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Bluffton South Carolina Estate Planning Law Blog

Trusts can be set in stone or changeable in the future

"It's all for the children." That's what smart landowners and wealth managers say. You should think of what you own as something you give as your legacy. It is all something you are holding in trust for your successors.

A trust is exactly what a lot of people use to preserve value for future generations when it comes to family estates, business holdings and a variety of other assets or financial instruments. And the people who may or will inherit these things are called the beneficiaries.

It may be time to update your will

There are a lot of things in life that we never get around to doing. As we age, we often acknowledge that the time to do something and enjoy it has probably passed. But one thing never goes out of style, and often becomes more relevant as we get older and wealthier.

Writing a will is often a difficult subject to approach. We never want to think too much about the end of our own lives. But our children and other people we leave behind are why we write a will and consider updating it often. In fact, having a child or grandchild is a good reason to start the process.

Life and death questions: Choosing your medical power of attorney

Who can you trust in a life or death situation?

That's basically the question you have to ask yourself when you're picking someone to hold your medical power of attorney (POA). If the day comes when you're not able to speak for yourself, whom do you trust to speak for you on issues like whether to try a risky surgical procedure or when to extend your life via artificial means (and when to stop)?

Should you update your will when you move to a new state?

Many legal analysts recommend that individuals not hold off in drafting their wills until they're advanced in age. It's common for people to do so, though. Many would-be testators wait until they're about to retire to draft their wills. They then often pick up and move to another state. What many of these retirees don't stop and take time to do when they get settled in their new home is to revisit their wills. It's critical that they do so, though.

Most wills will hold up across state lines. Even still, there are some instances in which you may have to redraft your will to comply with the laws in your new state.

Terms matter when you are writing a trust

South Carolina law allows people with assets to create trusts that protect them. A trust can have many functions, such as conferring ownership of homes and other valuable properties to people before they would be included in a will. They can also protect the value in assets for future generations and benevolent causes.

The beneficiary is perhaps the most important part of a trust, as this person or organization is more or less the reason that a trust exists. This entity has a vested interest in the trust and the value contained in it, either now or in the future based on the terms of a trust.

What are the estate laws that matter to my will?

When it comes to estate planning, no one wants to waste time but no one wants to get things wrong. Although the disposition of properties and assets at the end of life may not be the most important decision, it is one of the most lasting we will ever make.

  • Do estate taxes apply in South Carolina?

Although federal guidelines apply to estate taxation, South Carolina is one of several states that have no estate tax. This is partially because the Palmetto State has one of the highest rates of state income tax in the United States. The government in Columbia also has no gift tax, although federal guidelines require taxes on gifts above $15,000.

  • Who should write a will?

Revocable and irrevocable trusts are both options

The most important decisions in life are often so vital because they cannot be unmade. Marriages, births and other commitments are for life. Even when marriages end, children or assets from them can last far longer. Many of those consequences, whether they are considered good or bad, are thing with which people simply have to live.

When it comes to estate planning, however, some important decisions can be unmade. People often shelter assets and value in trusts, which are designed to preserve them for beneficiaries. There are two basic types of trusts like this. One is a revocable trust, and the other is an irrevocable trust.

What is involved in making a will in South Carolina?

Life can be simpler in South Carolina than many other places, but that does not mean that death is simpler as well. The passing of a person is always sad, but it can also be complicated for families and other people left behind if the person left no will. This is why adults of all ages should consider the security brought with a good estate plan.

Who is allowed to make a will in South Carolina?

Living trusts can protect assets as part of an estate

Is it time to plan your estate? If you can wonder whether or not you should, it's probably time to do it. Anyone with a family, a job, causes to support or any other connection in life wants to know that these valued people and entities are getting what you want them to have.

A trust is a good way to protect specific assets, especially when they are of high value like heirloom properties and other real estate. A living trust can transfer these assets to other people during your lifetime while you continue to use or have access to them. This can save taxes and troubles after a previous owner dies.

Reasons to consider a living trust

Many people in South Carolina and throughout the nation procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. This is because it can be uncomfortable for individuals to contemplate their own mortality. However, it can be in a person's best interest to create a revocable living trust as soon as possible. As the name implies, the trust is in force while a person is still alive, and its terms can be changed at almost any time.

One of the key benefits of a living trust is that it can help assets avoid probate. This means that an estate can be settled in a timely manner, and it may also allow an individual to keep financial information hidden from the public. The probate process is a matter of public record, and the same is true of any will that is presented to a probate judge.

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