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Lawyer For Wills in Myrtle Beach, SC

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Protect Your Legacy and Plan for the Future With SC’s Finest Will Services

At Bespoke Estate Law, we help South Carolina residents secure their future with last will & testaments, trusts, and other estate planning services. Whether you are preparing for the arrival of your first child, feel the need to secure your assets after an unfortunate medical diagnosis, or wish to secure your legacy for your heirs, we can help. We take a personalized and caring approach for every client, and we draw from our considerable experience to create a unique strategy that addresses your concerns and accomplishes your objectives. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding wills or other estate planning vehicles.

The Benefits of Creating a Will at All Ages of Adulthood

Do Young Adults Need to Think About Wills?

It might seem premature to think about a will in your twenties or thirties, but life is unpredictable. A will can dictate how your financial assets, real property, digital accounts, and personal belongings are handled. A will can also specify who will care for your pets, address any debts you may leave behind, and ensure that nothing is left to chance. While it can be difficult to talk about, a will is simply part of responsible adulthood, especially when you have a spouse or other close family in your life.

Wills For Parents

If you have children, having a will is non-negotiable; it not only covers who inherits your assets, but also who would serve as a legal guardian for your children. The care and well-being of your children is not something that should be left to chance. You need every aspect of your estate to be legally documented to ensure your wishes are followed in the event that tragedy strikes, or you become incapacitated. If you do not designate a guardian in a will, various parties may petition the court in an attempt to gain custody, and they may not be the people you would trust your children with.

Creating a Will as You Enter Your Golden Years

As you accumulate assets, you should consider how to best minimize estate and inheritence taxes. If the endless complexities involved in securing your legacy cause you stress, creating a will can help alleviate your concerns and help you sleep at night. You may already have a will in place, but you should consider updating your legal documents to reflect any significant life changes, such as the arrival of grandchildren or the loss of a loved one.

Different Types of Wills to Choose From

Attorney For Simple Wills in Myrtle Beach

In South Carolina, a simple will is a straightforward method to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. This type of will is perfect for those with simple estates, who have a clear-cut method for how and where their property is distributed. Under South Carolina law, your simple will must be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two individuals who are present at the same time. These witnesses must not be beneficiaries to avoid conflicts of interest.

Testamentary Trust Wills

A will with a testamentary trust component establishes a trust upon your death, which allows for the management of certain assets for your beneficiaries. This type of will is ideal for managing inheritances for minors or family members who may need additional oversight. Under SC law, the testamentary trust does not come into effect until after your death, and after the will has gone through probate. A testamentary trust runs counter to an "inter vivos trust", which is created and funded while you are still alive. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you decide if this type of will formation is a good fit for your estate. If you need help from an , please give us a call.

Living Wills and Advance Directives in SC

Advance directives are detailed instructions regarding your healthcare preferences if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives include living wills and medical powers of attorney. A living will in SC allows you to outline your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment if you become terminally ill, permanently unconscious, or reduced to a persistent vegetative state. A medical power of attorney designates someone you trust as your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. You may name multiple people to serve as your agent, either to serve consecutively or at the same time.

The Importance of Getting Your Will Done by an Attorney

Wills are not a mere formality, they are an incredibly important aspect of your estate. If you leave any loose ends unaddressed, you are sentencing your loved ones to deal with the resulting stress and ambiguity. 

There are many templates and online tools that can help you draft a basic will, but they lack the personalization and legal rigor that comes with professional legal advice. These tools are often left un-updated when new laws are passed that affect estate law. In South Carolina, as in other states, there are specific legal requirements and nuances that must be adhered to for a will to be considered valid.

A professionally-drafted will takes into account marriages, divorces, children, strained family dynamics, and the ownership of complex assets like businesses or properties in multiple states. Also, utilizing an experienced lawyer to draft your will can allow you to implement the means to ensure that your wishes are upheld in court, should it ever be contested. Our estate planning attorneys make certain that your estate plan minimizes tax liabilities for your beneficiaries, and addresses potential conflicts that could arise among heirs.

Ultimately, relying on a DIY will could lead to significant legal headaches for your beneficiaries, costly court battles, unintended distribution of assets, or even the entire will being thrown out. Invest in proper legal counsel and guarantee the future that you desire. When you are dealing with the entirety of your assets you have acquired over the course of your lifetime, it is the responsible decision to retain an expert to guide your way in the decision-making process.

How to Make a Will Legally Binding in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the bare minimum for creating a valid will is:

  • Age and Capacity: Are you at least 18 years of age, and in sound mind?

  • Voluntarily Made: Was the will made without coercion?

  • In Writing: Is your will written? (oral wills are not recognized in the state of South Carolina)

  • Signatures: You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses (these witnesses must also sign the will)

While the presence of the above-listed factors can create a valid will, there are many additional factors that can render that same will invalid.

Other Considerations Regarding Your Will in Myrtle Beach

Get Your Will Notarized

While notarization is not a legal requirement for the validity of a will in South Carolina, opting to have your will notarized can be beneficial. A notarized will is considered 'self-proving, which means the court can accept the will without requiring the testimony of the witnesses who signed it. This is a must for those who wish to leave nothing to chance, or if you have an inkling that the will may be contested.

Updating Your Will

Don't forget to revisit your will with a qualified estate planning attorney from time to time. The birth of additional children, deaths of loved ones, divorces and marriages, and other life changes may necessitate revisions.

Intestacy Laws in South Carolina

If you die without a will in South Carolina, your assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws, which might not align with your personal wishes. These laws prioritize your closest relatives, with your spouse and children typically first in line. If you are unmarried with no children, assets go to other family members like parents, siblings, or more distant relatives. According to section Section 62-2-105, estates can even pass to the state of South Carolina if there are no takers.

Leave Nothing to Chance: Call An Experienced Attorney for Wills in Myrtle Beach

Bespoke Estate Law serves residents of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Garden City, Murells Inlet, Georgetown, Conway, and throughout the state of South Carolina. We would be happy to speak with you regarding your estate planning needs, and we would be pleased to offer you a free consultation. Please give us a call at your earliest convenience.

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