Probate Lawyer in North Charleston, 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 North Charleston, 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 North Charleston, 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 North Charleston, SC
Probate Lawyer North Charleston, 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 North Charleston, 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 North Charleston, 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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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 North Charleston, 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 North Charleston, SC

North Carolina vs. Charleston Southern Game Information

The North Carolina Tar Heels (7-2) will meet the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-6) at 8:00 PM ET on Friday, December 29, 2023. This contest is available via ACC Network.If you're looking to catch this matchup in person, head to Ticketmaster to purchase your tickets!Watch college basketball, other live sports and more on Fubo! ...

The North Carolina Tar Heels (7-2) will meet the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-6) at 8:00 PM ET on Friday, December 29, 2023. This contest is available via ACC Network.

If you're looking to catch this matchup in person, head to Ticketmaster to purchase your tickets!

Watch college basketball, other live sports and more on Fubo! Use our link to sign up for a free trial.

Buy Tickets for Other North Carolina Games

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North Carolina Players to Watch

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Charleston Southern Players to Watch

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North Carolina vs. Charleston Southern Stat Comparison

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South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern Prediction: Spread, Total Points, Moneyline Picks – Saturday, December 16, 2023

The South Carolina Gamecocks (8-1) are heavily favored (by 23 points) to build on a five-game home winning streak when they host the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-6) on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 6:00 PM ET. The over/under in the matchup is set at 133.5.South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern OddsSouth Carolina vs. Charleston Southern Promo Codes...

The South Carolina Gamecocks (8-1) are heavily favored (by 23 points) to build on a five-game home winning streak when they host the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-6) on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 6:00 PM ET. The over/under in the matchup is set at 133.5.

South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern Odds

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Game Time and Information

Who Will Win South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern?

Charleston Southern has not yet covered the spread as an underdog of 23 points or more this season (0-1).

Between them, these two teams average 11.2 more points per game (144.7) than this matchup’s over/under (133.5).

Opponents of these teams have averaged a combined 138.1 points per game, 4.6 more than the point total for this matchup.

The average over/under South Carolina has had set in matchups this season is 6.1 more points than this outing’s point total.

The average total in Buccaneers games this season is 9.7 more points than the point total of 133.5 in this outing.

The Gamecocks have gone 8-1-0 ATS this season.

The Buccaneers are 1-5-1 against the spread this year.

South Carolina outscores opponents by 9.8 points per game (scoring 74.7 per game to rank 185th in college basketball while allowing 64.9 per outing to rank 49th in college basketball) and has a +88 scoring differential overall.

South Carolina wins the rebound battle by 2.4 boards on average. It collects 35.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 241st in college basketball, while its opponents grab 32.8 per contest.

The Gamecocks make 9.4 three-pointers per game (40th in college basketball) at a 38.6% rate (34th in college basketball), compared to the 6.0 per game their opponents make at a 33.5% rate.

South Carolina averages 101.7 points per 100 possessions on offense (58th in college basketball), and allows 88.4 points per 100 possessions (156th in college basketball).

Charleston Southern has a -29 scoring differential, falling short by 3.2 points per game. It is putting up 70.0 points per game, 282nd in college basketball, and is allowing 73.2 per outing to rank 240th in college basketball.

Charleston Southern pulls down 34.3 rebounds per game (274th in college basketball), compared to the 35.3 of its opponents.

Charleston Southern connects on 7.2 three-pointers per game (210th in college basketball) while shooting 34.2% from beyond the arc (146th in college basketball). It is making 2.3 more threes than its opponents, who drain 4.9 per game at 31.0%.

Charleston Southern’s 90.7 points per 100 possessions on offense rank 267th in college basketball, and the 94.9 points it concedes per 100 possessions rank 286th in college basketball.

The Buccaneers are scoring more points at home (79.2 per game) than away (58.5).

The scoring leader for the Gamecocks this season is Meechie Johnson Jr., who averages 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.

B.J. Mack is South Carolina’s leading rebounder, pulling down 5.3 per game, while Ta’Lon Cooper is its best passer, averaging 5.0 assists in each contest.

Johnson leads the Gamecocks in three-point shooting, making an average of 2.4 shots per game from beyond the arc.

The South Carolina steals leader is Johnson, who averages 1.1 takeaways per game, while its blocks leader is Stephen Clark, who compiles 1.2 rejections per contest.

The Buccaneers’ RJ Johnson puts up enough points (18.2 per game) and assists (2.9 per game) to sit atop the squad’s leaderboards.

Taje’ Kelly grabs 8.4 rebounds per game (he also scores 13.9 points per game and adds 2.0 assists per game) which puts him at the top of the Charleston Southern rebounding leaderboard.

Daren Patrick is the top shooter from the three-point line for the Buccaneers, hitting 1.9 threes per game.

Charleston Southern’s leader in steals is A’lahn Sumler (0.7 per game), and its leader in blocks is RJ Duhart (1.0 per game).

South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern Prediction

How to Bet on South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern

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Plan for ‘true downtown’ at old naval base moves forward with North Charleston vote

NORTH CHARLESTON — Without much discussion at the Dec. 14 meeting, City Council voted to approve the contract with developers of the former naval base, taking a crucial step forward in the last few weeks of Mayor Keith Summey’s tenure.The 70-acre waterfront development called Battery Park is poised to become a hub with shopping, entertain...

NORTH CHARLESTON — Without much discussion at the Dec. 14 meeting, City Council voted to approve the contract with developers of the former naval base, taking a crucial step forward in the last few weeks of Mayor Keith Summey’s tenure.

The 70-acre waterfront development called Battery Park is poised to become a hub with shopping, entertainment, restaurants and housing. The project’s timeline extends to 2032.

“The ultimate goal is to create a true downtown,” Summey told reporters the day after the council meeting. “This gives us an opportunity to develop a high-rise downtown area that will gradually work its way back to the Old Village.”

The plans combine a private redevelopment project that began in 2021, called Navy Yard Charleston, with the Battery Park proposal — the same development team is now involved with both projects which will unfold in the northern part of the old naval yard.

In June, City Council voted to begin contract negotiations with developers — Jamestown L.P., WECCO and Weaver Capital Joint Venture — after a committee reviewed seven proposals and the top developers presented plans to council.

It took about six months for the contract to be finalized, according to city spokesman Ryan Johnson. It was first presented to council during a special called meeting on Dec. 4 at which it passed with a 7-3 vote.

The vote remained the same at the Dec. 14 council meeting — Council members Jerome Heyward, Rhonda Jerome and Mike Brown of District 1 once again voted no.

Heyward reiterated the statement he gave 10 days prior. “I’m not against the project, I’m against the process,” he said, adding that there was talk about meeting with the developers ahead of the council meeting, but that did not happen.

The Town of Mount Pleasant is considering a ban on new slab-built single-family homes in flood zones. Also known as “slab-on-grade” or “fill-and-build” construction, the method involves placing homes directly on a concrete slab foundation, which can make those buildings vulnerable to flooding.

The practice can also create a domino effect that impacts adjacent homeowners. When trying to ensure new homes reach a certain elevation above sea level, developers often will raise a plot by importing dirt. That practice, multiplied across an entire development, can dramatically shift the hydrology of an area and worsen flooding. Developers often clear-cut trees and other plant life that help capture and control flood water — further complicating an already problematic situation.

Charleston City Council approved an essentially identical ban in April. It was a years-in-the-making policy that involved input from local environmental organizations and developers, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, one of the ban’s key supporters.

Mount Pleasant’s ban would only bar new slab-built homes in the 100-year floodplain. Those are areas that have a 1 percent probability of flooding in any given year.

The proposed ban would go into effect July 1, six months after Charleston’s takes effect. Katherine Gerling, Mount Pleasant’s floodplain manager, said the proposed timing of the ban was intentional.

“This effective date was chosen to kind of see how the city of Charleston is going to manage their ordinance,” Gerling said at a Dec. 13 meeting of Mount Pleasant’s planning commission, where the proposal was under consideration.

Planning Commission member Adam Ferrara expressed concerns that the ban could make it more difficult to build affordable housing in Mount Pleasant, which has seen rising rents and home costs as a result of a decadeslong population boom. Mount Pleasant’s population has roughly tripled since 1990.

“Just bear in mind, that does kind of go against the narrative of trying to build workforce housing that is single-family,” Ferrara said at the meeting. “That does create a cost burden to builders and to homeowners. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, I’m just saying that is a result of what we’re doing.”

Despite those concerns, the commission passed the measure unanimously. The ban still needs approval from Mount Pleasant Town Council.

Also at the Dec. 13 meeting, planning commission members voted unanimously in support of a measure extending restrictions on new residential construction in Mount Pleasant. Town leaders enacted that measure in 2019 to curb traffic and strain on local resources in the growing suburbs.

“In response to people that said, ‘We need to have all this development because it’s the only way we’re going to keep real estate reasonable,’ — they are wrong,” commission member Kathy Smith said. “That argument only works when the supply and demand curves are in a state of equilibrium. As long as we are net positive in demand in Mount Pleasant, no matter what we do, prices will go up. You can build until your brains blow out, and the prices will go up.”

The proposed ban would extend the restrictions, which would only permit up to 600 new residences annually, until January 2029. The restrictions also still need approval from the full town council.

Each Friday, the Rising Waters newsletter offers insight into the latest environmental issues impacting the Lowcountry and the rest of the South.

Charleston is going to look a lot different in 2050. A booming population and rising sea levels will reshape the city. One new resource could offer a way for local leaders to glimpse the future.

FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation version three, or FUTURES 3.0, allows researchers to play out hypothetical changes in urban growth and migration in response to rising sea levels. First outlined this month in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports, the method uses “spatially interactive” modeling (that is, what happens in one area impacts another) to determine how the city and its surrounding communities could change in coming decades due to flooding and sea-level rise.

In Charleston, the project’s researchers found a sample case with numerous potential variables.

Sea levels in the region are expected to rise 14-18 inches over the next 30 years, federal climate researchers predict. That increased water level will make the region even more prone to flooding.

“The Charleston Metro Area is also growing three times faster than the U.S. average, putting pressure on the city’s infrastructure and capacity to effectively manage coastal flooding,” the study’s authors note.

The city is weighing numerous projects to combat the inundation, from a proposed $1.3 billion sea wall which would encircle the peninsula to a forthcoming tidal and inland study that will examine flooding-related problems in West Ashley and other parts of the city.

Georgina Sanchez, one of the study’s authors, said she hopes the research will provide a helpful road map to city leaders for navigating Charleston’s flooded future.

“The idea is not to say, ‘Here’s a perfect scenario,’ but, rather, providing a tool for exploration (so) we can understand the long-term consequences of our current development choices,” said Sanchez, a research scholar at North Carolina State University’s Center for Geospatial Analytics.

Our public service and investigative reporting is among the most important work we do. It’s also the most expensive reporting we do. We can’t do it without your support.

So what does Charleston’s future look like according to the FUTURES 3.0 forecast?

“A lot of our projections show areas that will be newly developed and subsequently retreat,” Sanchez said. “Why not protect those areas in the first place? It’s a bit less controversial if it’s an area that has not yet been built up.”

That’s a question city leaders are struggling with. Charleston is in the process of updating its zoning codes to help prevent new developments in wetlands and flood-prone areas. But their hands are largely tied when it comes to years-old development “entitlements” — agreements the city signed with developers outlining, among other things, how many homes can be built on a piece of property. If the city backs out of those agreements, it could trigger a lawsuit, even if the developer hasn’t officially broken ground.

Rising Waters

On the other end of the spectrum, researchers also model what a climate change-instigated retreat from Charleston could look like.

Most people (about 76 percent) would stay in the Charleston-Dorchester-Berkeley county region, according to the analysis. They’d just move further inland to escape rising seas, although some would relocate as far as the West Coast. Sanchez said her team plans to analyze “climate-aware” migration patterns more in-depth in the future. She said that data could provide an important planning metric for communities further inland.

“Are these receiving communities prepared to welcome potentially thousands of climate migrants?” she asked.

Sanchez said one of the next steps for the project is to make the open-source framework more accessible to other communities; either through advanced 3D modeling or, in the long run, potentially a 2D computer-based platform.

Charleston Southern at South Carolina odds, tips and betting trends

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The South Carolina Gamecocks (8-1) hope to build on a five-game home winning streak when they host the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-6) on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 6:00 PM ET. In the article below, we analyze the South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern odds and lines ahead of this matchup.

No line has been set yet for the Gamecocks vs. Buccaneers game.

South Carolina’s record against the spread this season is 8-1-0, and Charleston Southern’s is 1-5-1. A total of four out of the Gamecocks’ games this season have gone over the point total, and two of the Buccaneers’ games have gone over.

Ahead of this college hoops matchup, here is what you need to get ready for Saturday’s action.

Check out: USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll

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South Carolina vs. Charleston Southern prediction

South Carolina 82, Charleston Southern 57

Against the spread

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North Charleston takes next step in old Navy Base redevelopment plan

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Redevelopment will soon begin on another large portion of the old North Charleston Navy Base property.If you have visited Riverfront Park in North Charleston, you may have walked across the new pedestrian bridge – sometimes called the bridge to nowhere – but the property on the other side of Noisette Creek will soon no longer be referred to as “nowhere.” ...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Redevelopment will soon begin on another large portion of the old North Charleston Navy Base property.

If you have visited Riverfront Park in North Charleston, you may have walked across the new pedestrian bridge – sometimes called the bridge to nowhere – but the property on the other side of Noisette Creek will soon no longer be referred to as “nowhere.”

“The City of North Charleston (has) been looking to redevelop the Navy Base since the navy base closed in the late 90s. There’s been some successes, some failures – and the latest effort has been—I’ve been working on it for years,” said Adam MacConnell, senior project manager for North Charleston.

North Charleston City Council approved a plan Monday night that would allow Jamestown LLC to redevelop the property that is owned by North Charleston from Virginia Avenue towards the river.

It would be a more than $1 billion project.

“We really wanted to get this done before Mayor Summey left because, really, he came in during the closure of the base and was a huge leader in the region during that time, which was really a crisis for the region,” MacConnell said.

3,000 residential units, including apartments, will be part of the plan.

“For us, it’s an opportunity to create a central business district like a downtown center for North Charleston. A true downtown. We have the old village, and it has been wonderful- it’s a great, great community that is built around there. Other than that, we have Tanger. We have some of the mall areas. But we don’t have a real downtown. And to be able to create a downtown area with waterfront access to the public that has places for people to work, live, to eat, to play.”

State Representatives Marvin Pendarvis and Wendell Gilliard released statements about the plans. They want 30% of the contracts for work to go to minority-owned businesses, and 30% of the residential properties to be affordable housing.

“The agreement that we have provides an aspirational goal of 15% disadvantaged business enterprise participation,” he said,

The agreement provides at least 17% of the units for workforce housing, meaning rent would be kept where people making 120% of the area median income could afford it.

Reps. Pendarvis and Gilliard also want Mayor-elect Reggie Burgess, and the new council, to have a chance to review the plans.

“This project has taken 30 years and it’s going to take 30 more years to build this project out. Every administration from now through the end of this project is going to have an opportunity to put their mark on it,” said Mac Connell.

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