Wills and Estate Planning – The Biering Law Firm offers telephone, online, or in-person intake process for Wills and Estate Planning for Individuals or Couples.
- Call office or contact us online to conduct a conflict of interest check
- We will conduct online, telephone, or in-person interview — based on your needs and schedule
- Wills, and other estate planning documents are drafted for your specific needs and goals
- Documents can be forwarded online with specific instructions for endorsement or prompt appointment scheduled for endorsement
People ask the following questions,
“Do I need a Will?
“Why do I need a Will?”
“What happens if I die without a will?”
Lets these frequently asked questions:
Lawyers provide opinions. My opinion is that, “Yes”, if you are an adult living in South Carolina you need a will. … and for the Why … Think of the plain meaning of the word “will”. — purpose or intention. After we die the “Will” is the official direction of our purpose or intention for the distribution of our property — personal items, cash, investments, and real estate. Many people believe that because they do not have a vast fortune, a will or estate plan is not necessary. I have been left a number of items from loved ones. Those that are of the most importance, have very little financial value. Consider first expressions of love, respect, and care that can be provided by giving at your death items of special interest to people in your lives.
Move beyond the special interest items and into the assets of great value. In South Carolina, if you die without a will, your estate will be distributed by the Laws of Intestate Succession. Generally, if you die with a husband / wife, and no children, then your entire estate to your husband / wife. If you die with a spouse and child or children, 1/2 to your spouse and 1/2 to your child. If you die without a husband or wife, but have children, then to your children. Please consider that if your children are under the age of 18 their share of the Estate will be held until they reach they age of 18. Consider this example: You have no will, you die, and your wife is now in a 50/50 partnership with your assets with your 8 and 10 year old children. Want to refinance the house — you will need the kids permission via court approval; want to sell vehicles — you will need the kids permission via court approval; want cash the tax refund check for the year that your spouse died — you will need the kids permission via court approval, and a portion of the check will be held for their benefit until they are 18.
Beyond this example, the reality of the number of blended families in South Carolina create further complications for individuals without wills and estate plans. While the Law of Intestate Succession specifically exclude step children, the situation can be further complicated by surviving spouse left with a part interest in assets of children that are under the care and custody of an ex-husband or ex-wife.
When faced with death, the last thing a grieving husband or wife; or a dependent child needs is uncertainty, chaos because of lack of planning, and increased expenses, delays, and conflict resulting from multiple sides attempting to exert control through the process.
Assets created at or around the time of death, are regularly not considered in the decision making process of (1) whether to draft a will, or (2) estate planning. What if events occurred near your death that resulted in your estate having extreme value — auto accidents, work related injuries, product defect related injuries, medical malpractice, etc. What if your estate was worth millions and your child or children received without limitation significant assets at age 18? I ask clients to consider this question, “Would you be a better person today if at age 18 you would have received a large sum of money?” Most clients limit access to assets until children have completed college or gained greater maturity than age 18. Assets can be made available for appropriate expenses, investments, education, and transportation without giving unfettered access at early ages.
Consider the causes and interests that you support through life. Wills and Estate planning provide an opportunity for you to give to your church, school, and interest groups that you support.
Take the steps necessary to plan for death and disability.