Estate Planning Lawyers
in South Carolina
While it is uncomfortable to think about, the reality for all of us is that we are going to die one day. When we do, we will leave behind property and assets and it is important to have a clearly defined Will, stating who will receive these items. This easy and affordable process will secure your family's future and help them avoid potential stress and conflict.
It is a common misconception that only individuals who have a significant amount of property and assets or who are over 65 years old need an estate plan. The truth is that you are never too young or too old to start working on establishing a solid estate plan. Estate planning is for everyone and—by having a proper estate plan in place—you are not only ensuring your vision for the future is carried out but also saving your family time, stress, and money in the event of your death or incapacity. And although it is often tempting to put off your worries about planning for the future, the best way to make sure your family and loved ones are safe, happy, and protected when you are gone is by planning today.
The Sweetgrass Law Group team is dedicated to helping our clients establish a comprehensive and up-to-date estate plan that protects themselves and the people they love. Regardless of your age, income level, or stage of life, our firm is here to help you. We pride ourselves on making the difficult subject of estate planning more comfortable for our clients by forming a genuine relationship with them and providing them with legal counsel that is informative, understandable, and most importantly affordable.
A personalized Last Will and Testament that is customized to reflect your unique circumstances and desires is a vital component of any estate plan. The primary purpose of a Will is to control where your probate assets go upon your death. Amongst other things, a Will should accomplish three (3) important things: (1) identifying which people or organizations should receive your real and personal property; (2) choosing a person or persons to administer your estate once you are deceased and who will follow the terms of your will (i.e., a personal representative or executor); and (3) providing for the care and well-being of your minor children or incapacitated family members.
If you die without a Will, you are considered to have died “intestate,” meaning your wishes are ignored and South Carolina law—not you—decides how your property and assets will be distributed at your death.
FINANCIAL AND HEALTHCARE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Powers of attorney are an important estate planning tool because it is a document that gives financial and healthcare decision-making authority to trusted family members or friends designated by you (i.e., your Agent or Agents). Broadly speaking, South Carolina Powers of Attorney can either give someone’s Agent the power to act on their behalf to handle their financial affairs or make healthcare decisions. This becomes especially valuable for your loved ones in the event you become incapacitated and can no longer legally make decisions for yourself or handle your own affairs. Empowering a family member or friend to act on your behalf under a Power of Attorney can also be convenient because no one can be in two places at once.
Should you become physically or mentally incapacitated without having a valid South Carolina Power of Attorney in place, decisions about your personal, financial and/or medical well-being will be controlled by a guardian appointed by a South Carolina probate court, which can be an expensive and time-consuming process; however, our team at Sweetgrass Law Group can help South Carolinians avoid the need for a guardianship proceeding by educating them on the various Powers of Attorney that are available to address their specific estate planning needs and providing them with client-centered legal counseling that is easy to understand and affordable.
LIVING WILLS/ADVANCED HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVES
Living Wills/Advanced Healthcare Directives allow South Carolinians to specifically state their wishes with regards to stopping medical treatment should their doctor believe there is no chance for them to recover from an illness or injury.
A Living Wills/Advanced Healthcare Directive provides your family members with peace of mind and certainty during an emotionally difficult time by clearly spelling out your desires for your end-of-life care and the removal of life support. Without guidance in making these challenging and intimate decisions, it could lead to disagreements and fighting amongst your family members and friends as to what your final wishes were and who you would want to make these tough choices.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, but Sweetgrass Law Group can help you avoid letting the State of South Carolina dictate the future of your estate! Contact us today at (843) 804-8502 to talk to one of our estate planning attorneys at no charge and learn more about which of the above estate planning tools we can assist with you with to ensure your vision for the future is realized.