Many people in South Carolina and elsewhere believe that estate planning is something designed solely for the very wealthy or the very elderly. Neither is correct. In fact, estate planning is a map for the future, designed to help individuals accumulate and preserve assets and protect their loved ones.
The younger you are when you start to work with an accomplished estate planning attorney, the more likely you are to be able to successfully meet your goals and distribute your wealth according to your own wishes. If you reside in South Carolina, in the area including and surrounding Florence and Myrtle Beach, you are fortunate to have the premium estate planning law firm of Willcox, Buyck & Williams available to guide you.
Advantages of Estate Planning with Willcox, Buyck & Williams
There are many reasons that South Carolinians turn to our estate planning practice. For one thing, we have a track record of success that goes back more than a century. For another, we are trustworthy, dependable, and knowledgeable about state and federal law. Our skills as estate planning legal representatives are widely known and we have a well-earned reputation for efficiency, efficacy, empathy, and attention to detail. We are frank and open in our communications with our clients and happy to translate any irritating phrases written in legalese. Most of all, we make your best interests our priority and never try to impose cookie-cutter documents or concepts on your unique life.
Whether you are a young person who wants to start your adult life in a responsible manner, a couple preparing to start a family, a middle-aged individual planning for retirement, or a grandparent anxious to pave the way for your new grandchild, contacting Willcox, Buyck & Williams is a wise choice for legal representation.
Aspects of Estate Planning
The capable attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams are ready to help you:
- Prepare to avoid probate by setting up jointly owned properties with “tenants with right of survivorship,” creating retirement accounts with designated beneficiaries, or opening bank accounts “in trust for” or “payable on death” to your spouse or other major beneficiaries.
- Draft a will which will designate your executor (the person who will see that your wishes are carried out), your beneficiaries, a guardian for any underage children, and any desires you have concerning your funeral or memorial.
- Deal with probate (legal proof of a will’s validity)
- Handle the complexities of a high-end estate
- Create trusts to protect your assets
Whatever your situation, you will be delighted to have one of our talented estate planning attorneys at your side so that you can be sure you won’t get entangled in unnecessary, costly procedures, or derailed by snags in complicated laws.
Trusts You Can Trust
One of our primary concerns is protecting your wealth from taxes, creditors, and possible lawsuits, since any of these can greatly diminish your estate. After listening carefully to the details of your life and what special circumstances govern your hopes for the future, we will be able to determine which types of trusts will be most useful to you.
The two basic types of trusts are revocable and irrevocable trusts. Revocable trusts, also known as “living trusts,” are effective estate-planning tools. They offer the advantages of avoiding the complications and expense of probate, while preserving privacy since, unlike wills, trusts are not public documents. Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, have the remarkable benefit of effectively taking your assets out of your name and control. This protects your assets from being confiscated for paying damages in a lawsuit, or being used to pay taxes. The downside of such trusts is that irrevocable means what it says — you can make no changes.
There are a great many types of trusts that Willcox, Buyck & Williams can help you create, each designed for a particular purpose. These include:
- Special needs trusts
- Trusts for minors
- IRA trusts
- Gift trusts
- Spendthrift trusts
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT)
- Charitable trusts
- Marital trusts
- Generation-skipping trusts
- Gun trusts
- Pet trusts
Each type of trust is laser-focused on performing a specific function. For example, a special needs trust is designed to allow a family member with special needs have indirect access to private supplemental funds while remaining eligible for government benefits. A spendthrift trust, on the other hand, protects an irresponsible loved one, or one with an addiction, from going through his or her inheritance far too quickly. Our team is happy to help you set up one or more trusts appropriate to your particular needs. We will zero in on which type(s) will be most beneficial to you and will make certain that each trust we create is well-structured and legally binding.
Planning for the Unexpected
Willcox, Buyck & Williams is also concerned with protecting you and your loved ones from the unthinkable events that sometimes occur and disrupt our lives, such as serious accidents, disabling medical events and incapacitating illnesses. When you work with our competent, caring estate planning attorneys, we will ensure that the necessary documents are drafted and signed. Such documents include those involving:
- Power of Attorney
- HIPAA Authorization
- Health Care Proxy
- Living Will (including possible organ donation)
- Business Succession Plan
We have the experience and foresight make certain that, in the event of a calamity, your minor children will be well-tended, your financial situation will be taken over by the responsible party you have chosen, your family will be informed about your medical condition according to your stated wishes, you will receive only the medical interventions you have requested, and your business will be taken over by those you have chosen to do so.
We Are Committed to Keeping Your Estate Plan Current
Because life is ever-changing, our estate planning attorneys will review your estate plan with you on a regular basis. It is remarkable how much your circumstances can be altered during even a brief period of time — marriage, divorce, remarriage, birth or adoption, a death in the family, the establishment of a new business, receiving a sizable inheritance, losing a job. Any one of these events can alter the landscape of your life. Preparing for such eventualities is the best way to protect your accumulated assets, your sense of dignity and control, and the well-being of your loved ones. Contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams soon and feel the comfort of being prepared for contingencies.