If you live in SC and die without a will, your estate would be distributed in accordance the state's intestate succession laws. Essentially, this means your closest living relatives will take. If you are married without children your entire estate will go to your wife. If you have children and are married your spouse will take one-half of your estate and your children will divide the remaining one-half into equal shares. If you have no spouse at the time of your death your estate would pass in equal shares to your children. If a child predeceases you, then your estate would pass to their children in the amount they were entitled. Thus, if you had three children and one died before you with two children. Your estate would be split into thirds at your death. One-third would go to each of your children and one-third would go to your two grandchildren who would take in place of your predeceased child. This method of estate division at each generation is known as per stirpes.
If you die with a will it becomes the law of your estate, replacing that of the state. There is one important exception. A decedent cannot leave out their spouse in a will in SC, unless the testator provided for the spouse outside of the will in lieu of testamentary transfer. If the spouse is omitted, they have to file for what is known as an elective share. In essence, one cannot disinherit their spouse in SC.
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