Are Handwritten Wills Valid in South Carolina?

  1. Estate Planning
  2. Are Handwritten Wills Valid in South Carolina?
couple writing out will

The answer to this question is not as clear as one might think. While a person can handwrite their own will, South Carolina requires several other criteria to be met as well in order for a handwritten will to be considered valid.

The South Carolina Probate Code states that a handwritten will is valid if certain procedures are followed. These include that the “will shall be: (1) in writing; (2) signed by the testator or signed in the testator’s name by some other individual in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction; and (3) signed by at least two individuals each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator’s acknowledgement of the signature on the will.”

It is also important to note that the two witnesses to the signing of the will need to be uninterested parties. This means that they cannot benefit from the proceeds of the will. If someone who will benefit from the will signs as a witness, that person will not be able to receive any benefits from the will except whatever they would have received had the will gone through the intestate process.

What this means in a nutshell is that South Carolina does not allow a holographic will, which is when a testator handwrites and then signs his or her own will. There must be witnesses, and those witnesses must not be anyone who would benefit from the will. Otherwise, they could be stripped of their beneficiary status.

Because of these complexities that must be followed when handwriting a will, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney to draft your will. An experienced estate planning attorney can help your loved ones avoid any unnecessary hassle. The attorneys at King Law are experienced with estate planning and drafting wills, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your wishes for your loved ones will be properly fulfilled. Call (888) 748 -5464 KING today to schedule a consultation.

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