A will, of course, is only effective upon the death of the individual. However, often it is not death but a severe disability which causes both legal and personal problems with our clients.
For example, it is not uncommon for an individual to be rendered incapable of handling his own affairs because of either a physical or mental disability brought on by illness or an accident. If the individual has not made other arrangements, it may well be that a Guardian or Conservator will have to be appointed by the court in order to carry on the affairs of the disabled individual.
However, South Carolina now has a law which allows the individual to plan in advance for the possibility of such tragic circumstances. By properly drafting and executing a Durable Power of Attorney an individual can name another to act on his or her behalf. This power applies not only to business transactions but also to personal dealings such as hiring and firing medical personnel, making decisions about hospitals, treatment, etc.
The Durable Power of Attorney must be executed strictly according to law but once properly prepared, executed and filed in the Register of Deed's Office, this power of attorney is valid even if the individual later becomes completely physically or mentally disabled. The Durable Power of Attorney, where appropriate, is included in our Simple Estate Planning.