What is the law regaring dying without a Will?

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What is the law regaring dying without a Will?

If a married couple shredd their wills, and the suvior dies, who gets their property real and personal. There are a daughter (the husband’s from a previous marriage) and 2 granddaughters from that daughter and 4 great grandkids from 1 granddaughter. There a a grandson who was adopted as a son of the husband and wife.

Asked on August 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In South Carolina if an individual dies without a will, the South Carolina Code provides who will inherit their property. Essentially the state writes a will for you. In general, the statute provides as follows:

  • If an individual is married and has no children, all to spouse
  • If an individual is married with children, one-half to spouse and one-half to his children equally.
  • If an individual is not married and has children, all to children equally.
  • If an individual is not married and has no children, all to his parents if living, and if not living to his brothers and sisters equally with the issue of a deceased sibling taking the share their parent would have take.
  • If the individual has no wife, children, parents or siblings, the statute continues on to define the next of kin who will inherit.
Adopted children are considered children.  Generally, the grandchildren will only inherit if the the parents pre-decease the testator.  Jointly held property passes to the other spouse automatically.  Confirm with an attorney. Good luck. 

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