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Charleston Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Friday, February 1, 2019

Advanced Directives

One of the frightening aspects of contemplating incapacity is imagining losing your ability to communicate your own wishes. Mortality is difficult enough to face without feeling that others will be in control of your end of life decisions. This is why advanced directives are an important part of estate planning. Advanced directives are the best means of documenting specifically what you want to happen if you become severely ill or incapacitated by injury.

Though no one enjoys contemplating his or her own death, working closely with a professional estate attorney to prepare appropriate papers can bring you reassurance and peace of mind. In addition, by having advanced directives in place, you will spare your loved ones the anguish of worrying about what you would want them to do in a critical situation. It should be noted that you must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind for your advanced directive to be legal.

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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.
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Sunday, January 27, 2019

How to Wind Down a Business When a Loved One Dies

If your loved one had a business succession plan, the plan should dictate how to transfer ownership of the business or close the business. However, if your family member died without a business succession plan, the business structure will govern how you need to wind down the business. Our South Carolina probate and trust administration lawyers discuss some of the common business structures and what is involved in finalizing a person’s interest in the business when that person dies.
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Friday, January 25, 2019

Five Tips for Planning Your Estate Before You Say "I Do"

Planning a wedding is exciting. You probably have a long list of things you need to do before your wedding day. If possible, it is a good idea to add estate planning to your wedding to-do list. Couples often overlook estate planning until after the wedding. However, it can be beneficial to consult with a Read more . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Preparing for Your Incapacity

Who will make financial decisions on my behalf if I become incapacitated?

None of us wish to consider the possibility that we may one day become disabled, but the reality is that mental or physical incapacity could await any one of us.  According to the Social Security Administration, over 56 million Americans live with disabilities, while 38 million suffer from severe disabilities.  Along with physical disabilities, mental infirmities like dementia occur at quite high rates.
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Monday, December 31, 2018

Mental Illness and Estate Planning - Know Your Options

When you are developing your estate plan, mental illness could be a difficult issue to address with your South Carolina special needs trusts lawyer. However, several estate planning options can help you prepare for the possibility that you may develop a mental illness, or you need to protect an adult child with a mental illness. In most cases, you can accomplish the traditional estate planning goals of avoiding estate taxes and probate, but you are also able to customize your estate plan to address unique situations related to mental illness.
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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Estate-Planning Tips for Adults Under 30

Many young adults do not consider estate planning an important factor for their financial well-being. They may assume since they are young that they have more than enough time to develop an estate plan. On the other hand, some young adults may believe they do not need an estate plan because they are not married, they do not have children, or they do not have substantial assets. However, it is wise for all adults to work with a Read more . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Preparing for Your First Meeting with Your Estate Planning Attorney

What questions should I ask my estate planning lawyer?

As the New Year approaches, now is the time to tackle an item that may have been on your to-do-list for quite some time—creating an estate plan.  Fewer than half of all Americans have an estate plan in place, but continuing to go without one could have serious implications for your family should you untimely pass away.  Now is the time to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to start on the journey of planning for the next generation. With your appointment scheduled, review the following steps to prepare for meeting with yourRead more . . .

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Broken Heart Syndrome and What It Can Mean for Your Estate Plan

When spouses pass away in quick succession, how might it impact the estate plan?

George and Barbara Bush had a storied romance spanning 73 years of marriage.  The couple met when Barbara was just 16 and George 17 years old. From then on, the couple went on to lead the country with immense class, becoming the longest married couple in presidential history. Barbara Bush passed away this past April with her husband by her side, and eight months later the nation mourned as George H.W.
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Friday, November 30, 2018

Learning From Stan Lee’s Estate Planning Issues

How can I plan for my incapacity later in life?

Stan Lee, famed creator of Marvel Comics, recently passed away at the age of 95.  Lee, whose brilliant mind left a lasting worldwide legacy, was ill for the last year of his life.  Sadly, his later years were partly consumed by struggles with his caregivers, aids, and daughter.  Stan Lee lost his wife in July of 2017 and after that time, he began to issue accusations against his advisors and child.  Lee reported that over $1.4 million went missing from his bank accounts.  He also signed a document stating that his adult daughter spends excessively and attempted to take advantage of him.  Lee’s troubled last years have left an estate planning mess in the wake of his death.  While Lee’s estate will likely be tangled in litigation for some time to come, there are several takeaways from his saga that could help you to avoid similar estate planning issues.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

What Should Your Family LLC Operating Agreement Address?

Estate planning involves using various estate planning tools to protect your property and your family. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can accomplish even more goals, such as reducing or eliminating estate taxes, preparing for retirement, and protecting your assets from creditors. You may or may not use the same estate planning tools as another person because your situation and finances are unique.

One of the tools our South Carolina estate planning lawyers discuss with some clients is a Family LLC. With a Family LLC, you can increase and enhance many of the benefits of estate planning we discussed above.

What is a Family LLC?

An LLC is a Limited Liability Company organized under state laws. It is a type of business entity that provides many of the benefits of a corporation or partnership without the formalities and costs of operating a corporation or partnership. Owners are referred to as “members” of the LLC. Members may have various degrees of management authority.

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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.

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