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Get a South Carolina power of attorney in minutes

Choose someone to act in financial matters on your behalf by executing a power of attorney (POA). FindLaw’s guided process means you can complete your own POA quickly and easily.

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Power of Attorney

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Estate Planning Package

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Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
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Do I really need a power of attorney in South Carolina?

You should have a power of attorney if you want to make sure your financial matters are taken care of when you are unable to handle them yourself.

If you do not have a power of attorney and become incapacitated, a court likely will get involved and choose someone to manage your money and property for you. This person may not know what your wishes are for your property, and the court process can be expensive for you and stressful for your loved ones.

Get a free South Carolina Power of Attorney Template on this page in PDF. Download the sample template to see what a POA document looks like.

Written by:

Jocelyn Mackie, J.D.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Bridget Molitor, J.D.

Managing Editor

How it works

The process takes less than an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Indicate who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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How to get a power of attorney

Understand how a POA works in South Carolina

A power of attorney is a legal document. It allows one person (the principal) to give another person (the agent, also called an attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on the principal’s behalf. When an agent uses a power of attorney, their acts or decisions are legally binding on the principal.

In South Carolina, there are two main types of power of attorney: the financial power of attorney and the health care power of attorney. You can use a financial power of attorney to give your agent authority to handle your money, investments, property, or other financial affairs. If you want an agent to make medical decisions for you, you need a health care power of attorney, which you can create using our health care directive and living will form.

Choose an agent you trust

An agent for a power of attorney can have access to your bank accounts and property. It does not matter how smart someone is if they will act in your best interests. If you do not trust them, do not pick them to be your agent.

An agent under a power of attorney should be someone who makes good financial decisions and who is comfortable dealing with banks and financial institutions.

You can appoint co-agents under your power of attorney, but it is usually wise to avoid co-agents to prevent disagreements and confusion. Finally, you should appoint successor agents for your power of attorney. Successor agents will act if your original agent is unavailable or unable to act.

Choose how much power to give your agents

Think about why you want a power of attorney. You should have powers of attorney to allow others to handle your finances when you cannot.

But do you also need someone to manage property or handle a financial matter for you now? If so, you can create more than one power of attorney. You can make a broad power of attorney for when you are incapacitated, but you also can create another to give an agent limited authority for one transaction or type of transaction.

Find and use a good form

If you use a form, it needs to comply with South Carolina law. Make sure you obtain your form from a reliable source that updates its forms when laws change. We offer easy-to-use power of attorney forms that you can tailor to your needs.

South Carolina also offers a form health care power of attorney at section 62-5-504 of the South Carolina Probate Code.

Sign your power of attorney with witnesses

After you fill out your form, you need to sign it with the correct number of witnesses to make sure it is valid in South Carolina.

You must sign and date your power of attorney, or direct someone to do it in your presence if you are unable. Two adult witnesses and a notary public also must sign your power of attorney.

Give your power of attorney to people who need it

Your agent should have your power of attorney so they can act when needed. It is not necessary, but you also can give your power of attorney to banks or businesses you want your agent to deal with. If you want your agent to act while you are incapacitated, South Carolina requires all powers of attorney to be recorded with your county’s register of deeds.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • You don’t know who to choose as your agent
  • You want to use a POA for Medicaid planning
  • You want to discuss which powers you should give your agent
  • You want legal review of your completed power of attorney
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Common questions about South Carolina powers of attorney

In South Carolina, the two main types of powers of attorney are the financial power of attorney and health care power of attorney. There also are several types of financial powers of attorney you should know about.

Durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney remains effective when the principal is incapacitated. In South Carolina, a power of attorney is durable unless it expressly states that it is terminated by the principal’s incapacity.

Nondurable power of attorney

A nondurable power of attorney is terminated by the principal’s incapacity. If you do not want an agent to have authority while you are incapacitated, your power of attorney must state that it is terminated by your incapacity.

For powers of attorney in South Carolina, incapacity means a principal cannot manage property or business affairs because of any of the following:

  • The principal’s ability to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions is impaired
  • The principal is missing
  • The principal is detained or in prison
  • The principal is outside the United State and unable to return

Springing power of attorney

Powers of attorney in South Carolina are effective when they are signed, except for the springing power of attorney. A springing power of attorney is effective on a future date or when a future event occurs. If you want a springing power of attorney, it must state the future date or event when it becomes effective.

Many people use incapacity as a future event because they do not want their agent to have power until they are unable to act. Many attorneys warn against using a springing power of attorney for incapacity because determining incapacity can take time and delay your agent’s ability to act. Proving incapacity can be difficult, and banks and businesses can reject your agent’s authority if they do not have sufficient proof.

Limited or special power of attorney

A limited or special power of attorney provides an agent with limited authority. You do not want to give an agent a limited power of attorney when you need them to act while you are incapacitated. However, this type of power of attorney can come in handy if you want someone to negotiate and complete one sale or purchase for you. People often give limited powers of attorney to accountants to file their taxes or financial advisers to manage investments.

You probably do not need a lawyer to create a power of attorney for you. If you are comfortable reading instructions and filling out forms, you should be able to make a power of attorney by using a form power of attorney. We offer easy-to-complete forms for powers of attorney, which you can access above.

FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. If you are uncomfortable filling out a form or have questions about who your agent should be or what powers to give them, you can speak with an attorney licensed in South Carolina.

Yes, you can revoke a power of attorney. There are no specific rules for revoking a power of attorney in South Carolina. However, it is best to sign a written revocation and to give a copy to your agent, banks, and any businesses your agent dealt with. Finally, creating a new power of attorney does not revoke previous powers of attorney unless it specifically says it does.

In South Carolina, people and businesses can reject your agent’s authority if they have a valid reason. For example, someone can refuse to do business with your agent if the transaction would be illegal or if they know the power of attorney is terminated or invalid.

If your agent presents a power of attorney to a person or business, they can ask your agent to produce one of the following:

  • A sworn certification concerning any fact about the principal, agent, or power of attorney
  • A translation if the power of attorney is not in English
  • An opinion from an attorney concerning any legal issues about the power of attorney

If an agent fails to provide any of the above documents, the person or business can reject the power of attorney without penalty. However, if a person or business rejects the power of attorney without a valid reason, a court can order them to accept the power of attorney and order them to pay legal fees and costs.

If your elderly parents still have the mental capacity to understand what they are signing, you can help them get a power of attorney. You can help them hire an attorney, or you can provide them with an easy-to-use form like the ones we offer.

If you have any doubts about your parents’ competency to understand and sign a power of attorney, do not help them create one. You should speak with an attorney licensed in South Carolina to discuss options for appointing a guardian for your parents.

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