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ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, SPECIAL NEEDS AND ELDER LAW

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Estate Planning

In South Carolina

There is a common misconception that you only need to consider estate planning if you are a senior citizen or extremely wealthy; a related myth is that estate planning only matters at death. The truth is that individuals of all ages, family situations, and backgrounds can benefit from executing some essential documents, many of which offer advantages during your lifetime. Planning for the unexpected in life is just as important as implementing a strategy for handling your final affairs.

Our team at A Business Law Firm, LLC understands that estate planning and considering your mortality can be an uncomfortable topic. However, the conversation is necessary if you want to protect your interests and alleviate hurdles for your loved ones. Our estate planning lawyer can explain details, but some general information may be helpful. Please get in touch with our office to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options.

Objectives of Estate Planning

There are multiple objectives you can identify and achieve through the estate planning process, including:

  • Naming someone to act as your agent if you become incapacitated, so this person steps into your shoes to manage financial matters and make medical decisions, through powers of attorney
  • Inform your loved ones about your wishes for life-saving treatment and end-of-life care
  • Determining how to distribute your real estate and personal property upon your passing
  • Designating someone to act as guardian of minor children
  • Appointing a person to handle your final affairs, such as gathering assets, distributing bequests to beneficiaries, and paying creditors
  • Avoiding the probate process, partly or entirely
  • Minimizing the potential for conflict among your loved ones when you die or if you become incapacitated
  • Protecting assets
  • Protecting elderly family members as they need additional care
  • Protecting and providing for a loved one with special needs, such as guardianships and conservatorships
  • Leveraging tax laws

Strategies for Achieving Your Estate Planning Goals

You might be surprised to learn that it is possible to accomplish some or all of these objectives with a comprehensive, custom-tailored estate plan. Our estate planning attorneys at The Law Firm will guide you through the process, which starts with an in-depth analysis of your circumstances. We seek to pinpoint and prioritize your objectives, including those listed above and others. From there, we can recommend an estate plan that incorporates:

  • Power of attorney for financial matters
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Last will and testament.
  • Revocable or revocable trusts.
  • Special needs trust
  • Structures for asset protection and tax planning.

While this information helps describe your options, you will need personalized advice on developing a comprehensive estate planning strategy that suits your unique circumstances. To learn more, please contact the Firm to set up a consultation with a Spartanburg, SC estate planning attorney. Once we review your situation and understand your goals, we can assist with drafting and executing the essential documents.

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Probate Administration

A Business Law Firm offers Probate services. Our firm can help you as you are serving as Personal Representative to manage the probate administration process for simple or complex estates and relieve the burden of appearing at court proceedings.

Litigation

We also offer probate litigation services. We handle issues such as will contests, defending a will, dealing with elective shares, etc. We are here to support you through probate litigation.

Guardianship

Guardianships and Conservatorships

This is protective proceedings administered by the Probate Court to protect a vulnerable adult. A guardianship is used for medical well-being and day-to-day needs while a conservatorship is used for financial reasons.

These proceedings are needed for an incapacitated adult. Examples would include a minor who is turning 18 that is incapacitated, a person who has a TBI from an accident, or an elderly person with dementia.

You can need a guardianship and a conservatorship at the same time, or some situations may just require one or the other. You may bring a guardianship and conservatorship at the same time.

The person wanting to be the guardian and conservator must file a Petition with the Probate Court. It requires a SLED check, a possible credit check, and a doctor’s affidavit (examiner’s report). The Petition must be served on the incapacitated person with a notice of right of counsel. Counsel is appointed for all, as well as a GAL (Guardian Ad Litem). A hearing is held on the merits to determine the case.

At A Business Law Firm, we are here to help you through the guardianship or conservatorship process.