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The last thing you expect is to become injured, ill, or otherwise incapacitated to the point where you are unable to make important financial and medical decisions for yourself. Once you are in this position, someone else will need to make those decisions for you. If you do not designate a durable power of attorney (DPOA) before you become incapacitated, you risk the state of South Carolina being the one to make those choices.

Below we discuss the requirements and why you might want to name a durable power of attorney.


What Is a General Durable Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is someone you choose to make financial decisions and sign legal documents on your behalf in the event that you are incapacitated and cannot make or communicate those decisions yourself. When you have a power of attorney in place, the state defers to the person you designated instead of making choices for you based on state law.

In South Carolina, all powers of attorney are durable unless otherwise stated in the DPOA agreement. You can also name a DPOA only for specific circumstances, or you can have a general durable power of attorney who has the authority to make decisions for you in a wide variety of situations.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Naming a Power of Attorney In South Carolina?

In order to name someone as your durable power of attorney in South Carolina, a few legal requirements must be met, such as:

  • First and foremost, you must be of sound mind when designating your power of attorney. If it can be later shown that you did not have the mental capacity to name a DPOA, your wishes may no longer be honored.  

  • Your medical power of attorney must be signed in front of two adult witnesses

  • You need to have the power of attorney properly notarized upon completion

  • Your documents need to get filed with the lands record office for your city

By working with an attorney to create power of attorney, you can make sure it abides by all requirements.

Benefits of Having a DPOA

There are several benefits to designating a durable power of attorney, including but not limited to:

  • All important decisions made will be by someone you trust who knows what you would and would not want.

  • Resolving your financial affairs following your incapacitation is easier and faster with a DPOA than if your family were to work with the state.

  • You can choose to have your DPOA take effect immediately upon signing, or you can have it take effect when triggered by specific circumstances.

  • If you become incapacitated at the end of your life, a DPOA can help bridge the gap, so to speak, between this period of time and your passing.

How a South Carolina Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help You

A South Carolina attorney can help you designate a durable power of attorney for financial or a health care power of attorney, or both. Adequate planning ahead of time ensures that your documents are legally binding and enforceable, so your family is not left scrambling at the last minute should the unthinkable come to pass. Contact our office to learn more about powers of attorney or to schedule a consultation to begin drafting your DPOA or HPOA.




We are here to help! Give us a call at 864.760.0221 or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!

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