Who inherits my belongings if I

don't have a will?

The following is the distribution of assets according to SECTION  62-2-102 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Dying without leaving a will is called dying "intestate".  The Code spells out who will inherit property from a person who dies intestate. Those who inherit property from an intestate person are called "heirs."

  1. IF only the spouse survives, he or she takes all.

  2. IF the spouse and any children survive, then the spouse takes one-half and the children take the other half  (the children's half is divided equally among the surviving children. If  any children have already died, then their children would inherit the predeceased child's share by representation).

  3. IF only children and no spouse survive, the children take equally, with the child/children of any predeceased child taking that predeceased child's share by representation. 

  4. IF no spouse and no children or grandchildren, then the parent or parents take equally.

  5. IF no spouse, child or parent survive, but there are full-blood brothers and sisters surviving the decedent, then those brothers and sisters take in equal shares, with the child/children of any predeceased brother or sister taking the predeceased sibling's share. 

The Code imposes requirements that an heir must survive 120 hours after the decedent's death to be an eligible taker. The Code contains complex rules concerning who takes in situations not covered in the examples above. For information on other specific situations, professional legal advice is recommended.