Many estate owners in South Carolina have heard that they should have a living will. However, they may not be fully clear about what this document represents. A living will is also called an advance health care directive. This document provides specific details about how a person's health care needs should be addressed if he or she is incapacitated and unable to make decisions about treatment. It can be a complex and emotionally challenging process to draft a living will because people will need to consider difficult topics about death or serious illness throughout the process.
Trusts have helped many people in South Carolina plan for the future. By creating a trust, people can develop a plan that not only cares for their assets at the present time but can distribute them after death. Trusts give people much greater levels of control and flexibility in determining how their assets will be handled after they pass away. They allow people to make plans for legacies of generational wealth or create a mechanism for charitable giving and philanthropy. In addition, people who create trusts have much higher levels of privacy, as they are not considered public documents and do not go through the probate process.
People in South Carolina who have young children should not limit their estate plan to just a will. In order to ensure that the assets they set aside for their children will be properly managed, the inclusion of a trust is necessary. A trust can be used to manage the assets so that they can be long-term resources for the intended beneficiaries.
Estate plans can help anyone protect assets or ensure that his or her final wishes are carried out. However, those who own businesses in South Carolina or anywhere else should have an estate plan in place to protect their companies. Creating a plan may help ensure that the surviving spouse will have the financial resources that he or she needs after the business owner dies or becomes incapacitated.
When people in South Carolina make a will, they may know just how important it is to keep a signed copy of this key estate document safe and secure. People make wills to determine how their assets will be distributed after they pass away. By planning for the future, they can specify the use of their property without relying on the state law standards. Estate planning is especially important for wealthy people, but it can help people of any means. Family members will find that dividing assets is an easier process if a clear, legal will is available, and they will generally spend less time and money in probate court.
People in South Carolina who are using a trust in their estate plan may also want to create a pour-over will. The purpose of a pour-over will is to place all assets not already in the trust or passed using other methods, such as beneficiary designations, into the trust.
People in South Carolina who fail to regularly review their estate plan may do so for various reasons. They may be reluctant to talk about death or may be intimated by the complex documents or tax laws. However, an estate plan that is not properly up to date may not be efficient enough to ensure the assets of an estate are distributed as preferred by the estate's owner.
When a South Carolina resident is creating an estate plan, there are many specifics to consider. For example, it's important to choose the right people for estate planning roles. One common problem is that multiple people may be appointed for responsibilities that overlap. This and other errors may cause conflict.
The first month of the year is a great time for South Carolina residents and others to get their lives in order. For example, it can be a great time to create a savings account or finally get serious about meeting fitness goals. It can also be a great time to get serious about creating an estate plan. Ideally, a plan will include a will that dictates where assets go after a person dies.
South Carolina residents who are creating estate plans should watch out for several common errors. For example, some estate owners forget to leave information where it can be easily found by executors or beneficiaries. It is best to make a complete list of all assets and their locations. This includes mortgage paperwork, information on bank accounts and paperwork associated with insurance policies. There are also sentimental assets that a person might want to identify. Furthermore, estate owners should not neglect digital assets.