Fort Mill Legal Blog

The basics of a will

Wills are an important foundational element to an effective overall estate plan. Because of how important wills are to an estate plan, it is useful to have a good handle on what they do, what should be included in them and how to properly execute a valid will.

Wills are an important part of the estate planning process because they allow estate planners to direct how they want their affairs to be handled, including how they desire for their property to be distributed. It allows them to name who they want different items of their estate to be passed to. Wills can help put the estate planner's affairs in order.

Real estate contracts are important to real estate success

There are many important aspects of the real estate process to understand and one important component includes real estate contracts. Real estate contracts are involved in many facets of a real estate transaction and their importance to process cannot be overstated.

Real estate contracts protect the interests of the parties and outline the rights and obligations of the parties. A real estate contract commemorates the agreement between the parties and a well drafted, and properly executed, contract can help increase the likelihood of a successful real estate transaction. It is important to understand every aspect of the contract process, including how to ensure that the terms are fair and protect the interests of the parties.

What estate planning documents should be in my estate plan?

There are a variety of estate planning documents that estate planners should consider when setting up their plan. Estate planners should make sure they understand all of the different estate planning tools so they can develop the best estate plan for them and their situation.

Estate planning can help estate planners have the assurance they need that their estate will be distributed according to their wishes and can also help minimize conflict, confusion and concerns family members may have. A valid will is the foundational basis of an estate plan and should always be included. In addition, a living trust is a helpful tool. Both can be used to transfer assets but in some circumstances it may be easier to transfer assets via a living trust.

Choosing an executor for your will

Procrastinating on planning for your end-of-life needs is only natural. It’s an uncomfortable topic to talk about and not something most people want to stare in the face. However, planning ahead by creating an estate plan is an important element of caring for your family. Having a will can alleviate potential stress for your surviving family members and gives you peace of mind in knowing you’ve stated your wishes.

One of the elements involved in creating a will is assigning an executor. The executor is the person or third party you designate to administer your will after you pass. The job and responsibilities of an executor are considerable, so you’ll want to choose the person or company wisely.

End of year estate planning tips

As the end of the year approaches, many Fort Mill residents are likely to be rushing to the stores to complete their gift shopping and make sure their loved ones are getting the gifts they have been looking forward to all year. However, one gift many people neglect to give family members is the protection of assets through the creation of a comprehensive estate plan. As the year ends, consider taking a few steps to ensure loved ones are taken care of not just this year, but for the future.

The first step those over 70 years of age should do is ensure the 2018 required Minimum Distributions are taken from their individual retirement account. Missed RMDs result in a 50 percent fine. Additionally, those who want to contribute to charity should take advantage of the Qualified Charitable Distributions, as it allows those who are over 70.5 years to transfer up to $100,000 to charity tax free.

The importance of succession plans in business law

Building a business from the ground up takes effort and money, and once the business is up and running the last thing business owners want to think about is who will take over when they are no longer able to run the business. However, if the business is important to Fort Mill residents, succession planning is one aspect of business law they do not want to overlook. Even though succession planning is a personal and sensitive matter that opens up doors many prefer to keep closed for a long time, its important to start figuring out and talking about who or what is next for the business.

For those who own a family business, the first preference is likely to be to keep the business in the family. However, before making any assumptions, it is important to sit down with family members and ask about their preferences. Who wants to stay in the business and who wants to take over it? Deciding how responsibilities will be shared is an important way to make sure that the business remains within the family.

Where can millennials start their estate plan from?

There is a common misconception that only those who are elderly or those who are very wealthy should engage in estate planning, which is why many middle-aged people think they either have time to draft their will or do not even need to create a trust. However, this could not be farther from the truth-every South Carolina resident, including millennials, should have an estate plan in place that directs loved ones on what steps to take in event of a medical emergency or an unexpected step. Having a plan in place saved loved ones from agonizing over making medical decisions that one could have made themselves if they had planned on time.

Whether one is married or single, living with one's kids or beloved dogs, it is important to have some basic estate planning documents in place to protect one's assets and belongings. Without them in place, one runs the risk of putting family members in charge of making decisions at a time when their emotions are running high.

Can zoning laws change?

South Carolina residents looking to invest their hard-earned money into a new business or to buy a new home need to ensure that they are getting their real estate in the right place. Real property can only be used in certain ways, dictated by laws that are called zoning laws or ordinances. They define the type of developmental and operational use of law that is allowed in any given location.

Zoning laws exist to ensure a number of things, such as manage the flow of traffic, control noise levels or even protect certain resources. This is why one often sees residential homes bunched together in one par of town and commercial buildings on another. Zoning laws also often restrict the details of construction in certain areas-the height of a building or the distance from one building to another could be outlined in zoning laws as well, regardless of the type of building it is.

What does a speeding ticket really cost you?

Have you ever left the house a little late for work and tried to make up the time out on the road? How about being late to pick up one of the kids from school and was feeling guilty about leaving them stranded. The remedy you most likely chose to fix both circumstances was to drive faster. Possibly even significantly over the speed limit.

In 2016, 10,111 people died nationally due to speeding related accidents out on the roads. That accounted for 27 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.

Public deaths show different estate planning strategies

Confronting the inevitability of one's demise is not an easy task, which is why many people avoid doing it, including South Carolina residents. This is also demonstrated by the fact that over half of adults across the country do not have a will and have never spoken to their family members about their wishes for the way they want to end their life and how they want their last rites performed. The importance of estate planning and the consequences of the lack of an estate plan are demonstrated by the recent deaths of two highly public figures.

Senator John McCain faced his impending death straight on soon after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma. He spoke early on to those he wanted to include in his funeral and who he wanted to eulogize him. Additionally, he made the decision to end his treatment himself and passed away the way he wanted to in the place he wanted to. Statistics show that even though 80 percent of Americans want to die in their homes, only 20 percent actually do because the remaining people have not shared their wishes with their family members. As a result, their wishes are not being fulfilled and family members are left making important and difficult decisions in an emotionally difficult time.

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