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North Charleston Estate Planning Attorney

man who created a family LLC in North Charleston

North Charleston, like much of South Carolina, is full of historic landmarks and beautiful views. Charleston Harbor is a scenic inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, welcoming guests and trade. Throughout the city, there are a number of well-preserved antebellum plantations that bring the past to life, like Middleton Place which now serves as an inn, Drayton Hall, and Audubon Swamp Garden. Though reminders of the Civil War are most prevalent to those seeking to explore America’s noble and tragic past, there are also remains from pre-Revolutionary times, like Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site. At Dorchester there are not only some remaining original structures, but fascinating ruins open for exploration. The site is home to guided tours and archaeological digs. Besides its other attractions, North Charleston has an abundance of parks, both those full of gorgeous magnolias and Spanish moss and those catering to guests who want to ride waterslides and go-karts. For those who live here and those who visit, North Charleston is a family-friendly location.

Charming as North Charleston may be, however, we all know, families need more than pretty places, historical sites, and entertainment venues to thrive. Families must also plan for the future. Estate planning, though sometimes mistakenly thought of as planning for death, is really about planning for providing for loved ones’ educations, for retirement, for business succession, and for asset protection. In North Charleston, the place to go for experienced estate planning legal counsel is Wiles Law Firm, LLC. 

At Wiles Law Firm we pride ourselves on giving each client individualized attention in order to meet his or her particular needs. We are dedicated to finding the right combination of well-proven and innovative methods to protect you and your family. Our firm of highly skilled attorneys uses many estate planning tools. One important one is a Family LLC which can assist you in protecting your assets while also helping you plan for the future.

Reasons for Creating Family LLCs

In a large number of cases, Family LLCs are created to protect a family business. In such cases, the Family LLC enables family members to separate their personal accounts from their business accounts. Especially important, it allows families to pass business assets to the chosen family members without those assets ever becoming part of their personal estates. In the majority of circumstances it is unwise to include one’s personal residence in an LLC (a trust is usually a better option). Family LLCs, however work very well to protect assets such as:

  • Family business (or a portion of it)
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Investments (e.g. mutual funds, stocks, and bonds)
  • Rental properties
  • Real estate holdings

How Family LLCs Work

The family LLC is frequently put in place to protect family assets against claims by creditors, divide income among generations and provide opportunities to engage in other types of estate planning. LLC stands for “limited liability company.” In the case of Family LLCs, the limited liability company is comprised of family members, typically related by blood or marriage, and is designed to ensure that a family enterprise can continue even after some family members have passed away. Family LLCs protect family assets and divide income among several generations. 

In most cases, the founding member of the Family LLC becomes the managing member, privy to almost all management rights. Because the other members lack control of the LLC, they are permitted to hold substantial assets at a discounted rate

Family LLCs Are Flexible

A strong advantage to having a Family LLC is that the managing member has great leeway in creating an operating agreement that suits his or her particular family. In most cases restrictions are placed on transferring membership and ownership since these restrictions protect the accumulated assets from creditors.

At Wiles Law Firm our attorneys are well-prepared to clarify the options of Family LLCs. The managing member, for example, can decide to stipulate in the operating agreement that members must be relatives (by blood or marriage) and even state that any transfer of membership invalidates membership rights altogether. It is even possible to arrange the operating agreement to exclude in-laws, passing LLC rights to children or grandchildren but not their spouses. Because of all the financial and emotional complications that can arise when establishing a Family LLC, it is essential that you do so with the guidance of a sharp, well-informed Family LLC attorney.

Asset Protection During Your Lifetime

When a Family LLC is created, a new business entity is formed and that business entity is legally separate from its owners. Generally, if the LLC falls into arrears, personally owned assets of members cannot be taken to pay the creditors. This means that while creditors can go after the LLC’s assets, the family members personal property, bank accounts, and other assets remain protected. By the same token, if one of the members of the LLC goes into serious personal debt, their creditors cannot touch the LLC’s assets unless they obtain a charging order, a form of monetary judgment that must go through the courts.

Requirements for Family  LLCs

While Family LLCs are beneficial in many respects, they do require, as corporations do, that records are kept and filing is done. Although these requirements are not terribly difficult to meet, they may involve complexities you don’t want to deal with, including:

  • Annual meetings
  • Filing with the Secretary of State on a regular basis
  • Obtaining business licenses
  • Having a service of process agent
  • Keeping accounts and records
  • Meeting special tax requirements, including obtaining an Employer ID Number (EIN)

If you do decide to go the route of establishing a Family LLC, it is important to team up with an organized, adept law practice like Wiles Law Firm. We will make sure you meet all necessary requirements in a timely manner with minimal stress.

North Charleston Estate Planning Services

If, having considered the pros and cons, you and your family decide that you want to establish a Family LLC in North Charleston, there is no better law practice to go to for sound legal guidance than Wiles Law Firm. Our highly capable estate planning attorneys know all the ins and outs of the process and will make sure that your wishes are respected and your particular needs are met. We can be reached by phone or by filling out a contact form on our website.

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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852 Lowcountry Blvd., Suite 101, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
| Phone: 843-718-0232

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