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Charleston Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Probate Process in South Carolina Explained

Why is it best to avoid probate whenever possible?

Probate is the legal process by which the court settles the estate of the deceased.  Each state sets its own rules and guidelines regarding probate.  In South Carolina, probate will be necessary when the deceased person (the decedent) personally owns property that exceeds a certain value, currently set to $25,000, or owns real estate.  Probate will be required even if a person has a will.  The main way to avoid probate, or minimize the assets distributed through it, is through the use of irrevocable or revocable trusts.  

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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.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

3 Tips for Choosing a Personal Representative for Trust Administration

When you are setting up your living trust or other trust documents, selection of the personal representative to administer the trust is one of your most critical decisions. Since most people do not have a great deal of experience in handling probate matters, it can be helpful to know the factors you should consider when evaluating this topic. Seeking the advice of an experienced trust administration lawyer can be critical. In the meantime, here are 3 tips for choosing a personal representative for trust administration.

Overview of What a Trustee Does

You need to understand what a trustee (a person or personal representative who administers a trust) does if you are to make an informed decision about who will serve in that role for you. You are asking the person to handle your money and other assets when you are not available to do so. Some people can handle that kind of responsibility without dipping their own hands into the pot, but others will be unethical or incompetent.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Protect Your Small Business with an Estate Plan

What will happen to my business if I die without a will in place?

Aretha Franklin is the latest high profile celebrity to pass away without a will in place.  Her $80 million estate will now be divided in accordance with the law in her state of residency.  Prince’s estate, valued at over $300 million at the time of his sudden death, is still in court as his family battles over the money.  These celebrity deaths are extreme examples of the hazards of not creating an estate plan. Small business owners need to be aware of what could happen if they die without a will so that they can take steps now to preserve their hard earned assets through an estate plan.  

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

22 Things You Should Do Following the Death of a Loved One

When a loved one dies, whether expected or not, your life can become overturned. Suddenly you’re faced with questions about “What happens next?” from family and strangers alike. Often, the internal dialogue becomes simply – “What do I do now?” on a continuous loop. Our wills and trusts lawyers see this phenomenon every day. While we can’t take the pain away, we can offer some tips that can help you move through the “What happens next?”

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Dynasty Trusts Explored

What are the benefits of a dynasty trust over a traditional revocable trust?

A dynasty trust is a type of irrevocable trust set up for the benefit of the trust maker’s descendants.  Dynasty trusts, also commonly referred to as generation skipping trusts or descendant’s trust, are typically created to allow wealth to flow to several generations with minimal tax consequences.  For high wealth individuals, a well drafted dynasty trust could result in your heirs receiving significant funds that would have otherwise gone to federal and state taxes. Our
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What are the Downsides to a Community Property Trust?

A Community Property Trust is not as common as other revocable trust agreements used in estate planning. However, this type of trust agreement can provide benefits for spouses that other trusts do not provide. Our South Carolina community property trust lawyers assist clients in exploring the benefits and downsides of a Community Property Trust.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Is it Better to Have a Will or a Trust?

A comprehensive estate plan can include both a will and a trust. Everyone needs a will as part of their estate plan. However, whether or not you want to utilize a trust depends on several factors, including your estate planning goals and your financial situation. Our

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Top Ten Estate Planning Errors and How to Avoid Them

You need a comprehensive estate plan to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death. However, an estate plan can accomplish much more than simply telling your heirs who should inherit your golf clubs or computer equipment. An estate plan protects your assets from creditors, provides for the needs of your family members, and provides for your care if you become incapacitated.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to understand what an estate plan can do for you and your loved ones. If you have questions about estate planning, call our South Carolina asset-protection lawyers.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Does Your Estate Plan Address Suicide?

Sadly, suicide impacts all walks of life. No family is immune from the risk of suicide. With the news of several well-known and successful people, including Chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade, tragically ending their lives through suicide, the topic is relevant to discuss with our clients as they consider their estate plan. It is not an easy topic; however, it is a topic our..

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Monday, July 30, 2018

8 Common Asset Protection Myths That May Be Hurting Your Family

Too often, we see families come to us after a loved one has passed, asking us what they can do to protect the assets left behind without a will or trust telling them who gets what. Failing to have an estate plan in place can leave your loved ones feeling lost and confused – often thinking that the government is going to take everything away from them. This is a common estate planning myth that gets passed around, among many.

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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.

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