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In re Estate of Holden

South Carolina Supreme Court
539 S.E.2d 703 (2000)


William Holden, Sr. (William), died intestate, survived by his wife, Julia Holden; his two sons, William Holden, Jr. (plaintiff), and Robert Holden (the sons); and two grandchildren. The sons filed disclaimers of their interests in William’s estate. The sons’ attorney filed a letter accompanying the disclaimers, stating the sons’ intention that their disclaimers were so the property would go to Julia. The probate court informed the estate’s personal representative that after the disclaimers, a portion of the estate would go to the grandchildren. As a result, the sons filed a “Revocation and Withdrawal of Disclaimer.” The probate court appointed a guardian ad litem (defendant) for the grandchildren and found the sons’ disclaimers to be valid and the revocations to be invalid. The court found that half of the estate would go to the grandchildren. The circuit court reversed, finding that the disclaimers were invalid due to inconsistency with the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, under the code, a qualified disclaimer was valid for tax purposes if the disclaimed interest passed without any direction from the disclaimant. The court of appeals reversed, finding that the disclaimers were valid under the code. The sons appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burnett, J.)

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