Probate Lawyer in James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, SC
Probate Lawyer James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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.

Free Consultation

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 James Island, 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 James Island, SC

Charleston Co. moves forward with James Island intersection improvements

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One concerned resident living on James Island says there is a lack of communication on a traffic project that was designed to improve the safety and flow of traffic.The Central Park Road and Riverland Drive Intersection Improvements Project was made to improve the safety and traffic flow of Riverland Drive and Central Park Road for all modes of transportation while minimizing impacts on adjacent property and grand trees. The project officially began in 2018 and is still in the works.More than 11,000 ve...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One concerned resident living on James Island says there is a lack of communication on a traffic project that was designed to improve the safety and flow of traffic.

The Central Park Road and Riverland Drive Intersection Improvements Project was made to improve the safety and traffic flow of Riverland Drive and Central Park Road for all modes of transportation while minimizing impacts on adjacent property and grand trees. The project officially began in 2018 and is still in the works.

More than 11,000 vehicles a day commute on Riverland Drive, according to the Charleston County Transportation Department, and the lack of turn lanes and significant delays have prompted a plan to relieve traffic congestion at the intersection of Riverland Drive and Central Park Road.

The need for more crosswalks, signs and designated areas, frequent accidents, narrow lanes and delays for school traffic are just a few reasons officials say the project is needed. The funding for the project comes from the second half-cent sales tax.

Eric Lundcrum lives on Terrabrook Lane on James Island and says the road hasn’t been upgraded and the growth continues to climb in the area.

Charleston County spokesperson Kelsey Barlow says the county intends to install crosswalks and a flashing light at the Central Park and Riverland intersection. The project will also add a right-turn lane with refuge on Central Park and a sidewalk along Riverland Drive that will extend to the future Woodland Shores sidewalk to the Riverland Drive multi-use path.

“We should have some consideration on completing some of these projects that are way overdue,” Lundcrum says. “The Charleston County Council is always 20 years behind upgrading infrastructure to satisfy the growth. The other solution was just to put a traffic light there, but they didn’t even do that. Year after year of more growth and year after year no solution to the very busy intersection.”

We reached out to officials from Charleston County who told us the South Carolina Department of Transportation has approved the right-of-way plans, and they are currently in the right-of-way acquisition process. They are scheduled to advertise construction in the third quarter of this year. Currently, officials say the project team has made contact with impacted property owners and working with them for the right-of-way acquisition process.

If you know a road that’s driving you crazy, you can submit your concern here.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Magical spot on the Stono: Land conservancy buys $1.5M James Island site for county park

About 24 acres of undeveloped land along the Stono River on James Island will be protected thanks to a partnership between the Open Space Institute and the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.OSI purchased the property, located at the end of Bradham Road, for $1.5 million using a mixture of local, state and federal funds. The deal was set to close Dec. 20.A limited-liability corporation agreed to sell the tract to OSI for well below market value. The property — appraised north of $4 million — likely wou...

About 24 acres of undeveloped land along the Stono River on James Island will be protected thanks to a partnership between the Open Space Institute and the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

OSI purchased the property, located at the end of Bradham Road, for $1.5 million using a mixture of local, state and federal funds. The deal was set to close Dec. 20.

A limited-liability corporation agreed to sell the tract to OSI for well below market value. The property — appraised north of $4 million — likely would’ve been used to build single-family homes, OSI Senior Land Project Manager Patrick Moore said.

The tract, long and skinny like a piano key, is one of many that make up western James Island. Much of this side of the island remains relatively intact, especially along the waterfront.

“When the little (tracts) like this come up, they’re important because there is a bigger picture for them to plug into,” Moore said. “They’re not just one-offs.”

A pond that’s home to redfish and blue crabs stretches almost the entire length of the 24 acres. A path roughly carved through the center provides ample space for trails, and easy public access to the Stono River. The end of the piano key provides stunning marsh views.

And anyone visiting the nearby James Island County Park will be able to quickly access the new park via a sidewalk along Riverland Drive to Bradham Road.

The Terrabrook neighborhood sits between the two parks. Residents have been supportive of the project, Moore said. So have people in the Cross Cut, a historic settlement community around Central Park and Fleming roads.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s Supreme Court heard arguments Feb. 6 over the constitutionality of the firing squad and electric chair as death penalty methods with some justices indicating discomfort with the procedures, especially the firing squad.

Four death row inmates, all convicted murderers, are suing the state Department of Corrections arguing the electric chair violates the state constitution’s prohibition of cruel punishment.

They also contended the firing squad violates prohibitions against unusual or corporal punishment.

During the hearing, the justices additionally seemed to be seeking a middle ground on how much information the department must give to death row inmates, the courts and the public about the drugs used in lethal injection under a recently signed Shield Law.

Thirty-two men are on death row in South Carolina, the corrections department said.

Palmetto Politics

Though South Carolina now has the drugs to carry out a lethal injection execution, the dispute over the other two methods stems from the 12-year period after its last execution in 2011 when the state was unable to obtain them, creating a de facto moratorium.

Drug companies will not sell death penalty drugs to states if their identities could be revealed, fearing public backlash, though South Carolina moved to change that thanks to a 2023 law protecting a company’s identity.

Since 1995, the state’s default method of execution had been lethal injection, though inmates could choose electrocution. In 2021, the governor signed a bill that made electrocution the default death penalty method but gave inmates the choice of firing squad or lethal injection if the drugs were available.

The inmates sued, claiming that with no lethal injection drugs available, they would be forced to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution. Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman agreed with the inmates and found the electric chair and firing squad unconstitutional in September 2022 after a trial in Columbia.

The state appealed, and the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in January 2023 but asked the lower court to investigate whether the state had done all it could to obtain lethal injection drugs.

Meanwhile, Gov. Henry McMaster signed the Shield Law in May, which barred the release of any information that would give away the identity of the companies from which the state purchased lethal injection drugs. In September, McMaster announced the state obtained pentobarbital, a lethal injection drug, and was ready to resume executing the inmates who have exhausted their appeals.

With lethal injection now an available option, the state Supreme Court again took up the question of the constitutionality of the electric chair and firing squad Feb. 6.

Grayson Lambert, a lawyer for McMaster who argued the case for the state, told the court the availability of lethal injection provided them an “off-ramp” to avoid weighing in on the constitutionality of the other two methods because the inmates now have the choice of lethal injection, which their lawyers have conceded is constitutional.

“I don’t think that someone should be able to elect an unconstitutional method,” countered John Blume, a lawyer from the Cornell Death Penalty Project who represents the inmates.

The justices did not skirt the constitutionality issue, pressing Lambert, the state’s lawyer, on how the firing squad would not be an “unusual” punishment as it has never been used in South Carolina and has only been used four times in the United States, all in Utah, since 1960.

Justice John Kittredge, who appeared otherwise skeptical of the circuit court decision — calling it a “scorched-earth order” that was “riddled with errors,” listed statistics about how rare the firing squad has been used in American executions during the last century.

Chief Justice Don Beatty asked pointedly whether it would be constitutional to bring back hanging.

The firing squad is a long-established method elsewhere in the U.S. and hasn’t been totally discarded, Lambert said. It’s gaining some popularity as some inmates across the country argue it’s less cruel because it kills almost instantly, Lambert added.

Lambert blasted the circuit court for finding that electrocution was unconstitutionally cruel.

In the 1970s when the Legislature last rewrote the state constitution, it included capital punishment, Lambert said. At the time, the only form of execution allowed was electrocution. That shows the legislature clearly intended to allow the electric chair, Lambert argued.

As to its cruelty, Lambert said the experts the inmates’ lawyers called in the trial never proved that someone being electrocuted would feel excruciating pain as their body is essentially cooked rather than being knocked insensate immediately. The inmates’ experts only proved that it was possible, which wasn’t enough to meet their burden of proof, Lambert said.

Blume said the reason the experts could not definitively prove inmates would suffer several seconds of intense pain was because scientists cannot ethically conduct lethal electrocution experiments on humans.

While the definition of cruel hasn’t changed, Blume told the high court, “it’s what we know about electrocution that has changed, and that means you have to reevaluate what’s cruel.”

Blume also asked the court to order the Department of Corrections make more information available to the courts and the inmates about the drug they plan to use to kill the inmates. Currently, the department has only revealed that the drug is pentobarbital and the dosage that they’ll use, citing the Shield Law.

Palmetto Politics

“If too much is disclosed or disclosed in the wrong way, it will thwart the efforts of SCDC moving forward to obtain the drugs, and lethal injection will once again become unavailable,” Lambert warned.

Palmetto Politics

The justices seemed to favor a bit more disclosure.

“Seems to me they don’t want to give you anything. Seems to me, even though you probably won’t acknowledge it, you want everything,” Kittredge told Blume. “Help us with a framework that would be somewhere in between.”

A decision is expected later.

Johns Island welcomes California luxury hotel company

Charleston remains a popular destination, and the city’s expanding luxury hotel scene reflects that trend.California-based Auberge Resorts Collection plans to debut its first planned luxury hotel in South Carolina come 2024 in the form of The Dunlin, located within the Kiawah River master-planned community on Johns Island.In partnership with real estate developer The Be...

Charleston remains a popular destination, and the city’s expanding luxury hotel scene reflects that trend.

California-based Auberge Resorts Collection plans to debut its first planned luxury hotel in South Carolina come 2024 in the form of The Dunlin, located within the Kiawah River master-planned community on Johns Island.

In partnership with real estate developer The Beach Co. and private investment and management company McNair Interests, the project is set to have a January groundbreaking.

“The Dunlin will offer an unforgettable escape where guests can immerse themselves in the pristine natural setting of Johns Island and the culturally rich attractions of Charleston,” Auberge Chairman Dan Friedkin said in a statement.

The Dunlin property will include 72 cottage-style guest rooms and suites and 19 villas, as well as a main lodge and porch, great rooms and a library lounge. Amenities encompass a pool with cabanas, full-service spa, community farmstead, and access to the community’s Spring House riverfront swim and fitness facilities.

A riverfront restaurant with outdoor deck will also be available, as will two event spaces, including a 10,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor event hall.

“We are pleased to partner with Auberge Resorts Collection to create The Dunlin, which will be one of the most remarkable new resorts in the country,” Beach Co. CEO John Darby said. “Auberge has a terrific track record of creating the most unique hospitality experiences in the world, and this endeavor’s intimate setting will bring highly personalized service with a coastal experience inspired by the local environment.”

Built into the Kiawah River community, which puts emphasis in natural surrounding elements, The Dunlin will consist of 2,000 acres of land with 20 miles of riverfront nature trails and marshlands. Guests will be able to participate in nature excursions on the property, including fly fishing, crabbing and boating, as well as paddle boarding, hiking and biking.

Architect Robert Glazier was chosen to design the resort, and Amanda Lindroth of Lindroth Design will lead the interior design of the property.

Construction financing was provided by United Bank’s Charleston offices.

Auberge Resorts Collection has 22 other hotels and resorts across the globe, recently winning accolades from Travel & Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best and Conde Nast’s 2021 Readers’ Choice awards.

SCHSL realignment bumps up James Island, Beckham, Oceanside, Bishop England

The S.C. High School League has released its preliminary realignment of member schools for 2024-26, a plan that includes the league’s multiplier formula to address competitive balance between traditional public schools and private/charter schools.The preliminary plan includes dividing schools into five classifications based on student enrollment, but does not yet include regions. The enrollment numbers include a multiplier of 3.0 applied to students from grades 9-11 who live outside a school’s assigned attendance zone. Rea...

The S.C. High School League has released its preliminary realignment of member schools for 2024-26, a plan that includes the league’s multiplier formula to address competitive balance between traditional public schools and private/charter schools.

The preliminary plan includes dividing schools into five classifications based on student enrollment, but does not yet include regions. The enrollment numbers include a multiplier of 3.0 applied to students from grades 9-11 who live outside a school’s assigned attendance zone. Realignment appeals will be heard next month.

Among the Charleston-area schools that will be on the move for 2024-26 are:

• James Island Charter and Lucy Beckham, which move from Class AAAA to AAAAA. James Island now ranks 16th among AAAAA schools with 1,968 students, and Beckham is No. 50 with 1,450 students.

James Island officials said the school will appeal its placement, but had no further comment.

The SCHSL plans to divide Class AAAAA into two divisions for playoffs in 2024-26, crowing two state champions in each sport. Seven of the top 16 schools in AAAAA are in the Charleston area: No. 3 Summerville (2,623), No. 6 Stratford (2,312), No. 7 Ashley Ridge (2,300), No. 12 Wando (2,100), No. 14 Cane Bay (1,980) and No. 16 James Island.

• Bishop England, a private school on Daniel Island, which moves from Class AA all the way up to AAAA with an enrollment figure of 1,099 students. The closest AAAA schools to Bishop England in the realignment include May River, Bluffton, Beaufort, Colleton County and Hilton Head.

Gray Collegiate, a charter school in the Columbia area and the focus of much competitive-balance debate, moves from AA to AAAA with 1,296 students. And Christ Church, a private school powerhouse in the Greenville area, goes from Class A to AAAA with 952 students.

• Oceanside Collegiate of Mount Pleasant, a sister charter school to Gray Collegiate, moves from Class AA to Class AAA with 814 students using the 3.0 multiplier. OCA was listed with 500 students in grades 9-11 last year. Charleston Math & Science moves from Class A to AAA with 672 students.

South Carolina’s Shrine Bowl team broke open a tight game in the second half and posted a 24-0 shutout of their counterparts from North Carolina in the 87th Shrine Bowl all-star football game at Spartanburg High School.

James Island punter/placekicker Coleman Franzone scored six points in the game, booting a 33-yard field goal and three extra points. Franzone also punted six times for a 36.7-yard average with a long of 43 yards.

Franzone’s field goal in the first quarter was the only score of the first half. The Sandlappers scored a touchdown in the third quarter and posted two scores in the final period.

Summerville’s Yannick Smith, a wide receiver currently committed to East Carolina, caught three passes for 46 yards in the game.

Smith was part of a talented wide receiver position for the SC squad.

Tennessee commit Braylon Staley of Strom Thurmond caught three passes for 62 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown reception. North Carolina State commit Christian Zachary of Calhoun County had 63 receiving yards and a 43-yard score. Georgia State commit Avery McFadden of Hillcrest caught three passes for 55 yards.

Other local players on the SC squad included Lucy Beckham tight end Bryce Rothwell, West Ashley linebacker Terry Grant and Philip Simmons defensive back Troy Stevenson.

Rock Hill quarterback Matthew Wilson, headed to Appalachian State, was the offensive most valuable player for South Carolina. Wilson completed 8 of 14 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

Santwan Nelson of South Pointe was the S.C. defensive most valuable player.

The Sandlappers dominated the game defensively, yielding only 49 total yards in the game. That included -7 yards in the passing game.

South Carolina rolled up 363 total yards. The running game was paced by Midland Valley’s Traveon Dunbar, who rushed for 76 yards and a 2-yard score to seal the game with under two minutes to play.

“Hat’s off to the entire team,” S.C. head coach Wayne Farmer of Calhoun County said. “Offense came out and put some points up in the second half and the defense was just great all game long.”

Art Craig remembers seeing Isaiah Perrin walking around the halls at Timberland High School and wondering why the big fella wasn’t playing football.

At the time, Perrin was about 6-foot-3 and tipped the scales at around 270 pounds. Craig thought he’d make a great offensive lineman.

Perrin, as it turned out, was more interested in becoming the next Tiger Woods.

“Isaiah was a huge golfer and really didn’t think about playing football,” Craig said. “We finally talked him into coming out for the football team and he was a three-year starter for us.”

Perrin, 34, grew to love the game and on Thursday was named the head football coach at Wando High School.

Perrin takes over for Rocco Adrian, who resigned in October after four seasons as head coach with the Warriors. Adrian went 8-28 at Wando.

Perrin served as the offensive coordinator for Stratford High School this past season, but has had stops at Wilson, Swansea, Lower Richland and Timberland as an assistant coach.

“Isaiah is a real student of the game,” Craig said. “I think he’s going to do a great job at Wando. He’s going to be able to relate to his players and I know they will love playing for him.”

Perrin said facing the Warriors during the regular season convinced him that the Mount Pleasant school has the potential to be a winning program.

“Seeing these guys and how they played us during region play made me want to come here,” said Perrin, who served as the head golf coach at Stratford for two years. “They were relentless in their effort. I think that’s something that we can build on. They have great facilities and a community that wants these guys to win. There’s a lot of potential here.”

As the S.C. High School League prepares to reclassify member schools for the 2024-2026 school years, the league has set new guidelines for the realignment.

Among those guidelines, determined by unanimous vote of the the league’s reclassification committee, is dividing Class AAAAA, made up of the state’s largest high schools, into two divisions for playoffs. Two AAAAA state champions will be recognized in each sport.

The committee “recommends that AAAAA be split, by enrollment, in all sports for playoffs leading to two State Championships within that classification due to the number of schools coupled with the large disparity in enrollment sizes within the classification,” reads a memo sent by commissioner Jerome Singleton to member superintendents, principals and athletic directors this week.

The AAAAA split should help schools at the lower end of the SCHSL’s largest schools, said Cane Bay athletic director Brian Swiney.

“I feel that the two Division format is going to be a good thing for the AAAAA class. You are always going to have a big number difference in the enrollment of the largest school to the smallest, especially in AAAAA,” he said. “This gives teams towards the smaller end of the class a chance to compete for a state championship.

“The biggest challenge now will be determining how the playoffs will work in each of the sports. I think that you will see the best teams qualify and then those schools be split up based on enrollment. All of that should come to light when the ADs meet in March. ”

The committee also ruled that Class AAAAA will include no fewer than 52 schools and no more than 60 for 2024-26.

In other classes:

• AAAA will have no fewer than 38 and no more than 46 members.

• AAA will have no fewer than 38 and no more than 46 schools.

• AA will have no fewer than 36 and no more than 44 members.

• And Class A will have no fewer than 42 and no more than 50.

In the last realignment, for 2022-24, there were 36 schools in AAAAA; 41 in AAAA; 43 in AAA; 44 in AA; and 55 in Class A.

Johns Island residents react to ‘Northern Pitchfork’ project plan

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Those who live on or travel through Johns Island say they have mixed feelings about a new road designed to connect Maybank Highway to two other roadways.Work is continuing on what is called the Northern Pitchfork, which will connect Maybank Highway to Fenwick Hall Allee and River Road. That work will require lane closures from 9 a.m. ...

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Those who live on or travel through Johns Island say they have mixed feelings about a new road designed to connect Maybank Highway to two other roadways.

Work is continuing on what is called the Northern Pitchfork, which will connect Maybank Highway to Fenwick Hall Allee and River Road. That work will require lane closures from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday on Maybank Highway at River Road.

Some residents are hopeful it can be part of a solution for what they say is horrendous traffic but others say it’s just a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.

There is also frustration surrounding the daytime lane closures for Friday, as residents believe it will be a nightmare, and the work should be done overnight instead.

Charleston County Construction Project Manager Sheila Parker said this has to get done in a specific window of time and they don’t want project delays. The new road is something the city and county have been working on bringing to life for years, with the goal of alleviating congestion and moving traffic along on the island.

“People coming off of James Island onto Johns Island using the Maybank Highway corridor will be able to take the Northern Pitchfork road and kind of bypass the Maybank Highway and River Road traffic light,” Parker explained

Byhira Thorn, who frequents the island often, said she thinks the new road will cause confusion for drivers, and it’s not addressing the root issue.

“I think another lane in general needs to be added,” Thorn said. “I mean, they did it with the bridge which was awesome, but they need to do it with the island. The island itself all around, roads need to be doubled for sure.”

Johns Island resident Kristin Nolan said she hopes this will help, but wishes it was done sooner.

“First of all, I think they should have thought about this before all of the building that went on and the extra light that was put here,” Nolan said. “I feel bad for people that go to James Island in the morning if Maybank and River are backed up for miles.”

Earlier this month, Charleston leaders said they are working on a $30-million project to improve traffic on Johns Island, part of which includes widening Maybank Highway to four lanes from River Road to the Stono River Bridge. But funding for that has yet to be nailed down and those plans are years away.

The construction on Friday is weather-dependent and drivers are asked to use caution while driving through the area.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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