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TIP - If your original Will gets
lost or the paper itself gets marked on or damaged, your Will probably is no longer
valid. Generally, a copy of the Will is no good. Therefore, we recommend
that you keep your original Will in a safe place. We also recommend that
you keep a copy of the Will around your house in a convenient place, so you can
refer to the copy when you need to, and not be dealing with the original.
TIP - General Suggestions - We recommend
that you review your Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney
any time any person named in these documents has any major change in their status
- such as marriage, divorce, has children, becomes disabled, moves away, etc.
Also, if you move to another State, you need to have an attorney in that State
review the documents. It is up to you whether you provide a copy of these documents
to anyone else, but you may want to share with those close to you that you have
executed these documents and tell them where the originals are located.
Dove Law Group
P.O. Box 907
125 Hampton Street,
Rock Hill, South Carolina 29732
WILLS, POWERS OF ATTORNEY & HEALTH CARE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Whether you are 21 or 81, you need to consider having a Will,
Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. While many people do
not like to think about these matters, having your affairs in order can be a great
blessing to your loved ones.
To appreciate the need for a Last Will and Testatement, you must first understand
what happens when a person dies without a Will. In that event, there is
a South Carolina statute that tells who gets your property.
- For example: Say a husband and wife own a house.
If the husband dies without a Will, leaving his wife and 2 minor children, then
1/2 of the husband's part of the house goes to his wife. The other 1/2 is
divided between his 2 minor children. Because the wife does not own
all of the house, she cannot sell it or refinance it until the children are 18
years old, without bringing an expensive legal action in the Probate Court.
This can be a real problem.
- If the husband had a Will which left all his property to his wife if she survived
him, and then to his children if the wife did not survive him, then the wife would
be the 100% owner of the house. She can sell it or refinance it as she pleases.
A Will can make a huge difference to these loved ones.
A Will can pass one's property as they want it passed upon their death.
It can also appoint a person to serve as the Personal Representative of the Estate
(executor); appoint a Trustee to protect the assets of the minor children; and
appoint a guardian to provide for the care of the children.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
This document will allow the persons you select to transact business and handle
other affairs for you. Care must be taken in selecting the person(s) to act for
you, as they have the power to act for you with or without your permission.
HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY
This document allows you to express your wishes and directives regarding life
support and life sustaining measures in the event that you become terminally ill
and are not able to express your wishes yourself.
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