South Carolina End of Life Guide

Advance Directives 

Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to make known your end-of-life care ahead of time. The state of South Carolina recognizes your right to decide the terms of your own medical treatment and to assign a person to make those decisions when you are not able to do so. 

Here are some important questions to consider before beginning this process:

  • Is this document(s) state specific? No

  • Does this document(s) need to be notarized? Yes

  • Does this document(s) require witnesses? If so, how many? Yes / 2

  • Can you legally use Aging With Dignity's 5 Wishes DocYes

In the state of South Carolina, there are two separate forms required for a complete Advance Directive - A Living Will and a Health Care Proxy form. Click below to download these forms:



(Source: South Carolina Lieutenant Governor's Office)

Death With Dignity

Death with Dignity laws allow the dying more control of their death and end-of-life decisions. These laws allow terminally-ill, able-minded state residents to request and receive prescription medication to hasten their death. 

In South Carolina, Death With Dignity legislation has not been passed nor submitted under a House or Senate Bill. 

Designated Funeral Agent

South Carolina law supports the appointment of a designated funeral agent to follow through on your written personal preferences (see below) or make funeral arrangements on your behalf if no written preferences are indicated.

South Carolina Law Section 32-8-315 states that "a person may authorize his or her own cremation and the final disposition of his or her cremated remains by executing a cremation authorization form." In other words, the state-specific form below is solely for authorizing cremation. In other cases where cremation is not preferred, the individual may designate a funeral agent in their will or on a notarized document. 

The appointment of a designated funeral agent will override the next-of-kin's usual authority and let the citizen designate whom he/she wants to control the disposition of his body.


Financial Assistance

South Carolina does not have any burial benefits at state and city level. Only one known coroner's office, Greenville's County Coroner, will absorb the cost of disposition but only for a cremation. 

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in South Carolina. Your family or appointed agent may care for the deceased and handle all your funeral arrangements and necessary paperwork (permits and certificates) without a funeral director.

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on how to navigate home funerals in South Carolina and when it is required to involve a licensed funeral director.

Personal Preference Law

Personal preference laws for body disposition obligate your survivors to follow your written [or verbal] personal preferences. This often goes hand-in-hand with designating a funeral agent to follow through with your funeral or body disposition preferences.

In South Carolina, your personal preferences must be put in writing and notorized.  Be sure to share them with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent.