Everyone in South Carolina should have an estate plan of some type regardless of their level of wealth. A comprehensive estate plan will cover all family dynamics as well as the allocation of assets and inheritance in the event that the primary asset holder passes unexpectedly. Many people want to address their estate well before their death as opposed to allowing possible probate exposure to creditors and tax assessors. Regardless of a person’s situation, it’s recommended to look at making a review annually and reassessing how personal assets have changed.
One of the first goals many individuals have is avoiding the probate process completely in an estate planning update. This is typically accomplished through establishment of trusts as a foundation for those with extensive wealth, but the same asset protection instruments can work for those with more moderate asset levels. In addition, this is a good time to revisit potential inheritance assignments and look at educational funding for dependent children.
While many individuals have a spouse who would immediately assume authority in situations of incapacity, many people will want to name possible guardians for dependent children to control any inheritance that the children would have in the event of a death or incapacity. Even when the person designated with authority is obvious or assigned by state law, it is still a good decision to address and designate assignment in writing such as power of attorney or a living will.
Changing plans for changing lives
Protecting wealth through valid legal means requires assistance from a law professional who understands the nuances of crafting a comprehensive estate planning package that fits the particular family effectively. Everyone is different with unique issues, and it is always best to be safe rather than sorry in the event of an untimely death resulting in an unwanted court ruling at the end of probate. Protecting wealth can be an intricate process, and professional help is always an advantage with an annual estate plan checkup.