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Charleston Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Estate Planning Basics Everyone Should Know

What are the steps to making an estate plan?

It is estimated that only 40 percent of Americans have an estate plan in place, according to the most recent Gallup polls.  Many younger Americans or those with few assets do not believe they need an estate plan.  Sadly, if they die without any will or other estate plan in place, their families may face delays due to probate, taxation, and uncertainty as to your final wishes.  Everyone, no matter what their age or wealth, should have some form of estate plan so that their heirs, assets, and legacy are protected.  Those just starting off in the estate planning process may be confused as to how to proceed.  Our Charleston, South Carolina wills and trusts lawyers discuss some estate planning basics, including the steps of estate planning below.

Steps to Making an Estate Plan 

Once you have determined that you will create an estate plan, you will want to break down the steps needed to complete the process.  In doing so, the estate planning process can become more manageable and less intimidating.  Follow the steps below:

  1. Define your goals for your estate plan:  Your reasons for making an estate plan will be as unique as you.  Each of us are driven by different goals.  For some people, their primary objective in creating an estate plan is to ensure their minor children are cared for in the event of their death.  Others may worry about keeping the family business alive, while still others may strive to avoid taxation or to maximize their charitable giving. Your goal will impact your estate planning needs.
  2. Make a list of your assets and debts: List your major assets, like your bank accounts, retirement assets, home, and the like.  Also make a list of your significant liabilities, such as your car loan or mortgage.  This information will prove vital to your heirs.
  3. Meet with an estate planning lawyer:  With your goals defined and assets identified, now is the time to meet with an estate planning lawyer.  Your attorney will help you to walk through and clarify whom you want to receive which assets.  After a review of your goals and information, your attorney can then help you identify which legal tools will best help you accomplish your goals. 

At this start of the new year, take the time today to initiate the estate planning process.  Your advance planning now will save your family greatly in the long run.  

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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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