Butler Law

Myrtle Beach Estate Law Blog

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.

How do a healthcare power of attorney and a living will differ?

A healthcare power of attorney and a living will are both documents that allow you to make your wishes about healthcare known in case you become incapacitated. The differences between the two documents can be confusing because both regard healthcare decisions and are commonly included in estate planning. However, when you are determining if you need one or both documents in your estate plan, it is important to understand what each document does and does not do.

Healthcare power of attorney

Reasons that an estate plan needs to be updated

Many Myrtle Beach area residents have taken the time to create an estate plan. This is an important step in ensuring a person's wishes are followed upon their death. But just because an estate plan has been created does not mean that's the end of it. An estate plan needs to be regularly reviewed and updated.

One reason why an estate plan may need to be updated is if a move to another state has happened. Each state has their own laws regarding estate planning. Another reason to update an estate plan is if there is a new addition to the family, a divorce, or a death. It's best to revise documents to incorporate the new family members or remove the people who are no longer in the family. If there is a significant change in assets, reviewing how property is divided can be a good idea. Another update that may need to be made is when beneficiary designations are not correct on a 401k or IRA. The designations on the plan are what is used for asset disbursement, not what is written in a will or trust. Finally, an estate plan may need to be updated if executors or trustees are no longer appropriate. Circumstances surrounding an executor appointment may have changed and updating who these people are is important.

Is updating an estate plan important after a move to Florida?

Many people in Florida have moved from another state. Whether for retirement to a warmer climate or for job opportunities, there are many reasons why Florida attracts new residents. When a person moves to Florida and already has an estate plan, there are certain things to keep in mind.

If a person moves to Florida they may have questions about their estate plan that was created in another state. A will that was created in another state is valid in Florida with some exceptions. One is if a person now homesteads in Florida and the will states that the house should be put into a trust for the benefit of a spouse and children after a death, that would be a problem. A Florida homestead is devisable only to a surviving spouse and cannot be controlled by a trustee. Another issue to be aware of is if the will states that upon a person's death, the house should be sold and assets split among the children. If a spouse is still alive, this won't work, and a homestead exemption can be lost for creditor protection purposes. One other problem is that the out of state will may name an executor who is not a relative. Florida only allows a nonrelative to be an estate executor if they are a resident of the state.

Four estate-planning steps cryptocurrency owners should take

Many Myrtle Beach area residents have taken the time necessary to create an estate plan to protect their estate, medical care wishes, children, etc. An estate plan is critical in ensuring a person's wishes are followed after they become incapacitated or pass away. There are always changes in estate planning and it is a fluid process that people should revisit often to make sure all of their plans are still valid. One new addition to estate planning is incorporating cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency investing has become popular for Florida residents. Digital assets are an investment that many people are engaged in. Since they are so popular, it is important for those who have these digital assets to make sure they include them in their estate plan. First, investors need to record the private access information and give this information to their estate representative. Information may include a private key, passwords, and two factor authentication information. Next, digital wallets which hold these currencies should be transferred to a hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is an encrypted flash drive that requires a password to access.

Millennials need to think about creating an estate plan

Many Myrtle Beach millennials have not taken the time to consider creating an estate plan. Most think an estate plan is for people who are older and nearer the end of their life. The truth is that almost everyone can benefit from an estate plan.

Almost 60 percent of Americans have not taken the time to create an estate plan. This can be a problem for those who have children and even those who do not. Although we all assume we will live forever, an unexpected accident can occur that leaves a person incapacitated or deceased. An estate plan offers protection for a person's assets, along with their medical wishes and plans for their children in case the unexpected occurs. Only 36 percent of adults with children under the age of 18 have an estate plan in place. Millennials are overlooking the importance of having a will. With a will, a family can name who they want to take care of their children. Without a will, the court decides. In addition, a will can include who will receive assets and what medical care a person would want if they're incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes.

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

Phone: 843-213-6343
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