How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Estate

Introduction to the Role of an Executor Selecting the right executor for your estate is a critical decision in the estate planning process. This role, often underestimated in its complexity and importance, involves managing and executing your final wishes as outlined in your will and other estate planning documents. The executor’s responsibilities are multifaceted, requiring […]

The Importance of Estate Planning for Asset Protection

Introduction to Estate Planning and Asset Protection Estate planning is a multifaceted process that involves more than just deciding how to distribute your assets after your death. A crucial aspect of this process is asset protection, which focuses on safeguarding your wealth from potential legal and financial threats during your lifetime. This article offers an […]

Omitted Spouse

While the South Carolina elective share provides the surviving spouse the right to claim 1/3 of the deceased’s spouse’s probate estate, an additional statute in the South Carolina Probate Code provides additional protections for a surviving spouse when the deceased spouse executed a Will prior to their marriage but, for whatever reason, did not update […]

How to Write Your Own Will?

As a preface, I strongly advise against writing your own Will because even if valid in your state, probate of a handwritten Will can be extremely burdensome and expensive. The attorney’s fees alone would be significantly more than having an attorney prepare a well drafted self-proving Will for you. Additionally, some states, including South Carolina, […]

Key Elements of a Good Buy-Sell Agreement

If you are thinking about starting a business with a partner or have established a successful business and don’t have a plan for what happens next, then consider  succession planning for your business with a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement is one way to provide an orderly plan to transfer of ownership of your business […]

Confusing Legal Titles in Estate Administration

In North Carolina, the statutory legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person uses a variety of legal terms to identify the person in charge of administering the estate and the authority granted to that individual.  The terms  “Collector,” “Executor,” “Administrator,” and “Personal Representative” all describe the person in charge of settling an […]

Will Contests: Capacity and Undue Influence

Many will disputes deal with the issue of testamentary capacity. In other words, the person whose will is being executed must be aware of what is going on for the will to be valid, i.e., the testator must have a lucid interval.  A will can also be challenged by arguing that the will was procured […]

Intestate Succession South Carolina

To die “intestate” in South Carolina means to die without a valid will or assets not effectively disposed of by your Will. In South Carolina, the only assets that are affected by intestacy succession laws are those assets that would have passed through your will had you created one. Intestacy laws therefore do not apply […]

Why Estate Planning is a Must if You Are Single

There are more singles today than ever before. In America today, the divorce rate is 50 percent for first marriages and even higher for second and third marriages. In 1970, about one-third of Americans 15 and older were single. Today, the number is closer to 50 percent. This means that single people need to be […]

The Basics of Creating a Valid Will

Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president, died without a Will. Despite being a lawyer himself, he died intestate (without a Will) after being the first president to be assassinated in 1865. Despite death threats, Martin Luther King Jr. also died without a Will, and today his family is still fighting over control of his estate. […]