Wills, Trusts & Estate Administration
The George Law Firm LLC can prepare an estate plan ranging from a basic will to a complex tax minimization plan. Before you may execute a valid will, under most circumstances you have to be at least 18 years old and the will execution must meet certain other formalities, such as the two non-interested witness’s requirement. Having the George Law Firm LLC draft a will is the prudent and reasonable thing to do because the consequences of a failure to prepare for an accident, catastrophic disease, and death will most certainly impact your spouse and children and other heirs.
Failure to plan properly for the worst case scenario will likely result in economic deprivation of your family members, and may lead to unnecessary disputes among your intestate heirs.
Perhaps you would like that your remains be disposed of in a specific manner (I.e. buried, cremated or scattered at sea); perhaps you want to provide for a family member you particularly liked or a special needs family member or friend; perhaps you desire that your specific personal property (i.e. automobile, summer home, boat, jewelry) ends up in the possession of a person who will likely take care of it the way you would have liked. Failure to provide such instructions in a legally enforceable manner may lead to quality family heirlooms being sold at an auction and cash distributed to your family members; against your final wishes. The George Law Firm LLC attorneys can help you achieve your goals.
Prudent Estate Planning
Estate planning instruments primarily include wills and trusts. In a will, you will describe how you intend for your life possessions to be distributed after your death. In a will, you have an option of appointing an executor and, if applicable, deciding who will serve as your surviving children's guardian.
In addition to a will, you may be a good candidate for the creation of trust instruments. Our attorneys will assist in creating revocable as well as irrevocable living trusts, charitable trusts, or special needs trusts.
The legal definition of a trust is: “A relationship created at the direction of an individual, in which one or more persons hold the individual's property subject to certain duties to use and protect it for the benefit of another (others).”
The holder (trustee) of the trust corpus (the property transferred to a trust) bares the burdens of property ownership while the beneficiary gets the benefits. You as a grantor may create a revocable or an irrevocable trust. As the language implies, revocable trusts may be changed or terminated by the grantor, while irrevocable trusts generally may not be. There are living and testamentary trusts.
Both may have applications in your overall estate plan.
Other estate planning instruments include Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Directives and Living Wills. A Power of Attorney allows "an attorney in fact" to make decisions should you become incapacitated. Other documents allow you to designate third parties to make medical and end of life decisions. Whatever your wishes are the George Law Firm LLC attorneys can help you achieve these goals.
Where a person dies leaving a will appointing an executor (administrator of the estate), and that executor validly disposes of the property of the deceased the estate will go to probate.
In South Carolina the Probate Court assists the citizens in probating estates, resolving disputes in estates and trusts, handling involuntary commitments for alcohol/drug abuse and/or mental illness, obtaining marriage licenses, appointing and supervising guardians and conservators, and approving minor and wrongful death settlements. Probate Court includes the Estate, Commitment and Marriage Divisions. The Probate Court determines the validity of wills, inventory’s all assets of the estate, and makes arrangements for payment of all taxes and debts. Assets admitted to probate will include solely and jointly owned property, the value of life insurance policies, trusts, annuities, and certain retirement plans.