Estate planning seldom begins with the last Will and Testament, though it often ends there. The experienced attorneys at Morton & Gettys in Rock Hill can help make sure your Will is properly drafted and covers all the points that are important to you.
In the absence of this vital document, your property will be distributed based on South Carolina’s intestate succession laws. Your spouse and children, if any, inherit first. If you are single and have no children, then your parents inherit, followed by siblings. In rare cases when there are no living relatives by blood or marriage, everything goes to the state.
The order of inheritance spelled out under South Carolina law might dovetail perfectly with your wishes. Often, it does not. That is why it is important to make your wishes known.
A Will does more than spell out who inherits how much of what. It also can name a guardian for minor children. It can instruct your family as to funeral plans and whether you wish to be buried, cremated or donate your body for scientific research or to medical science. It can allow you to make charitable contributions to organizations or causes you hold dear.
A carefully crafted plan and document can help decrease the amount of taxes your heirs pay. If tools such as trusts, beneficiary designations and property ownership planning are employed and outlined in the Will, it could be possible for your heirs to avoid the probate process.
A Will also allows you to select a personal representative, someone who will ensure that its terms are followed and your estate is properly distributed. The lawyers at Morton & Gettys have served as personal representatives, a step that often helps smooth the process if family relationships are strained.
Begin planning for your family’s future today with a consultation with a professional who can help you avoid the pitfalls of a do-it-yourself estate planning or online legal forms. We also can make sure your Will meets your exact needs and expectations as well as the requirements of South Carolina law.