Free South Carolina Last Will and Testament Form

A last will and testament is an essential and legal document that represents the final wishes of a testator with regard to their private property and in what ways they would want it to get distributed among chosen heirs.

Usually, most individuals can only benefit from writing a will. Even when you don’t have too many assets, a last will and testament could actually help your family situation and end up being vital to all your family members upon your passing.

Here, we offer a free downloadable South Carolina last will and testament form and the answers to certain common doubts you might have relating to this particular document.


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South Carolina Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Statutes Title 62 – South Carolina Probate Code; Article 2 – Intestate Succession and Wills
Signing requirement Two witnesses SECTION 62-2-502. Execution
Age of testator 18 or older SECTION 62-2-501. Who may make a will
Age of witnesses 18 or older SECTION 62-2-502. Execution
Self-proving wills Allowed SECTION 62-2-503. Attestation and self-proving
Handwritten wills Might be recognized if witnessed according to the state law SECTION 62-2-502. Execution
Oral wills Not recognized
Holographic wills Not recognized

How to Make a South Carolina Last Will

  1. Consider your possible choices. Make a decision whether you want to hire lawyers or make your last will by yourself (either handwriting it or getting a free last will and testament form).
  2. Specify your details. Add your full legal name and address (the city, county, and state of residence) to establish the testator of the will. Check the information you wrote as well as the remainder of the passage, including “Expenses and Taxes.”
    Details indication part of a South Carolina will and testament
  3. Establish the executor. The next step is to select the executor of your last will and testament, the person in charge of making sure that every little thing you lay out in this document comes true. To achieve that, you will need to indicate the executor’s full legal name, along with their residential details (city, county, and state). Be sure to choose somebody who resides in the same state as you do. Otherwise, there’ll be much more red tape and unavoidable hassle identified with the procedure because of different special rules every state has regarding out-of-state executors. Although not obligatory, it’s a wise decision to appoint an additional person to be an executor in the event the first one is unwilling or incapable of carrying out your last will.
    Executor choosing part of template of last will for South Carolina
  4. Indicate the guardian (optional). You are able to choose a trusted person as a guardian in case you have underage or dependent children that must be taken care of. In case there are no directions regarding who exactly should take care of your kids, the guardian will be assigned by the court.
    Appointing the guardian section of last will document South Carolina
  5. Specify your beneficiaries. Now you establish people who will receive your property. For each inheritor, specify the next particulars: full legal name, address, and how they are related to you.
  6. Distribute possessions. When you’ve got a property allocation under consideration that is not even, you can explain it within this section. Cash, stocks, realty, company control, money for arrearage, as well as any material things of financial value you possess can be in the last will. But, joint and living will property, along with your life insurance, cannot be put into your last will and testament.
    Beneficiaries specification and assets allocation section of South Carolina last will
  7. Continue with the witnesses signing the document. South Carolina law specifies that no less than two witnesses have to sign a last will for it to be regarded as legally binding. You can appoint somebody as a witness as long as they are over the age of 18 years and are uninvolved in your bequest. Think about picking witnesses younger than you to ensure that they will be around if the will is contested in the court or if any other problem occurs. At this point, you (as well as your two witnesses) have to sign the will after filling out your full legal addresses and names. Do not forget to examine every paragraph thoroughly prior to finalizing the matter.
    Signatures of witnesses section of a South Carolina last will document

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the main difference between 'Power of Attorney' and 'Executor'?

The main distinction between these two documents is that when you die, the representative you appoint via power of attorney loses their legal authority to manage any matters for you. Among many power of attorney types, the two following ones are considered fundamental:

  • General power of attorney – allows you to appoint a proxy (agent) who’ll be able to handle your financial and legal affairs instead of you. Nonetheless, this document will become annulled if the principal dies or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the identical authority to the proxy as the first type but stays effective even when the individual on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes disabled.

A will executor, however, is your trusted representative responsible for carrying out the conditions from your last will and testament. It is possible to name one individual to act as an attorney-in-fact and a will executor.

Is a South Carolina will form good without a notary certification?

A last will in South Carolina is effective without notarization. However, you will need a notary if you wish to make your will self-proving by attaching an affidavit to it. If you make your last will self-proving, the court won’t have to contact the witnesses to ascertain the legality of the document, which is going to facilitate the probate.

IMPORTANT: Even though notarization is not required for last wills in South Carolina, signing a will in front of a notary public usually helps facilitate the probate.

When weighing attested and holographic wills, which is better?

For a holographic last will to be legally binding, you have to handwrite the whole document, indicate the date of creating, sign it, and have it witnessed according to the state. However, such wills are frequently regarded as a non-permanent option. You’d like to substitute such last will by making an attested one when you can by getting a lawyer’s support or a fillable template. It is not encouraged to keep a holographic will as the final version since it may contain ambiguous or inconsistent terms, creating a large stalling in the probate.

An attested last will is usually typewritten since it is often made by a legal professional or is based on a will form, such as the one you may download here. You will need to have two witnesses (18 years or more) sign the last will and testament in your presence so that it is considered valid. In certain states, you would have to notarize it, but in South Carolina, there is no such requirement.

What exactly does it imply to be testamentary capable?

In order to make your last will and change it (to be testamentary capable), you must fulfill specific requirements with regards to your legal and mental abilities (sound mind) first.

Usually, in most states, to make a last will, you ought to be of sound mind and not less than 18 years of age. “Sound mind” signifies that you don’t have any kind of mental illnesses (dementia, senility, insanity, etc.) that doesn’t allow you to have an understanding of the aftermaths of your actions.

Is it needed (in South Carolina) to attach a self-proving affidavit to my will?

No, in South Carolina, there’s no such requirement. However, including one could be rather useful because it eliminates the need for witnesses testimony in the course of probate, which facilitates the process considerably. [IMPORTANT: Even though notarization is not required for last wills in South Carolina, signing a will in front of a notary public usually helps facilitate the probate.]

Is child or spouse disinheritance allowed?

In South Carolina, there’s no such concept as community or marital property. It indicates that all of the assets gathered or improved in the marriage do not have to be equally devolved to both marriage partners. In South Carolina, you can easily disinherit your marriage partner; however, your spouse will be entitled to some particular minimum number of your belongings.

In the State of South Carolina, the divorce rate is 7.5 per 1,000 women over 15 years old, which is similar to the average US rate, according to 2018 study.

As for other family members, it’s possible to legally disinherit anyone else. By adding corresponding disinheritance sections to your last will, you will be able to exclude your adult children or any other members of the family from receiving any of your belongings.

Can it be possible to amend my last will without my approval?

No, it is you solely who is permitted to modify your last will and testament. A 3rd party can only sign the last will and testament when you are physically unable to do it.

Can a signed, typewritten last will be modified in South Carolina?

Yes, it is possible.

In South Carolina, if you have not concluded a contract that mentions otherwise, you can annul or adjust your last will and testament whenever you want.

Additionally, it will be a wise decision to update your last will as you undergo a serious life event such as:

  • Adoption or birth of a child
  • Divorce or marriage
  • Real estate or a considerable piece of property has been sold or purchased
  • Significant changes in your finances

What will be the consequences of having lost a last will and testament?

South Carolina law indicates that a last will can be accepted if it’s lost or destroyed. However, nothing but the initial version of the last will and testament is likely to be admitted by the probate court.

South Carolina law can give an assumption that the absence of the will means it has been canceled. That places the obligation on the proponent of the will to give proof of the said last will and testament.

The process can get a lot more troublesome when considering a holographic last will and testament. To prove its credibility, the court demands testimony and sword witnesses. In addition, you will have to provide evidence of the actual reason why the will and its elements cannot be produced in ways that will also ensure it wasn’t cancelled.

What does one have to do in case he or she is physically unable to sign his or her last will?

Only per your instruction and with you present is someone allowed to sign your last will and testament (See South Carolina Estate Code). You can give a corresponding directive via some means. They include oral communication, a positive answer to a question, or a gesture

A notary can sign the name of the testator in case the latter can’t do so because of a physical impairment. The notary public must be guided to do it in the presence of a witness. This witness is selected the same way one would decide on a trustee – they must have no legal or equitable interest in any property being the subject of or impacted by the will.

Related documents When to make one
Codicil You wish to make one or a few small changes to your will.
Self-proving affidavit You want to save time and legal fees for your witnesses.
Living will You would like to express your wishes about the end-of-life health care and life-prolonging measures.
Living trust You want to consider an alternative to a last will.
Published: Sep 18, 2020
Mara Erlach
Mara Erlach
Writer & Attorney
Mara has been practicing estate planning and trust law in California since 2003, taking pride in helping clients of all backgrounds and asset profiles form a complete and customized estate plan. Her specialties are: estate planning, wills and trusts, trust and probate administration.