Estate Planning

A Decedent Cannot Believe a Child is Dead if the Decedent Does Not Know the Child Exists

In Turner v. Daniels, the supreme court held that S.C. Code Ann. § 62-2-302(b) (1997) only applies when a decedent omits a child solely because the decedent believes the child is dead.

Section 62-2-302(b) states:

“If, at the time of execution of the will the testator fails to provide in his will for a living child solely because he believes that child to be dead, the child . . . receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which he would have received if the testator had died intestate.” Continue reading

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A Non-Lawyer Can Present Claims Against an Estate and Petition for Allowance of Claims in Probate Court on Behalf of a Business Entity

In Medlock v. University Health Services, the supreme court held that “a non-attorney may represent a business entity in the probate court to make an estate claim without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.”

Medlock is the personal representative of the Medlock Estate.  The Director of Collections, Albert Sullivan, filed and served a Settlement of Creditor’s Claim against the Estate in probate court.  The claim did not indicate that University Health Service had an attorney or that Sullivan was an attorney.  Continue reading

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Marital Property Division Gone Bad

In Wilburn v. Wilburn, the supreme court examined the equitable division of marital property in a divorce.

Husband and Wife were married in 1978.  After their first child, Wife stopped working to take care of their first child and their second son who came later; she never returned to work.  Husband was an attorney, and he became the assistant United States Attorney.  In 1990, Husband’s father passed away, and Husband inherited some stocks.  When husband’s mother died the following year, he inherited more stock and several parcels of land. Continue reading

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James Brown’s Family Does Not Feel Good

In Wilson v. Dallas, the supreme court reversed the circuit court’s approval of a settlement reached by James Brown’s family members—some specifically excluded from a share of his estate—and the attorney general.

James Brown (The Godfather of Soul) died in 2006, leaving an estate valued anywhere from $5 million to over $100 million.  Prior to his death, Brown had planned how his estate should be administered. Continue reading

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