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Charleston Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Monday, October 29, 2018

Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes

What might happen if I die without a will in South Carolina?

Estate planning is a task that many of us put off year after year.  Creating an estate plan requires answering difficult questions about your desires for your family after your death.  In making an estate plan, you are forced to confront your own mortality, which many of us are loathe to do.  However, not making an estate plan is one of the greatest mistakes you can make.  Our Charleston, South Carolina will and trust lawyers discuss the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to estate planning below.

Mistake #1:  Not Creating an Estate Plan

By far the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to estate planning is not making an estate plan at all.  Most people who die without an estate plan simply kept procrastinating.  Rarely is death expected or planned for.  If you pass away without an estate plan in place, your estate will need to go through probate and will be distributed per the law of intestacy. It will become diminished by fees and court costs, and may go to individuals whom you would not have selected.

Mistake #2:  DIY Estate Planning

It may be tempting to go online and print off a will that you found on Google, but doing so could cost you greatly in the long run.  Your will must comply with formal state requirements or it will not be honored by the court.  Further, even if accepted, it is unlikely your basic, standard form Last Will and Testament adequately discusses your end of life wishes. Much more than a will is necessary to fully protect you and your loved ones when it comes to end of life planning.

Mistake #3:  Making Only a Will

A Last Will and Testament is often the first estate planning document you will create, but rarely should it be the last.  Along with a will, you should at the least have in place a living will and powers of attorney.  A living will specifies what type of medical care you want to receive if you are near death. Without this document, your loved ones are stuck making this difficult choice.  Further, a power of attorney for healthcare and finances allows your named loved one to get you the care needed and manage your finances if you become incapacitated.  Many individuals will additionally benefit from creation of one or more revocable trusts.

Do not leave your legacy in the hands of the court.  Take the time now to consult with an estate planning attorney to start creating a thorough estate plan that will protect your loved ones.


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Wiles Law Firm, LLC helps clients with their estate planning needs in Charleston, South Carolina and the surrounding areas such as West Ashley, Summerville, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and John's Island.

Information on this website is not legal advice. Further, viewing of the enclosed information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Wiles Law Firm, LLC. Matters will be handled by attorneys who primarily practice out of our office in Charleston County located at 852 Lowcountry Blvd., Ste. 101, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. M. Emerson Wiles, III is the attorney responsible for this advertisement.

Any result Wiles Law Firm, LLC may achieve on behalf of one client in one particular matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. Please contact a South Carolina estate planning attorney or one of our attorneys with Wiles Law Firm, LLC for a consultation regarding your unique estate plan.

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