Butler Law

Myrtle Beach Estate Law Blog

Who can contest a will?

Many Myrtle Beach area residents have had a chance to put together an estate plan. When an estate plan is created, it is expected that it will be followed as written. Usually, this is the case and an estate plan is a welcome document when a person passes away. Occasionally, a will is contested in probate litigation.

Contesting a will sounds like a dramatic event that happens to celebrities. However, any family can have a contested will situation. Not anyone can contest a will, though. Those who are named in the will and those who would have inherited if there hadn't been a will both have legal standing to contest a will. Beneficiaries named in the will are often family members but can be charitable organizations, friends or other organizations. Those who would have inherited if there hadn't been a will are considered heirs. Heirs are usually family of the deceased.

Estate planning for families with special needs children

Many Myrtle Beach area families have a child with special needs. These families understand the hardship and stress that goes along with having a special needs child. Families with special needs children must understand the importance of having an estate plan and how critical it is for their child's future.

There are several things families with special needs children should include in an estate plan. When creating an estate plan, they should start small and begin with a letter of intent. The letter needs to include what parents want their child's future to look like and who will be involved in their life. It can also include information like the child's daily schedule, likes and dislikes, etc. The letter should be updated each year to ensure it is up-to-date.

Be sure to update your estate plan after divorce

Most people, upon creating an estate plan, will check it off of a to-do list and promptly forget about it. However, estate plans are not meant to be created and then left stagnant.

Your life is filled with change, and your estate plan works best when it reflects changes as they occur. Many of the changes that should spark an estate plan update align with milestones, such as getting married, purchasing a home or having a child. However, you should also update your estate plan after getting a divorce.

Planning for a second marriage

When a Myrtle Beach couple gets married, they assume their marriage will last forever. There are marriages that last decades, but there are also many that end in divorce. However, even if a person's first marriage ends in divorce, they often take the chance on a second marriage later on. There are certain estate planning measures that a person should recognize when they get married for a second time.

A second marriage can bring great joy to a person. Whatever they learned in their first marriage can be made new again in a second marriage. Along with the bliss, a couple needs to understand estate planning for second marriages. A marriage automatically gives the new spouse certain rights. Many times, those going into second marriages are financially independent.

6 estate planning mistakes a Myrtle Beach resident should avoid

Most Myrtle Beach area residents understand the importance of estate planning. There are many benefits to creating an estate plan: asset preservation, communicating health care wishes, charitable giving, among many others. If a Myrtle Beach area family hasn't created an estate plan there are certain mistakes they should keep in mind and try to avoid.

Creating an estate plan is important for many reasons. A person just never knows when an estate plan will be needed and having one in place can help a family tremendously. There are some estate planning mistakes that can happen though. The first estate planning mistake is not having an estate plan at all. There are no situations in which a person should not have an estate plan, as the unexpected can happen at any time.

Business succession planning

There are many Myrtle Beach area residents who own their own businesses. Many of these are family businesses that have been in the family for generations or whose owners hope they will be in the family for many years to come. Business succession planning is important for these companies to make sure there is a plan in place.

A business succession plan is important for Myrtle Beach small businesses that hope to be in business for many years to come. A succession plan is a way for the company to transfer ownership to the next group while minimizing conflicts. A plan can also minimize tax liability and offer financial support for all business partners.

Reasons why a person may need a trust

Myrtle Beach area residents understand the importance of estate planning. But, estate planning is often placed on the back burner for many reasons. When a Myrtle Beach area resident finally takes the time to tackle their family's estate planning, they may think a will is sufficient for their needs. They may be surprised to learn that a trust may also be necessary.

There are many advantages a trust can bring to estate planning. One of the main advantages is for the estate to avoid probate. If there is just a will, the estate will need to go through the probate process. But, with a trust, probate is avoided. Another advantage of a trust is if a person becomes incapacitated, their trustee can use the assets for the person's care and well-being. It can also be an advantage for a business owner. When they pass away, the trustee can step in as the owner and continue running the business. This can be difficult if the business has to go through the probate process. Another good thing about a trust is that it helps a multiple marriage situation. A trust can protect the children from a first marriage while also providing assets for the spouse from a second marriage. A trust can provide assets to a spouse to use in their lifetime with the assets remaining to be given to a person's children and/or grandchildren.

5 components all good estate plans need

Having a well-developed estate plan is one of the best things someone can do to safeguard their property, give themselves and their family peace of mind and avoid the cost of probate. Despite the utility of getting one's affairs in order, though, a surprising number of people with without a plan for their estate.

This is not necessarily their fault; the legal area of estate planning is complicated. Between parsing through forms of power of attorney and trying to understand types of trusts, it's understandable that a person may shut down. A basic estate plan does not have to be complicated though, it just needs these 5 components.

Digital presence needs to be protected

Almost everyone in the Myrtle Beach area has some sort of digital presence. Whether a person has online bank accounts, amazon prime memberships, or social media accounts, it's hard to avoid a digital presence of some sort. When a person thinks about estate planning, wills and trusts are the typical things that come to mind. But digital estate planning is also something that needs to be considered.

There are many things to keep in mind if a person has a digital presence. First, they need to make a list of all online accounts they have. These include bank accounts, shopping accounts, social media accounts, lottery and gaming accounts, bitcoin, and music accounts. Passwords should also be saved for these accounts and this list should be reviewed regularly. Most people don't even realize how many online accounts they have until they are all written down.

Reviewing beneficiaries should be done periodically

Most people in the Myrtle Beach area have accounts that list beneficiaries. When these financial accounts are set up they often need to designate a beneficiary. This is usually done but may not be reviewed ever again. Not reviewing a financial account's beneficiaries can be a major problem in a person's estate plans.

Many Myrtle Beach area residents have spent the time to create an estate plan. The estate plan may include a will and a trust which designates who will receive a person's assets upon their death. But, regardless of what a will or trust spells out, many assets will pass to their beneficiary regardless of what the estate plan says. Life insurance and retirement accounts are often passed to their beneficiaries and if these haven't been reviewed in years, the beneficiary may not be who the deceased intended. A person should periodically review their beneficiary designations, especially when there has been a marriage, divorce, death, or birth of new children. A person's beneficiary designations that were made when they were in their 20s are almost certainly different now that they are older.

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Butler Law
4420 Oleander Drive, Suite 202
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

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