A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that has your instructions on how you want your assets to be distributed after your death.
If you die without a will, you are considered to be “intestate,” meaning literally you died without a will. The “Testator” (man) or “Testatrix” (woman) is the person who creates the will. It is very important to have a will if you have minor children so that you can appoint a guardian, the person who will become your minor children’s substitute parent in the event of your death. In South Carolina, the Testator or Testatrix appoints a Personal Representative to carry out their will’s provisions through Probate Court. The Personal Representative is sometimes referred to as the Executor. The Personal Representative is responsible for administering the estate, such as paying outstanding debts and taxes, gathering property, keeping financial records, and distributing your property to your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are individuals or legal entities that will receive property under the terms of your will.