Bluffton Estate Planning and Probate Attorney
Everyone, regardless of the size of the estate, needs to consider how their estate will pass at their death. At Vaux Marscher Berglind, P.A., our experienced estate planning and probate attorneys will help you identify the right course of action and the various options available to you, as you plan your future:
- Do you wish to avoid probate?
- Are you concerned about estate tax?
- Is there a need for the protection of a health care power of attorney, a financial power of attorney, and a living will?
- Will a guardian and/or conservator for personal and financial well-being be required?
- Are you in a second marriage and will you want to ensure that the estate passes to your children?
- Do you want the assets in a trust to provide for the education of grandchildren? Do you need to protect assets from a beneficiary’s creditors or to allow a beneficiary to retain governmental benefits?
- Will you want to ensure that there are guardians appointed for minor children?
Last Will and Testament
If you die without leaving instructions for how your assets will be distributed, the State of South Carolina will make a best guess based on laws that are aimed at the average situation. A Last Will and Testament is an important document in any well-designed estate plan. Your Will can put the best people in place (a Personal Representative to administer your estate, a Guardian to care for your children), to divide assets and/or pass assets to a trust.
It is a good idea to have your Will reviewed periodically to determine if it still meets your needs or if updates are needed due to a change in the law.
Revocable Living Trust
This is a Will substitute. Its purpose in most cases is to avoid probate no matter the size of your estate.
Powers of Attorney
If you are incompetent or incapacitated, who will make important financial decisions? Who will be authorized to sign documents and act in your stead? A durable power of attorney for financial decisions and a health care power of attorney will provide this protection. If you become incapacitated or incompetent and have not had the foresight to execute powers of attorney, your family will have to petition the Court for a person to be appointed. This is costly, time-consuming, and can be personally disruptive.
Probate & Estate Administration
If you die with a Will, it will be filed with the Probate Court and your estate will go through the probate process. Probate is the process by which the Court oversees the administration of your estate. Settling an estate requires careful attention to detail and thorough knowledge of the law. It is a statutory process which requires notification of interested parties, marshalling of assets, payment of debts and taxes, and a final settlement of your estate.
Estate & Inheritance Tax Planning
If you are confused by estate tax planning and laws about estate taxes, there is good reason. The laws change periodically, they are complex, and there are many options for protecting your assets. Estate tax planning can make a substantial difference in the amount of assets you can transfer tax-free or with minimal taxes to your heirs.
Contact Vaux Marscher Berglind, P.A.
Call 1-843-757-2888 (Local callers; please use area code when dialing) for a free consultation. Learn what you need, what your options are, and how you can protect your assets to ensure that your wishes are followed. You may also complete our online contact form for more information
We are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our main office is located in Old Town Bluffton and we have offices in Okatie and Charleston.