Probate Lawyer in Beaufort, SC

About The CDH Law Firm Difference

As seasoned probate lawyers in South Carolina, we understand that Estate Administration often involves sensitive family dynamics as much as it does the legal minutia involved in probate law. After all, a person's estate not only affects their generation but the generations that follow.

But when your loved one passes, their assets must be managed and distributed correctly. When mismanaged, disputes often arise between parties like the Beneficiaries, Trustees, Heirs, or Executors of a Will. Even when everything is managed the right way, arguments and misunderstandings can still occur, and even evolve into bitter legal battles necessitating probate litigation.

It stands to reason, then, that you should hire a probate lawyer in Beaufort, SC to help. But the truth is, many attorneys don't have vast experience with probate and trust work. If they do, they aren't usually seasoned trial attorneys. That's what separates probate attorneys at CHSA Law, LLC from others - we have the ability to help plan your Estate and litigate estate disputes if they arise.

We are keenly familiar with local probate judges, courtroom staff members, and the related procedures involved with South Carolina probate law. Our intimate knowledge and experience help us successfully navigate the probate process to complete our client's cases quickly and efficiently.

But that's just one aspect that sets CDH apart from other firms. Understanding the importance of personalized attention, we also make an intentional decision to limit our law firm's overall caseload. This allows us to better focus on individual clients, many of whom remain with us for generations. We do not pass off cases to paralegals or junior associates but rather prioritize the attorney-client relationship. We value compassion and integrity, and our practice reflects those values.

Moreover, trust is one of the most important aspects of the attorney-client relationship. We work to create an open, friendly environment in which you can feel comfortable. After years of experience, we boast the skill and experience necessary to earn that trust - and that's a priceless commodity when it comes to probate cases in South Carolina.

Understanding The Probate Process in South Carolina

When a loved one passes away, it's natural to go through a time of emotional adjustment. However, it's crucial for the family of the loved one to face the financial realities of their estate. That reality includes the probate process, which involves distributing assets and settling the estate. A probate attorney in Beaufort, SC is often recommended to assist during this time. This process isn't just recommended - it's often a legal responsibility in South Carolina.

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Steps to the Probate Process in South Carolina

01

Delivery of Will Upon Death: During probate, the first step involves having a will delivered to an Estate Administrator or to the probate court. The deadline to accomplish this task is 30 days.

02

A Personal Representative is Assigned: This individual is often named in a Will and should be appointed officially by the court.

03

A Notice is Sent to Intestate Heirs: If these heirs feel that they should inherit, they have a right to challenge this step.

04

The Estate is Inventoried and Appraised: This process must occur within 90 days of opening an estate. In some estates with valuables like jewelry, art, and property, professional appraisers may be needed.

05

Settling Accounts: During this step, the estate must pay any applicable taxes, ongoing expenses, or outstanding debts. Should the estate not have enough money to pay these debts, creditors must be paid according to South Carolina code.

06

Distributions: If there is money in the estate after debts are paid, those funds are given to heirs of the estate, according to the Will or the State.

07

Discharge: As soon as any claims are paid, the personal representative of the estate will file documents to close the estate. To make this official, the court will issue a Certificate of Discharge.

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Avoiding Probate in South Carolina

Though most estates in South Carolina must go through probate, it is possible to avoid. This happens when a decedent's assets are placed in a Living Trust prior to their death. In this scenario, beneficiaries must be designated in order to inherit the estate. Suppose there are funds that have been promised to beneficiaries via life insurance policies or bank accounts with "payable upon death" designations. In that case, those funds do not have to go through probate.

Assets subject to probate in South Carolina include:

  • Interest in an LLC, Partnership, or Corporation
  • Real Estate Held as a Tenant in Common
  • Property Held in Only the Deceased's Name
 Probate Attorney Beaufort, SC
Probate Lawyer Beaufort, SC

Assets that are not subject to probate in South Carolina include:

  • Assets Placed in a Trust
  • Assets Which Are Already Tied to a Beneficiary
  • Pension Plan Assets
  • Insurance Policies with Beneficiaries
  • Beneficiaries of Retirement Funds
  • Real Estate or Property with Right of Survivorship
  • Real Estate or Property with Joint Tenancy
  • Accounts That Are Transferable or Payable Upon Death
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Avoiding Probate: Yes or No?

Though it's not always possible, some families go out of their way to avoid the probate process in South Carolina. Doing so can help save money in the long run and also expedite the distribution of funds to heirs. By avoiding probate, you're also keeping personal matters private.

Because every person has different estate and probate complexities, it's hard to say whether avoiding probate is good or bad. Whether or not you should avoid probate depends on your unique situation. As a general rule, it's always best to consult with a probate lawyer in Beaufort, SC, for honest feedback and probate assistance.

Typically, having a Living Trust or a Will in place will make transferring assets easier. A little prep ahead of time will make a world of difference when your loved one passes away. After all, nobody is ever prepared for a relative or family friend's death, but a compassionate, trustworthy probate attorney can make the process easier.

FAQsSouth Carolina Probate FAQs

For many families, "Probate" is a dirty term that involves heartbreak and headaches. And while the probate process in South Carolina can be complex and stressful, having answers to some of the most common probate questions can help put your mind at ease.

Q.

My family member recently passed away, and we're considering their estate. How long will the probate process take?

A.

The time it takes an estate to go through probate in South Carolina varies depending on a number of questions, including:

  • Does the deceased have a valid will?
  • Is the Estate complex or large?
  • Is the Will contested?
  • Have any lawsuits been filed?
  • Is the personal representative of the estate efficient?

When conditions are good, a small or simple estate usually takes about a year to close. More complicated estates may take longer.


Q.

My loved one mentioned opening a Trust to protect my assets. What is a Trust, and what Trusts should I consider?

A.

As is the case with most probate decisions, opening a Trust should be based on your unique situation and guidance from your probate attorney in Beaufort, SC. With that said, a Trust is meant to hold property for your loved one's benefit. When a Trust is created, assets are transferred into the said Trust and managed accordingly. Though there is a common misconception that Trusts are reserved for the wealthy, just about any family can benefit from opening a Trust.

The most common types of Trusts used in probate include:

  • Living Trust: These trusts are opened and controlled by you while you're still living. When you pass away, the assets in the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries you choose. Typically, these trusts do not go through the probate process.
  • Testamentary Trust: These trusts are usually established after you pass away and are included in your will. These trusts must go through the probate process in South Carolina, though they allow for the distribution of property within a certain time frame.
  • Special Needs Trust: This type of trust gives financial support to your loved one if they are disabled.

When conditions are good, a small or simple estate usually takes about a year to close. More complicated estates may take longer.


Q.

What happens when somebody dies without a will in South Carolina?

A.

When a person passes away without a Will in South Carolina, the state decides who gets their decedent's assets. This is also called passing intestate. When this happens, usually only spouses, blood relatives, or registered domestic partners can inherit property according to intestate succession laws.

Relatives who receive the probate property of the deceased are usually chosen in the following order:

  • Living Spouse
  • Children or Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Brothers or Sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and Aunts
  • Extended Family

If you're in need of a veteran probate lawyer in South Carolina, look no further than CDH Law Firm. With years of experience in Estate Administration and probate cases, our team is ready to serve you with excellence and protect your interests. Have additional questions? We're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about Estate Administration in South Carolina.

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Law is complicate matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

A Caring, Confident Approach to Probate in South Carolina

Planning your estate is the first step to take if you want to protect your family, your assets, your well-being, and the fruits of your hard work.

At CHSA Law, LLC, our team of experienced probate lawyers in Beaufort, SC, can help you navigate the entire Estate Administration process. Through creative legal strategies and a clear understanding of your goals and desires, we work together to make your asset and estate visions a reality. It's never too early to get your estate in order. In fact, estate planning is important for everyone, whether you're single or married, young or old, with or without children. If you're ready to protect your assets and be prepared for probate, contact CHSA Law, LLC, today.

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Latest News in Beaufort, SC

You’re never far from history when you’re in Beaufort, SC

If you’re looking for history, then Beaufort, SC is the right place. Being over 500 years old, you’re never too far from history in Beaufort SC. The Beaufort area is home to several museums that house a great deal of local history.From America’s beginning to the pre and post-Civil War eras, to the formation of the United States Marine Corps, you can see and learn so much about the past by visiting each one of them.The Beau...

If you’re looking for history, then Beaufort, SC is the right place. Being over 500 years old, you’re never too far from history in Beaufort SC. The Beaufort area is home to several museums that house a great deal of local history.

From America’s beginning to the pre and post-Civil War eras, to the formation of the United States Marine Corps, you can see and learn so much about the past by visiting each one of them.

The Beaufort History Museum promotes the appreciation for the history of Beaufort, SC and the surrounding area through its amazing exhibits and through its many events.

The museum sits inside the historic Beaufort Arsenal (c. 1798) on Craven Street in downtown Beaufort. It covers the discovery of Beaufort over 500 years ago, guides you through the early years and up to the Civil War where the seeds were first planted for secession in Beaufort, then through the Reconstruction Era. Address: 713 Craven Street, Beaufort

At the Parris Island Museum, you can explore the long legacy of the United States Marine Corps and also the history of the Port Royal, SC area.

The museum houses thousands of artifacts, images and other things that illustrate the stories within the exhibit galleries from the area’s early Native American population to today’s modern Marines.

The 10,000-square-foot facility is located at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. On display at the museum are many artifacts covering Port Royal’s important military roles from the American Revolution through the Civil War, with a focus on the development of the island into a Marine Corps installation after the Spanish-American War, and takes you to the present. Address: 111 Panama Street, Paris Island MCRD

Downtown Beaufort’s historic John Mark Verdier House Museum lets you step back in time inside the impressive Federal-style mansion built around 1804 by John Mark Verdier, a successful merchant and planter in Beaufort.

The house on Bay Street was a stately statement of his wealth and status as a member of Beaufort’s planter class. As the only historic planter’s house in the city open to the public, the 1804 structure paints an accurate portrait of how Beaufort’s wealthiest citizens lived during the height of the pre-Civil War Antebellum period when cotton was king and wealth was everything.

An important location throughout history, the Marquis de Lafayette stopped at the Verdier House and enjoyed a lavish ceremony and party here in 1825 on his farewell tour of America before he departed for France.

The mansion was also used as the Federal Headquarters by Union troops during the occupation of Beaufort during the Civil War, and was even home to the first telephone ever installed in Beaufort, SC. Address: 801 Bay Street, Beaufort

The York W. Bailey Museum at historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island offers a look into the stories of the people whose lives were changed by this important American institution.

Penn Center was the very first school opened to educate former slaves as America’s Reconstruction Era started after the Civil War.

View many photographs of Penn Center’s students at work, some of which were taken as far back as the 1860s. Videos offer historic and personal recollections of Penn Center’s past and local artists fill the gift shop with handmade sweetgrass baskets and colorful, original cultural artwork. Address: 16 Penn Center Circle West, St. Helena Island

The Historic Port Royal Foundation Museum offers a glimpse into the history of Port Royal, which was always an important location because it’s the deepest natural port along the Atlantic Ocean, south of New York.

The museum also tells the story of old Port Royal, the creation and eventual demise of the Port Royal Railroad, and lots more. Address: 1634 Paris Ave., Port Royal

Beaufort County makes SC history, gives $1M to conserve Lowcountry land beyond its borders

BEAUFORT — When Beaufort County Council considered a motion to spend $1 million on a conservation easement for a property in neighboring Jasper County, the enthusiasm among council members was palpable.The motion, which was approved unanimously March 25, was likely the first time in the history of South Carolina that a county invested to conserve property beyond its borders. It was a historic moment, the gravity of which was not lost on council."Truly, this is Beaufort County making the impossible possible," sai...

BEAUFORT — When Beaufort County Council considered a motion to spend $1 million on a conservation easement for a property in neighboring Jasper County, the enthusiasm among council members was palpable.

The motion, which was approved unanimously March 25, was likely the first time in the history of South Carolina that a county invested to conserve property beyond its borders. It was a historic moment, the gravity of which was not lost on council.

"Truly, this is Beaufort County making the impossible possible," said Council Chair Joseph Passiment.

The funding came from the county's Green Space Program, a 1 percent sales tax that will raise $100 million for land preservation over two years. The program features an innovation that allows council to spend tax dollars outside the county.

The land at the center of this discussion was the 4,409-acre Gregorie Neck property. Located in the heart of the Port Royal Sound watershed, where the Broad River is formed by the confluence of the Coosawhatchie and Tulifiny rivers, it's notable for its 13 miles of shoreline, a diversity of wildlife and a well-managed landscape.

It's also notable because 1.7 miles of Interstate 95 bisects the northern edge of the property, a fact that could have easily resulted in the property being developed for residential, commercial or industrial uses, said Kate Schaefer of the Beaufort-based Open Land Trust.

Councilman York Glover noted that while the money was going into Jasper County, the conservation benefits will flow down the Broad River into Beaufort County.

"The opportunity to protect what we value as a community — water quality, military readiness and wildlife habitat — by contributing local dollars to match state and federal funding opportunities is only possible because the Green Space Program included the opportunity to look outside the county lines," Schaefer said.

Beaufort County

The program is, she said, a game changer for conservation.

When the Gregorie Neck property went on the market in 2023, it was the first time it was changing hands in 30 years. Its future was quite literally hanging in the balance.

A history of firsts

The Green Space Program is evidence of a commitment to conservation by county voters and is the latest in a series of programs oriented toward that goal.

"The people of South Carolina are getting smarter about conservation," observed David Bishop, coastal and midlands conservation director for The Nature Conservancy. "Beaufort County residents have led the way for a long time by willingly taxing themselves to protect land and water."

Conservation funding in the county started with The Rural and Critical Lands Preservation Program, the first dedicated land conservation program in the state. Voters approved a $40 million bond to fund that program in 2002. Four subsequent bond initiatives were approved over the following 17 years, resulting in the protection of approximately 30,000 acres in the county.

Despite the success of the Rural and Critical program, Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, saw a growing problem that required a different solution.

Davis noted that if all homes already permitted for development were built, the number of rooftops in the region would double. That scenario would be, he said, unsustainable. Roads would be overwhelmed and the region's fragile watershed would be degraded.

BEAUFORT — A former employee of a local charitable organization has filed a lawsuit alleging she was fired weeks after she reported misused funds.

Dedriene Green, a former accountant with the Beaufort-Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit March 12 alleging the commission fired her after she made a report to the group’s board of directors and to the state’s Inspector General’s Office.

The Beaufort-Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission’s mission includes the administration of new programs designed to improve the health, education, welfare, housing or employment of residents in Beaufort and Jasper counties.

Green’s complaint alleges that money given to the commission by the United Way was used to cover up other misappropriated funds from the nonprofit’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Community Service Block Grant, which are meant to assist low-income families with home energy bills and other services.

Beaufort County

The complaint did not specify how the money was allegedly misappropriated.

Inspector General Brian Lamkin confirmed that a report had been made to his office. The issue was investigated and referred on to the FBI, he said.

Kevin Wheeler, a public affairs officer with the FBI, declined to confirm or deny if an investigation into the nonprofit is ongoing.

United Way of the Lowcountry is aware of the lawsuit and the allegations, said Wendy Jones, a United Way spokeswoman.

“As this is a legal matter, we are unable to comment at this time,” Jones said. “However, we want to assure you that we take all accusations seriously and will cooperate fully with any investigations.”

Jones also clarified that the funds mentioned in the lawsuit were allocated by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority and distributed regionally through various local United Way affiliates throughout the state.

Green’s complaint and summons present a timeline of events that began Dec. 5, 2022 when Green’s boss, Executive Director James Williams, allegedly accused Green of “disclosing confidential information and reprimanded (her) for telling employees that they would receive a $5,000 bonus from the United Way funds.”

BEAUFORT — A "culture of laxity" within Beaufort County government led to flagrant violations of its spending guidelines, an investigation that spanned months concluded, though the limited report released publicly stopped short of quantifying how much taxpayer money may have been spent inappropriately.

The report referenced only one person by name — Eric Greenway, the vanquished former county administrator. Investigators did not identify any other county staff or elected official suspected of violating county policy.

The findings were discussed before County Council on March 25.

"Several of Beaufort County's staff and elected officials failed to adhere to the county's Procurement Code, P-Card manual and other related guidelines. Some of those failures were egregious and more likely than not were willful," said Boyd Nicholson Jr., managing director of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, the law firm hired by the county to conduct the investigation.

Major procurement code violations identified in the report included three that have been well-documented over the last year, including by The Post and Courier. The county employees principally associated with those three violations were either terminated or resigned.

In his preface to the report, Council Chair Joseph Passiment set expectations for what was about to be heard.

"Council has been briefed on the findings," he said. "They are not good. We did not expect them to be good."

Thousands of documents were reviewed and interviews were conducted with both former and current county employees. County officials, Nicholson said, were fully cooperative and made no effort to "unduly rush our work."

The findings

The county hired Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd in early September. The ensuing investigation required hundreds of hours of work, Passiment said. The findings were compressed into a 2½-page synopsis.

The investigation looked specifically at purchases made through the county's procurement system and those made through its P-Card system, which is generally used for smaller purchases.

Letter raises concerns about contaminated drinking water in parts of Beaufort County

Some Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority customers in parts of Beaufort County received a letter about water quality that left them startled and questioning why it took so long for the utility to notify them.For two quarters during 2023, water South of the Broad River violated a standard for safe drinking, but customers weren’t notified until this month.The letter said tests showed a higher than acceptable level of haloacetic...

Some Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority customers in parts of Beaufort County received a letter about water quality that left them startled and questioning why it took so long for the utility to notify them.

For two quarters during 2023, water South of the Broad River violated a standard for safe drinking, but customers weren’t notified until this month.

The letter said tests showed a higher than acceptable level of haloacetic acid, also known as HAA5.

It says, “Some people who drink water containing haloacetic acids in excess of the [maximum contamination levels] over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.”

Haley Hughes, public education and engagement planner for BJWSA, gave The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette context for the term “many years.”

“We have searched and searched and searched to find a concrete definition of ‘many years,’” Hughes said. “And no one entity has accurately pinpointed what many years means. But in general, we believe we’re talking about 70 years.”

“One exposure, one week, one month of exposure is not what what regulators are concerned about,” said Jeff La Rue, spokesperson for BJWSA.

Posts about BJWSA’s letter drew hundreds of comments on Facebook, with people’s concerns mostly surrounding the cancer risk, the time it took them to be notified and, in some cases, wondering if the water was safe for their pets. No one The Island Packet reached out to was willing to comment on the record by publication time.

“We completely understand that not only are people concerned about themselves ingesting the water, but their pets too,” Hughes said.

HAA5s are five compounds that form when disinfectants react with natural organic material, such as tree branches, leaves or algae, in the water, BJWSA said in the letter.

The maximum contamination level for HAA5 is 0.060 mg per liter, as set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. During the third quarter of 2023, the average level of HAA5 in southern Beaufort County was recorded as 0.061; during the fourth quarter, it was 0.069.

The quarterly tests are averaged together and build upon each other throughout the year in a way similar to how schools average students’ grades over the course of a school year. Because the fourth quarter average was much higher than in previous quarters, BJWSA experts believe something that happened between October and December is the likely cause.

For context, the yearly average of HAA5s for 2023 was 0.044, and it was 0.059 in 2022.

La Rue, the BJWSA spokesperson, pointed to two factors for the increase at the end of 2023: an increased amount of chlorine to fight water discoloration, as detailed in the letter, and a chlorine generator malfunction.

The malfunction meant that BJWSA had to have chlorine trucked in and chlorine concentration levels were likely to fluctuate, La Rue said.

In early December, DHEC collected water samples for the fourth quarter.

After DHEC notified BJWSA that the levels exceeded the maximum contamination level, the utility had 30 days to inform their customers. The timeline and process for notification, including using the mail, was mandated by DHEC, La Rue said.

The letter sent to customers was dated and mailed on Dec. 29 and posted to the BJWSA website on Jan. 11, Hughes said.

“I really want to stress this,” La Rue said. “This is not an emergency. The the public notice is because customers have the right to know that this average went above the threshold of 0.060. Had it been an emergency, we would have notified people customers right away.”

He added: “One milligram per liter is equal to one penny in $10,000. It’s one word out of five Harry Potter books.”

BJWSA has since reduced the amount of chlorine added to the water and replaced the malfunctioning generator. HAA5 levels in the water are below 0.060, La Rue said.

This story was originally published January 24, 2024, 11:53 AM.

Culver’s Restaurant location coming to Beaufort in 2024

The vacant Applebee’s Restaurant along Boundary Street in Beaufort will soon have a new tenant. Culver’s Restaurant will be going into the spot sometime in 2024.A call to Culver’s corporate offices on Tuesday verified that a franchise agreement has been signed for the location at 2338 Boundary Street.Culver’s has been around since its inception in 1984. The first location opened in Sauk City, Wisconsin, under the name “Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers.”Fast forward to to...

The vacant Applebee’s Restaurant along Boundary Street in Beaufort will soon have a new tenant. Culver’s Restaurant will be going into the spot sometime in 2024.

A call to Culver’s corporate offices on Tuesday verified that a franchise agreement has been signed for the location at 2338 Boundary Street.

Culver’s has been around since its inception in 1984. The first location opened in Sauk City, Wisconsin, under the name “Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers.”

Fast forward to today, and it operates primarily in the Midwestern United States, and has a total of 930 restaurants in 26 states as of October 2023, including 9 locations currently in South Carolina. Among these are Summerville, North Charleston and Ladson. Also, close to Beaufort, there are Culver’s Restaurant locations in Pooler and Savannah, Georgia.

Referring to itself as a “fast-casual restaurant”, Culver’s menu offers a variety of lunch and dinner items including its signature ButterBurgers, chicken sandwiches, seafood, salads and more.

It also offers sides incuding fries, onion rings, chili and its popular Wisconsin cheese curds that are provided exclusively to Culver’s by a dairy in Stanley, Wisconsin.

Its dessert menu is where it’s at, with shakes, sundaes, floats and malts offered using its own line of frozen custard.

According to a Culver’s corporate representative, there is no timeline for the location opening. The existing building must first be converted to corporate specs and we were told that “it could take some time for that,” but we can expect it to be completed and opened sometime in 2024.

After opening in 1994, the Beaufort Applebee’s location closed in 2017 during the Boundary Street construction project, with its owner citing a loss of revenue due to the project.

Since then, it was the very short-lived home of Los Gallos Mexican Restaurant, and still bears the Los Gallos signage today.

The news of Culver’s Restaurant in Beaufort comes on the heels of a new Cook Out restaurant also opening on Boundary Street, and also a new Asian Chicken & Boba spot going into Beaufort Town Center, which are both slated for early 2024 openings, as well as the enormous Beaufort Station shopping center project that is also expected to open in late 2024.

Several of the “Best Islands in South Carolina” are found in Beaufort, SC

Southern Living magazine fired off its readers’ poll list of Best Island in South Carolina this month, and, unsurprisingly, four of the ten spots on it are taken by islands here in Beaufort County. Two in the northern end of the county, and two in the southern end.“With 34 barrier and tidal islands peppering its shoreline (more than any other state except for Florida), South Carolina spills over with natural wonders, beautiful beaches, and unique destinations to explore,” SL said. “In our 2024 South’s Bes...

Southern Living magazine fired off its readers’ poll list of Best Island in South Carolina this month, and, unsurprisingly, four of the ten spots on it are taken by islands here in Beaufort County. Two in the northern end of the county, and two in the southern end.

“With 34 barrier and tidal islands peppering its shoreline (more than any other state except for Florida), South Carolina spills over with natural wonders, beautiful beaches, and unique destinations to explore,” SL said. “In our 2024 South’s Best awards, readers voted on some of the very best of them. Here are the best islands in South Carolina, according to our readers.”

Hilton Head came in at #1 on the list, and it’s no big mystery that folks from all over love it there. #7 on the list was our amazing Hunting Island, and we’re quite surprised that it listed as low as #7, but we’re very proud of our local slice of exotic paradise nonetheless.

Daufuskie Island came in at #8, beating out Fripp Island that appeared at #9 on the list.

What Southern Living said:

“With 12 miles of public beaches, more than 24 championship golf courses, and around 250 restaurants, Hilton Head‘s numerical stats alone prove why it’s one of the state’s most beloved islands. But the real magic, of course, belongs to its community—a mix of transplants and born-and-breds who are sure to make you feel right at home, whether you’re sampling local oysters at Hudson’s on the Docks or watching the boats come in at Shelter Cove Marina.”

“Just a 25-minute drive from downtown Beaufort, explore the seaside charmer’s wilder side at Hunting Island State Park (South Carolina’s most popular state park). Here, five miles of unspoiled beaches unfurl along the Atlantic and sandy trails wind through dense maritime forest.”

“As the crow flies, the southernmost of South Carolina’s barrier islands is just miles from Savannah and Hilton Head, but it might as well be worlds away. Daufuskie is accessible only by boat, which is likely one of the reasons its 500 or so residents have been able to so carefully preserve its natural environment and its rich Gullah history. And while the island remains untouched in many ways, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see or do here: Tour the island with sixth-generation Daufuskie native Sallie Ann Robinson for an education in Gullah culture; go for a horseback ride on the beach; shop indigo-dyed goods at Daufuskie Blues; and cap off the day with a plate of deviled crab at Old Daufuskie Crab Company.”

“About 20 miles from Beaufort, Fripp Island is a 3,000-acre designated wildlife sanctuary, home to more than 175 species of birds, plus endangered loggerhead turtles who use its beach as a nesting ground. The private island is accessible only to homeowners and those staying in vacation rentals, but once you’re here, there’s plenty to do, from guided kayak eco-tours to pickleball and golf.”

The full list?

Having four of ten spots here in the Beaufort area is a pretty big deal. Look at it this way, out of all the islands that dot the Palmetto State’s coastline, 40% of Southern Living’s readers polled picked a spot right here in Beaufort County.

That’s definitely a big deal. The islands here in Beaufort are pretty amazing.

See what Southern Living said about them all here.

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