Charleston County Probate Judge
Charleston County Probate Judge
I hope that you will take this opportunity to review your estate planning documents. You will need an attorney to complete your estate planning. To choose a lawyer, you should consult your family and friends. Martindale-Hubbell (https://www.martindale.com/find-attorneys) is another way to select a lawyer. Martindale-Hubbell identifies attorneys by practice area and location and has a peer rating for each attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, please call South Carolina Bar Pro Bono legal service at 1-800-868-2284 or visit our Resources page for list of other contacts.
As a public service, we provide samples to get you started on your estate planning. We hope that you will also encourage other family members to complete their estate plan. You should work with an attorney and your other professional advisors, and consider the estate planning documents that we have provided.
As your Probate Judge, I am here to serve you. If you should have questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know. I thank you for electing me as your Probate Judge and hope that we help make probate a pleasant experience considering the circumstances.
Irvin G. Condon
A short checklist prepared by the American Bar Association to assist in estate planning.
Information that an attorney will need in order to adequately prepare your estate planning documents.
A document allowing a person, prior to death, to direct and prepare the future administration of his/her estate, name a Personal Representative for the estate, include a testamentary trust, propose a guardian for your minor children, etc. If you do not have a Will, then the intestacy statute will control your estate property.
Last Will and Testament - S.C. Code Ann. § 62-3-101
Intestacy - S.C. Code Ann. § 62-2-101
An estate planning tool used to manage assets during a person's life and/or at death, as well as the distribution of a Decedent's property to individuals named in the document.
S.C. Code Ann. § 62-7-101
A document that legally assigns authority to an agent to act on a person's behalf, with the agent’s authority automatically continuing if the person becomes incapacitated. Must be recorded to be effective. Avoids the need for a court appointed conservator.
S.C. Code Ann. § 62-8-101
A document in which a person directs his/her health-related decisions to an agent in the event that the person becomes mentally or physically incapacitated. Does not have to be recorded. Avoids the need for a court appointed guardian.
S.C. Code Ann. § 62-5-504
A document in which an individual provides instructions in the event of incapacitation or incapability to make medical decisions-primarily for end-of-life decisions.
S.C. Code Ann. § 44-77-10
An advance directive, written in everyday language, which helps people to express their wishes for medical treatment and end of life situations.
A legal order to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), in respect of the wishes of the patient, in the event that the patient's heart stops beating or the patient stops breathing.
S.C. Code Ann. § 44-78-10
A document that combines a patient's wishes, in the event of a medical emergency, with a physician’s order.
SAFE CREMATION LAW
A law that provides the terminology and proper procedure for cremation.
S.C. Code Ann. § 32-8-300
S.C. GIFT OF LIFE (ORGAN DONATION)
A law which defines the procedure for anatomical donations after death.
S.C. Code Ann. § 44-43-10
COASTAL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
A local organization that manages charitable giving directed by the donor.
A legal arrangement to provide care for a pet after its owner dies.
S.C. Code Ann. § 62-7-408
A person who dies without a Will.
A person who dies with a Will.
The personal representative of an Estate is the individual appointed, either by formal or informal appointment, who is responsible for overseeing the probate of an Estate following the Decedent’s death. An executor/executrix is the name used previously for Personal Representative.
Property owned by the Decedent, which was owned solely in his/her name (i.e. real estate, car title) or as “tenants in common” share in property, such as when the Decedent shares an interest in an investment with another individual. Probate assets are controlled by the Will, or the intestacy statute if there is no Will.
Property jointly owned by the Decedent and his/her spouse (i.e. life insurance proceeds). Non-probate assets go directly to the beneficiaries without court proceedings.
An estate-planning tool used to manage a person’s assets during their life and/or the distribution of a Decedent’s property to individuals named in the document.
REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTS
A type of trust where provisions can be altered or canceled dependent on the grantor. Income is earned and distributed to the grantor during the life of the trust and is transferred to the beneficiaries after the grantor’s death.
A type of trust that cannot be amended, modified, changed, or revoked without the permission of the beneficiary.
A trust which arises upon the death of the testator, and which is specified in his/her will.
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS
A trust made specifically for the benefit of mentally ill or disabled
LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE
Coverage that provides for various types of long-term care, such as nursing-home care, home-health care, or adult day care, for persons over 65 or for persons with a disability needing constant supervision.
Insurance coverage which pays a sum of money to a beneficiary upon the death of the insured person or after a set period of time.
A bank account held by two or more individuals, with each person having the right to deposit or withdraw funds.
An investing tool used by individuals to earmark funds for retirement savings.
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