Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bill to help victims of 10 yr limit on wills inexcusably delayed

Update 1/20/2017 - Rep. Bingham has retired, and I've heard nothing further about the bill he introduced.

Update 5/13/2016 - I inquired, and attorney Emma Dean says the bill remains in the Judiciary Committee - it's now been there over a month - and I "will be notified IF (emphasis mine) it receives a hearing." If the bill doesn't pass during the current legislative session, it will have to be reintroduced next session. Looks like a case of "too little, too late." 

It's not as though the bill makes any earthshaking changes. All it does is give probate courts discretion in deciding whether to apply South Carolina's 10 year limit on probating wills.

The bill was introduced in the House April 12, 2016, and continues to "reside" in the Judiciary Committee. I understand the procedure, and that it takes time for a committee to examine a bill. But this bill is as simple and straightforward as it gets, the current legislative session ends in early June, and any delay is inexcusable. If those involved had the best interests of South Carolinians at heart, the bill would have been passed posthaste.

Point is, there was never a need to have time limits on wills. Many other states don't have such limits, neither should South Carolina. Time limits on wills serve the interests of nobody other than probate attorneys, many of whom have wormed their way into the South Carolina legislature and have turned the probate process into nothing more than a money-making racket.

I'll reiterate what I previously wrote:

It is becoming obvious that we now live in an oligarchy run by special interests. In South Carolina, we are confronted not only by the probate/trust racket, but also by a gang of "legislators" who won't repair the roads, waste tax dollars on roundabouts, and have turned a deaf ear to widespread public outrage over homeowners associations (HOAs).

One thing's for sure:

Only a gang of subhuman monsters would line their own pockets by leveraging tax dollars to torment people struggling through the process of bereavement.

What YOU can do:

>  Spread the word about the probate/trust racket. Most folks don't find out about the attorney-generated horrors of probate until they are struggling through the bereavement process, and shock value is a key part of the effort to browbeat people into hiring a probate attorney.

>  If you need help with non-probate matters, avoid using attorneys who advertise that they specialize in probate. Many attorneys refuse to get involved in the probate racket, and one of them told me with a wink, "It's a 'highly specialized' area of law."

>  Refuse to be bullied by the attorney-generated horrors of probate into paying attorneys to set up trusts. Probate is financed with tax dollars, and should be an inexpensive, viable alternative to setting up trusts. Executors (now called Personal Representatives) shouldn't need a law degree to probate an inheritance.

>  Cut costs by downloading your own estate documents - especially wills - from the Internet. Paying probate attorneys outlandish fees to "draw up a will" is risky business, because attorney-legislators have a vested interest in nullifying wills.

>  Last - and what certainly shouldn't be least (but probably is) - send "your representatives" an e-mail expressing your sentiments about the probate/trust racket.