clemson pickens county
Lake Keowee Oconee County SC

The Last Will and Testament is a legal document that has several jobs. It allows you to control how your estate or probate assets will be distributed after you pass away. It also appoints the person who will administer your estate, and lastly, it may name a guardian for any minor children you may have.

Probate assets can include your home, vehicles, cash, bank accounts, business interests, and all of your personal property. The Last Will and Testament also enables you to appoint a guardian for your minor children as well as provide instructions and set aside funds for the care of any pets you may have. If you die without a valid Will, your property will be distributed by a court-appointed administrator according to a pre-determined formula (defined by the State of South Carolina. Without a Will, you can’t give your property to a non-relative or even exclude certain relatives. If you have no Will and there are no relatives at the time of your death, your property will go to the state.

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Do I need a will?

You may not feel you have enough property to need a Will, but it is good for anyone over the age of 18 to have one. There are several different types of Wills that are available depending on your specific situation. You may need a simple Will. However, there are times a more complex Will is needed . Let us get to know you and your specific situation before we recommend a plan for you.

Different needs for different situations

One thing is certain, you will not leave our office without a better understanding of your situation and what we can do to help you achieve peace of mind. We will make sure you have peace of mind by knowing that your family has certainty and clarity about your wishes in the event you are no longer here.

Using Trusts to Protect Your Assets

A trust can be an alternative or supplement to a will. It allows you to transfer assets into separate ownership during your lifetime, under the control of a trustee who follows the instructions set forth in the trust document. For the most common types of trusts, you can serve as the trustee. Upon your death, the successor trustee distributes assets to your designated beneficiaries or continues managing all or part of the trust for purposes you have specified. One benefit of a trust is that it allows assets to pass to a beneficiary without having to go through probate, a lengthy and often expensive legal proceeding.

Living trusts
those you create during your lifetime are divided into two categories:

  • Revocable trusts — The person who creates the trust (known as the settlor) can transfer property into it with the ability to change the terms of the trust and what is included. When the settlor passes away, the assets are managed by the successor trustee who carries out the settlor’s instructions for disposition.
  • Irrevocable trusts — Once an irrevocable trust is created, its terms cannot be changed, nor can property be added or removed. An estate owner who transfers assets to an irrevocable trust relinquishes control of those assets, which may be advantageous for tax and other purposes.