Estate Planning Attorney inBeaufort, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Beaufort, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Beaufort that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Beaufort. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Beaufort, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Beaufort, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Beaufort, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Beaufort, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Beaufort, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.


Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Beaufort, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Beaufort, SC

Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Beaufort, SC

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Beaufort, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Beaufort, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Beaufort, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Beaufort, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:



Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Beaufort, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Beaufort, SC

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Beaufort, SC


Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Beaufort, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Beaufort, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.


Latest News in Beaufort, SC

7 Most Memorable Small Towns in South Carolina

South Carolina was admitted to the Union back in 1788, and it continues to be one of the most naturally beautiful and culturally splendid places in all the Southeastern United States. Filled with loads of charming surroundings, alluring American history, and, of course, splendid warm weather, the “Palmetto State” is a wonderful destin...

South Carolina was admitted to the Union back in 1788, and it continues to be one of the most naturally beautiful and culturally splendid places in all the Southeastern United States. Filled with loads of charming surroundings, alluring American history, and, of course, splendid warm weather, the “Palmetto State” is a wonderful destination to immerse oneself in. From awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean, majestic panoramas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and plenty of hospitable southern charm, South Carolina and its welcoming small towns are great ways to spend a vacation and learn more about the country. So start making your holiday plans and take to the road, for these memorable small towns in South Carolina await!

Best Small Towns In South CarolinaFrom the pristine beaches to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the Palmetto State offers an array of small towns that carry a wealth of history and unique local culture.


South Carolina’s second oldest colonial settlement (after Charleston), the historic and beautiful town of Beaufort, was founded in 1711. Home to a modern population of nearly 13,000 residents, Beaufort is stunningly situated on Port Royal Island on the Atlantic Coast, where breathtaking views and an abundance of 18th-century allure await. Visit the Historic District, where a wonderful array of 18th and 19th-century buildings and landmarks still stand, including those from the antebellum period just prior to the Civil War in the 1860s. And with its hot summers and warm winters, spending time outdoors in Beaufort is always a delight. Enjoy such activities as swimming, sailing, fishing, and sunbathing while a casual stroll on the boardwalk at the Sands in Port Royal. It is truly one of the most picture-perfect places in the entire state of South Carolina.


Also known as the “White Rose City,” the town of York can trace its foundational history to the 1750s, and it served as an important battle center during the American War of Independence. With a modest modern population of some 8,500 inhabitants, this seat of the same named county is indeed a welcoming locale of living history. Spend time at the York Historic District, where, incredibly, the majority of all the landmarks have been included on the National Register of Historic Places, including the County Courthouse (1914) and the Allison Plantation (1860). And do not forget about the Old Town Clock, where postcard-perfect photos await all who pose with it. Add in a great assortment of truly charming local eateries, shops, and other businesses, and York not only gives South Carolina a good reputation but creates an ideal snapshot of small-town USA.


A must-visit for any history lover, the town of Pendleton was founded in the 1790s, and today, just under 3,500 people call this historic center home. For those curious about a genuine look at life in the 18th and 19th centuries and the days of the American Revolution, spending time at the Pendleton Historic District cannot be missed. Here, such landmarks as the Bonne-Douthit and Woodburn Plantations, amongst many others on the National Register of Historic Places, illuminate the growth of early America and the strategic importance of States like South Carolina. Meanwhile, like many small towns in the State, loads of special Southern charm can be experienced in Pendleton, where novelty stores, family-run restaurants, and a truly friendly atmosphere abound. It is indeed a great place to learn more about history and experience the allure only a small town can offer.


The seat of the same named county and South Carolina’s third oldest colonial settlement, Georgetown is a wonderfully scenic and historical destination in the state’s Lowcountry region. Though formally established by the British in 1729, Georgetown was originally claimed by the Spanish in 1526, and today, it stands as the second-largest seaport in South Carolina. Home to a modest population of just under 8,400 residents, Georgetown was once an indigo and rice production center, and guests can continue to experience a sense of the old world by visiting its historic streets and landmarks. Visit the Historic District and its wonderful cobblestone streets and numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places that really transport one back some two hundred years. These include the Arcadia Plantation (1794) and the Battery White (1862), amongst many others. And, of course, with its seaside location, Georgetown is a great place to enjoy the water and the scenic beauty that is South Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean.


Though formally established in the 1890s, Hartsville was first settled by colonists in the 1760s, and today, just over 7,500 residents call this charming historic community home. A great place to learn about early America and the indigenous people who lived there prior, visitors can explore a number of fascinating historic sites in Hartsville. These include the Hartsville Depot Train Station and the Jacob Kelly Mansion, amongst several others that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, nature lovers will not want to miss the Kalmia Gardens, where, over an area of some 30 acres, a wonderful array of local plants and curated trails create a peaceful and reflective atmosphere. Add in Hartsville’s charming assortment of local eateries, family-run shops, and other galleries, and this is one South Carolina town that surely will not be forgotten soon.


Situated near the border with Georgia, the town of Aiken was founded in 1835 and serves as the seat of the same named county. Home to the campus of the University of South Carolina Aiken (1961), this town is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn more about American history in a friendly midsized town. Visit Hitchcock Park for a chance to go horseback riding or spend an afternoon at Boyd Pond Park, where splendid hiking trails and chances to see a variety of wildlife make it a great excursion for all ages. And do not forget about the special Hopeland Gardens and its wonderful collection of locally grown flowers all bathed in the warm and welcoming Southern sun. Meanwhile, visiting the Aiken Train Museum will surely be a delight. Learn about the Eastern Railroad’s expansion and browse through various fascinating artifacts at this informative and interactive place.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a beautiful resort town with centuries of history and a geographic splendor that makes it unique amongst South Carolina locales. With its nearly 12 miles of stunning Atlantic Ocean coastline, Hilton Head always has an abundance of breathtaking views, inviting waters, and hot sun. Just some 30 miles from the border with Georgia, visitors and locals alike enjoy such activities as swimming, sailing, sunbathing, and even playing games like golf and tennis in a scenic ambiance. Visit Coligny Beach Park for awesome boardwalk panoramas while a great range of shopping outlets and other fine dining establishments fill out the surroundings. Meanwhile, perhaps a helicopter tour of the area might be just the exciting rush one is looking for, especially for the truly courageous explorer!

More In South CarolinaFrom its pleasant climate, sandy beaches, and stunning Sabal Palmetto trees to its amazing culture and cuisine, South Carolina is a treasure trove of charm.

The “Palmetto State" of South Carolina is undoubtedly one of the true cultural and natural treasures of the Southeastern United States. With its warm and inviting climate, its fascinating cultural allure, and loads of intriguing American history, a visit to South Carolina and its charming towns are indeed great wonders waiting to be discovered. From the unique setting that is Hilton Head Island to the historic streets of York, these and other memorable small towns in the State serve as splendid reminders of why South Carolina is such a beautiful place. So pack your bags and take to the road; the wonders of small-town South Carolina await, all with a thirst for culture, adventure, and genuine Southern charm.

Track Covid-19 in Beaufort County, S.C.

Daily Covid-19 admissions in the Beaufort County areaAbout the dataData is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization data is a daily average of Covid-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Beaufort County, an area which may be larger than Beaufort County itself.The number of daily hospital admissions shows how many patients tested positive for Covid in hospitals and is one of the most reliably reported indicators of Covid’s impact on a comm...

Daily Covid-19 admissions in the Beaufort County area

About the data

Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization data is a daily average of Covid-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Beaufort County, an area which may be larger than Beaufort County itself.

The number of daily hospital admissions shows how many patients tested positive for Covid in hospitals and is one of the most reliably reported indicators of Covid’s impact on a community.

Total population

Ages 65 and up

Total population

Ages 65 and up

An updated vaccine is recommended for adults and most children. Statewide, 7% of vaccinations did not specify a home county.

Nearby hospitals

Share of I.C.U. beds occupied

About this data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes: The hospitals map shows the average I.C.U. occupancy at nearby hospitals in the most recent week with data reported. The data is self-reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by individual hospitals. It excludes counts from hospitals operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service. Numbers for hospitalized patients are based on inpatient beds and include I.C.U. beds. Hospitalized Covid-19 patients include both confirmed and suspected Covid-19 patients. The C.D.C. stopped reporting data on cases in May 2023.

How trends have changed in Beaufort County

About this data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Notes: Weekly county death data prior to Jan. 2021 was not reported by the C.D.C. and is sourced from reporting by The New York Times. Hospitalization data is a weekly average of Covid-19 patients in hospital service areas that intersect with Beaufort County. Hospitalization numbers early in the pandemic are undercounts due to incomplete reporting by hospitals to the federal government.

Historical trends in Beaufort County

The data in these charts has been archived and they are no longer being updated.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data in these charts has been archived and they are no longer being updated. Weekly county case data prior to Jan. 2021 was not reported by the C.D.C. and is sourced from reporting by The New York Times. The C.D.C. stopped reporting data on cases in May 2023. Test positivity data is based only on test results reported to the federal government and is a seven-day average.

The Best Things To Do In Beaufort, South Carolina

There's a moment at Hunting Island State Park as you're biking along the Lagoon Trail—ocean breezes and intoxicating beach vistas playing peekaboo to your left—when the sandy path turns inland and a sign points to Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail. A good idea? Yes."Yes," it turns out, sums up the best way to ...

There's a moment at Hunting Island State Park as you're biking along the Lagoon Trail—ocean breezes and intoxicating beach vistas playing peekaboo to your left—when the sandy path turns inland and a sign points to Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail. A good idea? Yes.

"Yes," it turns out, sums up the best way to experience Beaufort, South Carolina, and its environs, including Hunting Island. Yes, the path less taken is an excellent idea, as is the Sweet Tea Float at Scout Southern Market. Spending hours strolling through The Old Point and gazing at historic homes and even older live oaks offers endless enchantment. But with my eyes peeled for rattlers, I was (yes) relieved that the only serpentine thing I discovered was more of the winding trail along old dune ridge lines through a primordial wonderland.

The trail affirms why Hunting Island, a breathtaking 25-minute drive from Beaufort, is South Carolina's most popular state park. With a dozen similar paths and 5 miles of pristine beach, this place leads you back eons in time through an untouched maritime forest with towering pines and ospreys soaring overhead as well as magnolias and saw palmettos tangled with yaupon hollies and wax myrtles in the dense understory. Here you breathe deeper and look more closely. Life slows down, and a sense of awe percolates up.

Take In The Scenery At Waterfront Park

Take a seat on one of the bench swings at Beaufort's Waterfront Park. Wide and welcoming, they move back and forth in a rhythmic lullaby. You can't help relaxing, especially if you happen to catch a sunset or tune into the soft lapping of the Beaufort River against the floating dock, hearing the jingling clink of pulleys against sailboat masts—a mariner's wind chime.

Saltus River Grill, where the scenic setting rivals the exceptional food and drink. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards A slice of the sweet life from Beaufort’s upscale Saltus River Grill. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards

Waterfront Park showcases the smart civic planning that makes Beaufort such a delight: The town's best vistas are protected and preserved. There are thoughtful amenities (parking, public bathrooms, an amphitheater, picnic tables, and plenty of green lawn for kids and dogs to play on). Plus it's all conveniently adjacent to an enticing array of restaurants, coffee shops, and stores along Bay Street. What better nightcap than to sit and swing a spell after enjoying grilled scallops or top-notch sushi at Saltus River Grill?

Historic Craven Street. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards A rooftop sunset at Anchorage 1770. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards

Appreciate Beaufort's Subdued Beauty

Beaufort is subdued in the best possible way. She has the same deep history and stunning architecture that her nearby sisters, Charleston and Savannah, are celebrated for, but she's fine staying slightly out of the limelight. Wise and mature, Beaufort wears her age like the badge of honor it is. Her Lowcountry aura feels elemental, with more patina and less pomp. Along Short Street at the edge of The Old Point, moss-heaped limbs cradle historic mansions. Beaufort's treescape shouts of grandeur in whatever language oaks speak. Gardens and yards aren't so much manicured as they are magical. It's easy to see why Hollywood frequently comes calling (a stairwell at The Beaufort Inn features posters from major motion pictures filmed here). Longtime resident Pat Conroy was so smitten that he wrote, "When I came to Beaufort I had struck upon a land so beautiful I had to hunt for other words."

Learn About Beaufort's History

Not far from Short Street, the First African Baptist Church, a Gothic Revival gem built by freedmen in 1865, bears witness to Beaufort's African American, Gullah, and Reconstruction-era history. "Robert Smalls was a member here. This document notes his Sunday school attendance and that he put a few cents in the offering plate," says the Rev. Alexander McBride, a jovial former marine and the church's pastor of almost 20 years, pointing to framed, yellowing pages hanging behind the sanctuary. A statue of Smalls, an enslaved crewman who heroically commandeered a Confederate ship and later served as a U.S. Congressman, is less than a mile away at Tabernacle Baptist Church, where a monument to Harriet Tubman is also planned.

Both churches are worthy stops, along with the Penn Center, the first Southern school for formerly enslaved people, across the bridge on St. Helena Island. Each place gives a deeper insight into the region's vibrant and enduring African American and Gullah Geechee culture.

Providing an overview of Beaufort's past, Capt. Henry Brandt of Coastal Expeditions offers a boat tour that cruises through the area's Native American, Spanish, and French history; Union occupation; and a view of Camp Saxton's tabby ruins, where the Emancipation Proclamation was first read in South Carolina—all interspersed with musings on estuary ecosystems and the fecund marvels of pluff mud.

"You don't fully experience Beaufort until you see it from the water," Brandt claims. After watching dolphins curl and glide from the boat's bow and admiring the town's steeples rising in the background, I absolutely believe him.

Where To Stay

Anchorage 1770 Boutique hotel in an 18th-century mansion with fine dining at the Ribaut Social Club;

The Beaufort Inn Historic main inn plus several cottages clustered around a courtyard;

Rhett House Inn Historic Greek revival mansion that's been a favorite of movie stars;

What To Eat And Drink

Blackstone's Café Classic diner-like options;

Red Rooster Cafe Extensive breakfast menu, whether you like it country, continental, Lowcountry, or Tex Mex;

Lowcountry Produce Kitchen Locally sourced salads and sandwiches and a legendary tomato pie;

Chapman's Grocer Grab-and-go items plus beer, wine, and snacks;

Plums Waterfront dining featuring soups, salads, and sandwiches;

Saltus River Grill Fine dining with fresh local seafood, Southern fare, steaks, sushi, and a well-curated wine list;

Old Bull Tavern Gastropub featuring a lively bar scene anda lamb shank that does not disappoint;

Breakwater Restaurant and Bar Seafood, steaks, and seasonal dishes with Southern flair;

Paninis on the Waterfront Stone-baked pizzas, paninis, seafood, and pastas;

Where To Shop

Scout Southern Market Unique gifts and home goods as well as delicious treats like the famous float at the Sweet Tea Bar;

The Beaufort Candy Shop Classic candies and sweet treats of every kind;

Lisa Rivers Fine Art Gullah-inspired art, prints, and gifts;

Cassandra Gillens Art / Gullah Art in De Woods Paintings, posters, and gifts;

Good Aura Sustainable clothing and jewelry boutique;

Monkey's Uncle Toys, fun, and games for children of all ages;

What To Do

Hunting Island; St. Phillips Island Pat Conroy Literary Center; Coastal Expeditions; Reconstruction Era National Historic Park; Spanish Moss Trail; Craven Street en route to The Old Point to explore historic neighborhoods

Historic Beaufort County Jail to become residential development

The former Beaufort County Jail is being transformed into a condominium development.Columbia-based developer Wheeler & Wheeler Properties is developing Justice Place, the conversion of the jail at 1409 King St., into nine individual residential condominiums, according to a news release.Construction on Justice Place has begun, and units are expected to be available for lease in the summer of 2024.Garvin Design Group of Columbia, which has won numerous awards across the state for its preservation efforts, is the archit...

The former Beaufort County Jail is being transformed into a condominium development.

Columbia-based developer Wheeler & Wheeler Properties is developing Justice Place, the conversion of the jail at 1409 King St., into nine individual residential condominiums, according to a news release.

Construction on Justice Place has begun, and units are expected to be available for lease in the summer of 2024.

Garvin Design Group of Columbia, which has won numerous awards across the state for its preservation efforts, is the architect for the jail, and notable features of the jail have been retained and incorporated into the design, the release stated. For example, the visiting area has been converted into a breakfast area in one of the units, hallways have been preserved, and portions of old jail bars have been used as accents.

“The conversion of the former county jail into residential condominiums is a great example of adaptive reuse,” said Jeff Wheeler, a partner in Wheeler & Wheeler, in the release. “It allows us to take a deteriorating property and adapt it for another use while preserving the historic character of the structure, a structure that might well have been torn down and lost.”

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Total investment in the project is $3 million, according to Wheeler.

The adaptive reuse project will consist of six one-bedroom, one-bath units ranging in size from 605 to 735 square feet and three two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath units ranging from 900 to 1,050 square feet. Five units will be on the first floor and four on the second floor. Parking for the residents will be on site.

Hill Construction of Columbia is the general contractor. Hill, Wheeler & Wheeler, and Garvin also teamed up for the renovation of the Fannie McCants Elementary School into 11 townhomes in the historic Earlewood neighborhood in Columbia, according to the release.

Development brings history back to life

Constructed on the site of an earlier jail, the present jail was built in 1939 and expanded in 1961, according to the release. A small addition was added to the rear of the building around 1975. The original 1939 jail was designed by Beaufort architect Jules D. Levin and is a well-developed example of Art Deco/Moderne architecture.

However, the building has sat vacant and deteriorating for several decades in the historic Northwest Quadrant, the release stated.

Preserving the historic character of the jail, while at the same time meeting modern housing standards, was a challenge achieved through a collaboration among the South Carolina Department of History and Archives, the National Park Service and Garvin Design Group, the release stated. Garvin created a design that is functional and architecturally consistent with the area. The jail is on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing building to the Beaufort Historic District.

Located near the city center and shopping, Justice Place is expected to appeal to urban professionals, the release stated. Following approval of the jail project, Wheeler and Wheeler began discussions with the county through the County Attorney, Brittany Ward, about the remaining portion of that block. “The negotiations have been collaborative and proactive with a goal of developing affordable housing. Both the City and the County have been supportive of this project,” Wheeler said.

Developers envision a residential community

Justice Place is now a part of Justice Square, a proposed two-block residential community envisioned by Wheeler & Wheeler in Beaufort’s historic Northwest Quadrant, according to the release.

“The Justice Square development will meet a range of housing needs and is envisioned as a catalyst to spur further revitalization in the heart of that historic area,” Wheeler said.

In addition to Justice Place, the proposed urban infill development of Justice Square may include, according to the release:

“The Beaufort Housing Study identified four critical elements which Justice Square will meet: affordable rental housing, for sale housing to moderate income households, residential development that will appeal to millennials and young professionals, and adaptive reuse of existing vacant structures for residential purposes,” said Zack Wheeler, also a partner in Wheeler & Wheeler Properties, in the release.

This Small Coastal Town in South Carolina Has Charleston-like Charm Without the Crowds

Charleston may get most of the attention when it comes to South Carolina’s many cities, but the history, culture, and (of course) Southern charm that make it so special can also be found in smaller and less expensive places in the region. If you’ve ever watched “Forrest Gump” or read anything by the late author Pat Conroy, you ma...

Charleston may get most of the attention when it comes to South Carolina’s many cities, but the history, culture, and (of course) Southern charm that make it so special can also be found in smaller and less expensive places in the region. If you’ve ever watched “Forrest Gump” or read anything by the late author Pat Conroy, you may be familiar with Beaufort, a harbor town on Port Royal Island. Its narrow streets, oak trees, and historic district that pre-dates the Civil War are similar to those in Charleston, but Beaufort is remarkable and magical in its own right. Plus, it doesn’t draw the same crowds that tend to flock to notable Holy City hangouts like King Street, Folly Beach, and the Battery.

Before you read any further, though, you need to know how to properly pronounce the name. Not to be confused with Beaufort, North Carolina (said like “bow-fert”), the coastal town has a pronunciation more akin to “bew-fert.” Mistaking the two will immediately identify you as a tourist — and it won’t sit too well with the locals. Once you have that squared away, you can start planning your trip to Beaufort, the second-oldest city in South Carolina.

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Best Things to Do in Beaufort, South Carolina

In 1969, Beaufort became one of the few U.S. cities with an entire downtown designated as a historic district by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, so exploring the neighborhoods filled with Victorian, Greek Revival, Neoclassical, and Federal-style homes is at the top of most travelers’ lists. At Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, you’ll spot Woods Memorial Bridge, recognizable from the aforementioned Tom Hanks blockbuster. Stretching your legs is also encouraged along the Spanish Moss Trail, a 10-mile greenway that weaves by Beaufort’s marshes and through trees draped in Spanish moss. Given its waterfront location, Beaufort should also be experienced by boat; book a Dolphin & History Boat Cruise with Coastal Expeditions or an ecology tour with Beaufort Kayak Tours. Paddleboarding is another option, with rental equipment available at Higher Ground Outfitters.

Beaufort’s ties to the literary world are strong; visiting the Pat Conroy Literary Center (Beaufort was Conroy’s adopted hometown) or one of the three independent bookstores in town — NeverMore Books, McIntosh Book Shoppe, and Beaufort Books — is a must for book lovers. For those interested in local art, there’s the Gullah Art Gallery and Museum, Legacy Art Gallery, Rhett Gallery, Thibault Gallery, or Atelier Off Bay.

Many of the best things to do in Beaufort are found further outside of downtown. About 17 miles east is Hunting Island State Park, with its pristine beaches, marshes, maritime forest, saltwater lagoon, and the Hunting Island Lighthouse, which was destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt in 1875. St. Helena Island (a 13-minute drive away) is home to Penn Center — one of the United States’ first schools for formerly enslaved individuals — as well as the family-owned Dempsey Farms, where you can pick in-season fruits and vegetables. Local produce can also be acquired on Saturdays at the nearby Port Royal Farmers Market.

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Beaufort Hotels

An overnight trip to Beaufort is best accompanied by a stay in one of the town’s upscale inns. Slow Southern mornings paired with a home-cooked breakfast can be enjoyed on the expansive wooden porch at The Rhett House Inn. Guests can also book the more modern Rhett House Inn Cottages, which sit across the street from the main building. Once a Union Army hospital, Anchorage 1770 overlooks the Beaufort River and offers a fine dining experience at the Ribaut Social Club. The Beaufort Inn first opened its doors in 1897, and the property’s modern-day chapter features several fully renovated buildings within the town’s historic district.

Where to Eat and Drink in Beaufort, South Carolina

As with most Southern cities and towns, food is a major part of the local culture. If you’re a traveler who plans their vacations around meals, you’ll want to start your day at Blackstone’s Cafe or Herban Market and Cafe. If you’re exploring Beaufort during the day and want something quick, order a fried chicken sandwich or po’boy from Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe. Chapman’s Grocer also has grab-and-go treats, wine, and craft beer. Old Bull Tavern is a lively gastropub open only for dinner, Saltus River Grill is great for indulging in seafood, and those craving Italian should dine at Griffin Market. Gullah Grub Restaurant on St. Helena Island is one of the area’s most famous restaurants (it appeared on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations); get the shrimp gumbo.

Best Time to Visit

A South Carolina summer is hot and humid — there’s no getting around that. To explore Beaufort in the most comfortable climate, your best bet is to go in either early spring or late fall. April and October are ideal for having plenty to do (winter is far from bustling) while simultaneously avoiding the sweltering weather synonymous with the South.

Getting There

If you’re flying into Hilton Head Airport (HHH) or Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) — both are under an hour away — you’ll need to rent a car to fully experience Beaufort and its surrounding area. Charleston International Airport (CHS) is also an option, although it’ll take about 90 minutes to get to Beaufort.


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