direction.
The will must be in writing, and it should have a list of beneficiaries as per the provisions of code section 62-2-501, et seq.
You can change the will at any time using a codicil, and you could revoke the will at any time. Revoking the will takes two forms. Either the execution of a subsequent last will or its destruction through burning, tearing, or obliteration will revokes the directives of the will.
The probate court validates the will and appoints the executor officially. Once appointed, the executor will manage the estate and distribute assets. However, for estates worth less than $10,000, the state offers simplified probate procedures.
Effects of intestacy
This should motivate you to create a will. Without a will, the state ignores your wishes. It invokes the intestacy laws, and the following happens.
Your surviving spouse will inherit the entire estate if you don’t have kids but if you have kids, the spouse and the kids share the estate equally.
Without a surviving spouse, kids or parents, the state will award your siblings and grandparents with your estate.
Are you ready to create a will? How about getting our free last will and testament forms today? Whether you live in Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head Island or any other city in South Carolina, we've got you.