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Wills, Trusts, Estates, & Elder Law:  


Wills, Trusts, Estates, & Elder Law

This guide covers probate law (wills, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and estates) and elder law (powers of attorney, living wills, advance directives, medicare/medicaid, nursing home regulation, and social security).  Look under the topic Employment & Labor Law for age discrimination.

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Researching Probate & Elder Law Issues

South Carolina Probate & Elder Law Statutes

South Carolina Code of Laws

The above link connects to the entire SC Code of Laws.  Search current state crimes on the website for the SC General Assembly. You may access previous versions of the SC Code on its Archives page.

Below find links to some portions of the SC Code of Laws that are often of particular interest in this area of law.  Note: Relevant parts of the SC Code of Laws may not be included in the links below. 

Title 43 - Social Services

Title 44 - Health

Title 62 - South Carolina Probate Code

Finding Other States' Probate Statutes

Federal Elder Law Statutes & Regulations

Find Probate & Elder Law Cases

With caselaw research, it helps to figure out if your issue is primarily governed by state or federal law.  Most probate, estate, living will, power of attorney, guardianship, and conservatorship issues will be state law matters.  Federal laws tend to deal with things like handicap accessibility.

Both State & Federal Cases
  • Google Scholar
    Select "Case Law", then click on "Select courts."  You can search South Carolina, other states' cases, and federal cases, individually or together.  This search engine is easy to search and includes cases decided much earlier than the 1990s.
State Cases
  • Ravel American Caselaw Database
    Harvard's law library let Ravel digitize U.S. state caselaw but, as part of the deal, Ravel has to make the scanned copies free to the public. This database covers all 50 states. Its search engine is not the best, however.
Federal Cases
    PACER is the federal system for court documents. NOTE: You will need to create a login and PACER is not free.
  • Court Listener
    Court Listener is a free law project that harvests federal court opinions and makes them available for free. It might not have everything though.

Agency Websites

Elder Law

Social Security & Medicare/Medicaid

Estate Planning - General Resources

Being a Executor, Trustee, or Personal Representative

Disabled Adults, Guardianship, and Conservatorship

South Carolina Resources

South Carolina Self-Help Information Resources

Forms (various online sources)

Your local library may have access to Gale Legal Forms (an electronic resource) in its collection.  It's worth checking to see if they do.

Your Local Library

Ask if your public library offers the Gale LegalForms database. LegalForms contains state-specific forms and documents in Word or Adobe format that can be edited to suit users' needs by filling in the blanks with relevant and accurate information.

Your local public, technical college, or university library may have the South Carolina Code Annotated in print and books on legal topics.  

Some public libraries in South Carolina provide its patrons with access to Westlaw. Check with your college or university for access to NexisUni. Both electronic databases allow you to search state and federal laws and read about specific topics in legal encyclopedias and journals. 

Lawyer Referral