The South Carolina durable power of attorney (durable POA) is a legal document one party, called the principal, uses to authorize another person, called the agent or the attorney-in-fact, to represent them before governmental, medical, financial, or other institutions and third parties.
A durable power of attorney will remain valid and effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
You can use the South Carolina durable power of attorney in every situation where you are not able to personally complete a certain activity.
This can happen due to old age, physical or mental disability, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or simply because the principal lacks the professional knowledge to complete a certain activity personally.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in South Carolina
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: Title 62 - South Carolina Probate Code, Article 8
Signing requirements: The principal must sign the South Carolina durable power of attorney before at least two witnesses and a notary public. (§ 62-8-105)
Statutory form: The South Carolina legislature doesn’t provide the statutory form for the power of attorney.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: According to § 62-8-102(2), “Durable,” with respect to a power of attorney, means not terminated by the principal’s incapacity.
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in South Carolina
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine a person who will act on your behalf and represent your interests. This person should be an adult with the legal capacity to act. Moreover, you should choose someone you trust, especially if they will have the authority to make decisions about your finances and health care.
In case you are dealing with some specific issues, like tax or litigation, you might want to authorize a licensed professional as your agent. Depending on the situation, it can be an accountant, a tax advisor, or a lawyer.
Here, you can also name the successor agent. This is the person who will act in case the primary agent loses legal capacity or is otherwise unable to represent you.
#2. Grant Authority
After you have determined the agent, you should define their scope of authority.
The South Carolina durable power of attorney form provides three ways to determine your agent’s scope of authority:
Scope of Authority
General authority. This option will enable your agent to take all the necessary actions and interact with all third parties when representing you. You can limit the general power of attorney by providing a list of activities that are not included in the agent’s scope of authority.
Partial authority. Here, you can select the activities you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of activities provided in the durable power of attorney form. You can make the selection by signing your initials next to the relevant activity.
Special authority. This is the most flexible option since here you can describe your agent’s scope of authority in your own words. This means that you can include the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
In South Carolina, the power of attorney is presumed to be durable. That means that if you want your power of attorney to be non-durable, you must explicitly indicate so in the document.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal must sign the South Carolina durable power of attorney before at least two witnesses and a notary public.
#5. Notarize the Form
The South Carolina durable power of attorney must be notarized. By notarizing the document, the notary public will confirm the authenticity of the principal’s signature and the overall authenticity of the document.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
You should keep the original copy of the durable power of attorney in your possession and keep it in a safe place, like your home or a safe deposit box.
You can also give one copy to the agent so they can prove their capacity to third parties.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in South Carolina
The best way to revoke the South Carolina durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter. This letter should include the full name of the agent and the date of the issuance of the power of attorney you wish to revoke.
To make the revocation effective, you should give a copy of the revocation letter to the agent and to all third parties the agent is interacting with on your behalf.