When Wills are originally made, they are typically done according to the feelings of that time. A will is not like a trust in that it is a changing document that can be adapted as extensively as things may change. So, plenty of our clients are looking to have their will either changed or completely replaced because the will may be 15-20 even 30+ years old and they would like to have their current assets distributed differently, or there are things that the will did not originally address that they would just like to have them put in. And we also have clients that come to us because they no longer would like a will. According to South Carolina law, you can revoke a will in one of two ways.
The first way is to actually write “Void” or “Revoke” across every single page of the original will and make sure there are no other signed copies of that will. Then, once that will is revoked, it can then be shredded and that results in a full revocation of that will. If any signed copy does remain, then the will is actually not revoked. So, if you are going to just revoke a will by voiding it and shredding it, you need to be sure to do that to every copy. The other way to properly revoke a will, which is the way that our office recommends, is to institute a new estate plan, whether that be to have a trust or to create a new will. South Carolina also states that any new will that is created and signed automatically revokes and replaces any preceding wills.
So that way, if you have something that you would like to be addressed, you do not have to worry about shredding the old will; you can actually just have a new one made and that will replace the old will.
What Are The Tax Penalties For Unpaid And Underpaid Taxes?
The IRS reserves the right and ability to assess penalties to any tax liability. These may range from penalties for failure to file, failure to file on time, that means if you just did not file your tax returns or you missed that April 15th or the extension October 15th deadline. There are also penalties for failure to make estimated tax payments, there are penalties for under withholding, there are a multitude of penalties that the IRS can assign for these unpaid or underpaid type of taxes owed. In addition to that, those type of penalties typically are based on certain factors like, “Is it for multiple years or how old the liability is” as well as if it is reoccurring. So, if you incur taxes for a specific reason for under withholding, let’s say year-in and year-out, then they may assign additional penalties.
These penalties are capped at 25%. However, there is no direct or flat number for these penalties if they are to be assigned. Sometimes, we see that they assign multiple types of penalties and in a similar situation, they may only assign one type of penalty. So, it really does come down to the type of situation you are in, how much you owe and the reasons why you owe. Those are more determining factors in the amount of the penalties that may be assigned.
What Happens If Someone Dies Without An Estate Plan Or A Will?
Unfortunately, a fairly common occurrence is when we have surviving spouses or surviving children come to us because their parent or grandparent or uncle has passed and there is no will or there is no estate plan in place. Now, these types of situations, while fairly common, are directed by specific rules in the probate process and those rules are also varied from state-to-state. Here in South Carolina, if somebody dies without a will or an estate plan, the term is called Intestacy, that means without the will or estate. If somebody dies intestate, then the first place that they look for distributing the assets is a surviving spouse.
Once the surviving spouse receives their portion of the assets in the decedent’s name, then they begin to look at the family tree in order to determine where the remainder of the assets go. The first place that they would look would be any surviving children. If there aren’t any children, they may look at grandchildren, parents, grandparents, even brothers or sisters. They really would look at the closest living relative in order to determine who is the heir to the estate. The problem with that is that once these heirs are determined, then everything in the estate is divided up and distributed amongst those people. If you do not have a will or if you do not have an estate plan, then you have no control or any other surviving heirs have no control over who gets what. It is all based on closest living relatives.
For more information on Revoking a Will In South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 271-7940 today.