2020 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 62 - South Carolina Probate Code
Article 7 - South Carolina Trust Code
Section 62-7-401. Methods of creating trust.
(a)(1) A trust described in Section 62-7-102 may be created by:
(i) transfer of property to another person as trustee during the settlor's lifetime or by will or other disposition taking effect upon the settlor's death;
(ii) written declaration signed by the owner of property that the owner holds identifiable property as trustee; or
(iii) exercise of a power of appointment in favor of a trustee.
(2) To be valid, a trust of real property, created by transfer in trust or by declaration of trust, must be proved by some writing signed by the party creating the trust. A transfer in trust of personal property does not require written evidence, but must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, pursuant to Section 62-7-407.
(b) A trust that arises by act or operation of law does not require the existence of a writing.
(c) A revocable inter vivos trust may be created either by declaration of trust or by a transfer of property and is not rendered invalid because the settler retains substantial control over the trust including, but not limited to, (i) a right of revocation, (ii) substantial beneficial interests in the trust, or (iii) the power to control investments or reinvestments. This subsection does not prevent a finding that a revocable inter vivos trust, enforceable for other purposes, is illusory for purposes of determining a spouse's elective share rights pursuant to Article 2, Title 62. A finding that a revocable inter vivos trust is illusory and thus invalid for purposes of determining a spouse's elective share rights pursuant to Article 2, Title 62 does not render that revocable inter vivos trust invalid, but allows inclusion of the trust assets as part of the probate estate of the settlor only for the purpose of calculating the elective share. In that event, the trust property that passes or has passed to the surviving spouse, including a beneficial interest of the surviving spouse in that trust property, must be applied first to satisfy the elective share and to reduce contributions due from other recipient of transfers including the probate estate, and the trust assets are available for satisfaction of the elective share only to any remaining extent necessary pursuant to Section 62-2-207.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 66, Section 1; 2010 Act No. 181, Section 2, eff May 28, 2010; 2013 Act No. 100, Section 2, eff January 1, 2014.
Effect of Amendment
The 2010 amendment rewrote subsection (c) to include a surviving spouse's beneficial interests in trust property in calculating the elective share.
The 2013 amendment rewrote subsections (a) and (b).