Who are the heirs when there is no will? When a person dies and there is no will (dying intestate) or when none of the people named in the Will survive the decedent, the people who inherit are set forth in South Carolina law called the law of intestate succession. All the probate estate that would have passed under the Will, if there had been one, passes instead to the people this law specifies. It is, in effect, the legislature's best guess as to what your Will would have said if you had written one. Here are a few examples:
If you die survived by a spouse: the spouse gets everything unless there were children also. If spouse and one or more children survive, the spouse gets half and children get (and divide) half, share and share alike. South Carolina is one of the few states that still recognizes common law marriages.
If no spouse survives: and children survive, it goes all to children. If no children survive, then it goes all to mother and father or the one of them who survives. If no mother or father survive then it goes to brothers and sisters
As a general rule: If a child doesn't survive you but leaves their own children (grandchildren) who do survive you, the grandchildren take the share the child would have taken had your child survived you. A similar rule applies to a brother or sister who does not survive you, allowing a deceased brother or sister's children to take the share their parent would have taken had they survived. The legal term for this type of descent and distribution is called per stirpes.
Other applications of these rules become very complex and require legal assistance.
South Carolina Probate may be considered AN ADVERTISEMENT or Advertising Material under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing South Carolina lawyers. This site is intended to provide you only with general information. South Carolina Probate does NOT provide legal, financial, or tax advice. Please consult a professional in these areas. Only an attorney licensed in your state can provide you with legal advice. This is a PRIVATE COMMERCIAL WEBSITE and not associated with any governmental agency. The content of any third party site which visit via a link from this site is solely the responsibility of the provider of that web site.