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Estate Planning

 

At its most basic level, estate planning is:

  • Determining who is going to get your assets when you pass away and how they are going to get them​

  • Selecting a trusted person(s) to be able to make financial and healthcare decisions for you in the event you cannot make them yourself

  • Making pre-arranged end of life healthcare decisions for yourself

All of us will eventually pass away and many of us will become incapacitated at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, when loved ones pass away or become incapacitated and do not have proper planning in place, many undesirable situations may occur:

  • The state of South Carolina decides who inherits your assets and make certain decisions for you

  • The person who ends up taking care of your minor child is not the person you would have wanted

  • Your child inherits a lot of money at a young age and manages it irresponsibly

  • After your death, your spouse remarries and later divorces with the new spouse taking a significant portion of the money you left to your spouse, money that you eventually want to go to your children

  • The inheritance you leave to your child is taken from him or her because of the child's creditor issues

  • A person inherits your assets who you do not want to inherit from you OR a person inherits your assets which are detrimental to their particular situation (e.g. a person receiving governmental benefits who inherits from you may be disqualified from continuing to receive those benefits)

  • You become incapacitated and because your family does not have the authority to access your assets to use for your benefit and communicate with 3rd parties on your behalf, such as doctor’s offices and insurance companies, your family has to first get court permission to do so – a process that can be stressful, time-consuming and very expensive

  • Your family does not know what you want regarding your end of life healthcare decisions such as whether ventilation or tube feeding should be provided, which could result in increased family tension

Many people forego estate planning because of the cost involved.  What those individuals fail to realize is that the “cost” of not planning may far surpass the money temporarily saved in not having a well thought out estate plan or no plan in place at all.

The fact is, though, death and likely incapacitation will happen to us all at some point, but we do not know when that will be.  Given that, having a plan in place is a very wise choice for everyone.

Hamrick Law is here to guide you in determining the most appropriate way to plan.