The S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program is sponsoring Legal Lessons: A Series for the Public, a seven-week program designed to give the public an overview of the South Carolina legal system and insight into common legal problems people face.
The series will be held on Monday evenings beginning March 4 and continuing through April 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. Classes will be held at Piedmont Technical College located at 620 N. Emerald Rd. in Greenwood.
Tripp Padgett, who has spoken on real estate law for the past five years, says that the classes provide an opportunity for people to learn things that could make their lives easier down the line.
“One thing about the classes is you’re able to tell people something that they don’t know that can really help them,” Padgett said. “As soon as you tell the class, they go tell their friends. It has an exponential effect.”
Padgett said the classes allow to him to help more people at one time and educate them about options of which they may be unaware. One example is the deeds which married couples have on their property. Padgett says that many couples are listed as common tenants on the deed. When one of them dies, the property will have to go through probate.
One way to avoid going through the probate process is change the deed to a survivorship deed, which will automatically transfer the deceased spouse’s half of the property to the living spouse. Padgett cautions, however, that each family’s case is different and should be discussed with an attorney prior to making changes.
Padgett also noted that many people are unaware of what under-insured motorist coverage is and how it benefits them. Under-insured motorist coverage protects people who are the victims of an accident when the at-fault party’s insurance coverage runs out. The state minimum for coverage in South Carolina is $25,000. The medical bills resulting from a car accident could easily exceed that, Padgett says.
The deadline to enroll is Monday, Feb. 25. The cost of the seven-week course is $45 and includes course materials. To register, call (864) 941-8400. For all other questions, contact the S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program at (803) 799-6653, ext. 158.