Planning a Will

South Carolina Estate Planning Attorneys

Many people put off making a will until it’s too late, leaving the courts to make decisions in their place. If you die without a will, you’ll have no say in how your money and possessions are divided up or who receives them.

Effective estate planning can allow you to have your say about how your assets will be distributed after you pass away. Proper estate planning directs the transfer of your assets according to your wishes, while minimizing estate and transfer taxes.

The experienced estate planning lawyers of Trimnal & Myers, LLC, can work to ensure your heirs receive your assets with minimum tax liability. We work with personal and family estates of all sizes, with trust funds and with businesses in Lancaster, Fort Mill, Indian Land, Rock Hill and surrounding areas of South Carolina.

Contact us by phone or online to discuss how we can help you.

Wills & Estate Tax Strategies That Meet Your Needs

In most cases, planning for the disposition of your estate upon your death begins with a will. A will documents your wishes for the distribution of your assets to individuals or institutions that will own or administer them after you’re gone.

Your will may also name guardians for any minor-age children who survive you and your spouse, should he or she be previously deceased.

Every adult should have a will. In some cases you can create a basic will and, if you’d like reassurance, have an attorney review it. As your possessions and other assets become more diverse, you may need legal assistance to draft a will.

Your will can be changed at any time, so there’s no need to think your life is not yet settled enough for you to make one.

In addition to a will, you may also plan ahead by executing a:

  • Living will (or advanced health directive), which documents your wishes pertaining to health care should you become incapacitated.
  • Living trust, which transfers title to and authority over your property should you become incapacitated, but leaves you as the estate’s beneficiary. A living trust includes a distribution plan for assets of the trust. This protects the trust’s property from probate, the legal challenge to a deceased’s will.
  • Power of attorney (or durable power of attorney), providing authority of an appointee you name to handle your financial affairs should you become mentally or physically unable to do it yourself. A clear power of attorney ensures the court will not appoint someone else to take this role.

Several types of trusts and other vehicles authorized by federal and state tax codes can be used to minimize tax payments that will be taken from your estate. What’s proper for you will depend on the size and complexity of what you are leaving behind, and how you want it to be distributed.

Two of the most popular approaches are:

  • Gifts of money prior to your death. Such gifts to family members, charities, schools, churches and other organizations may result in the recipient being taxed, but they reduce the value of your estate at death, thus lowering estate taxes. Business owners may give shares of the business to beneficiaries to achieve a similar estate tax reduction.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts. Because a trust owns a life insurance policy taken out on you, the payout to your chosen beneficiary does not add to the tax value of your estate.

Contact Our South Carolina Estate Planning Attorneys

The estate planning lawyers of Trimnal & Myers, LLC, can work with you to ensure that your desires are carried out when the inevitable comes. We can review, update and revise existing wills, prepare wills and provide full-service planning for the disposition of your estate. We can conduct a thorough economic review of your assets, listen to your desires and discuss a variety of strategies suitable for you.

Contact us today to set up an initial review of your needs. You can reach us online or by phone today for assistance in Lancaster, Rock Hill, Indian Land, Fort Mill or surrounding South Carolina communities.