Your Last Will and Testament, or more simply, your Will, is your directions for how your property should be passed after your death. A Will only comes into effect after your death and only controls what is known as “probate” property. This type of property basically includes any assets that would not pass automatically at your death. So, any accounts with beneficiary designations or assets owned “with right of survivorship” are not controlled by your Will.
The Will includes instructions such as who should be appointed to administer your Estate (this person is known as your “Personal Representative” in South Carolina, and is commonly referred to as an Executor in other states), who the property should go to, whether you wish to have the Personal Representative post bond to protect your property, whether you wish to be buried or cremated, and can even help determine who would get custody of your minor children were something to happen to you and your spouse.
If you do not have a Will, the State has prepared a default Will for you called the intestacy statute. You can read more about how that works by clicking here. If you have any questions about your estate plan, or wish to learn more about Wills in South Carolina, please give us a call.