Butler Law

Myrtle Beach Estate Law Blog

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.

An estate plan is important even if you don't have children

Estate planning is a process that is unique for everyone. Although many in the Myrtle Beach area may not have children, that does not mean that they shouldn't have an estate plan. There are many reasons why a person needs an estate plan, even if children are not in their lives.

One reason an estate plan is important for everyone is to plan for medical incapacitation. Of course, no one thinks they will be in a position where they are not able to make medical decisions, but a car accident or other situation can change a life in seconds. Having an advanced directive for healthcare and a durable power of attorney allows a person to designate someone to be in charge of their medical and financial affairs if they become incapacitated. Creating a trust is also a good way for a person to avoid probate at their death and to give away their assets in a way that is private. A trust allows a person to transfer assets to whom they choose without needing to go through probate and without allowing relatives that a person may not even know get involved in their estate. Also, many Myrtle Beach area residents have pets and these can be included in an estate plan to ensure they will be taken care of in case of a death.

Why should you form an LLC for your business?

Many people in the Myrtle Beach area have their own business. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and offer business owners the ability to grow their own business and operate their business in their own way. When a person forms a business, they may want to form an LLC as well.

Many small business owners understand the advantages of forming an LLC. An LLC is a limited liability company. This means that it forms a structure for the business that is similar to a corporation in terms of limited liability. It is a simpler set up that is easier to establish and maintain. The liability portion allows the business owner to limit their liability in terms of business debts and lawsuits that the business may face. The holdings on the business would not affect a business owner's personal assets. The other advantage of establishing an LLC is the pass through of taxes. An LLC does not require its own tax return. Business owners report their profit and loss on their own personal taxes.

Estate planning in blended families

Many Myrtle Beach area families are not traditional. Some first marriages end in divorce and don't always last forever. But, these couples may go on to marry someone else, bringing a complex situation to estate planning.

When a person has a blended family, it becomes even more important to have an estate plan. Each person entering a second or subsequent marriage comes in with their own assets, debts, and financial obligations. It is first important to discuss what these are. Couples need to work through their separate assets and financial goals. If there are children from previous marriages, often couples set aside assets just for them. Everything should be put into writing and what is separate property and marital property should be spelled out. Creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may also be a good idea. Finally, a person should also update their beneficiaries on all accounts as many times an ex-spouse is listed.

Powers of attorney is an important aspect of estate planning

As many Myrtle Beach residents know, estate planning is not just wills and trusts. There are many aspects of estate planning that a person needs to consider. One of these is creating a power of attorney, which is something that can be used when a person is still alive.

Powers of attorney are important estate planning tools. There are two types of powers of attorney. One is a health care power of attorney. The person who is designated a health care power of attorney will be in charge of a person's health care decisions if they become incapacitated. This person will be an advocate for the principal's health care and can make medical and mental health decisions. A principal can also entrust their health care power of attorney to make their funeral arrangements.

Creating a trust to help a spouse

Most families in Myrtle Beach understand that life isn't always perfect and that there are challenges that can arise at any time. Even with the most thorough planning, circumstances can change that affect a person's goals. An estate plan that is able to adapt to life's challenges can be a gift to a family.

As Myrtle Beach residents age, they don't all age the same. Married couples can have one person who is in relatively good health while another needs caretaking. In these situations, a well-drafted trust to plan for disability care is a good idea. If a caretaker dies before the person they're taking care of does a trust can ensure their care is still going to continue. The caretaker spouse can be the trustee while they are alive and if they pass away, the trust identifies a second trustee to continue to manage the trust. After both spouses pass, the assets remaining would be distributed the same way a will would allow.

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When your business or your legacy is at stake, our choice of a law firm to represent you is an important decision. We offer a free initial consultation so that you have an opportunity to meet us and discuss your legal needs.

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

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