Final Details: Crucial South Carolina Estate Planning Terms

Final Details: Crucial South Carolina Estate Planning TermsThis article will provide clarification on a number of crucial South Carolina estate planning terms, and explain:

  • How to ensure your end-of-life medical wishes are followed.
  • What can interfere or impede your final financial estate planning wishes.
  • Key estate planning terms and how they might impact your South Carolina will.
What Is A DNR Order In South Carolina? Can I Set This Up With My Estate Planning Attorney?

A DNR is a Do Not Resuscitate order, which is an instruction from a patient to their doctors to ‘pull the plug’ if they are unconscious, have no chance of recovery, and have no chance of getting better. In short, it means that you will never be kept alive artificially indefinitely.

In South Carolina, the proper way to do this is through a living will, also called a declaration of a desire for a natural death. Such a living will can also include other essential end-of-life medical instructions for how you wish to be cared for while alive.

An estate planning attorney can prepare such a document and guide you through signing it properly before taking it to your doctor to become part of your formal medical file.

If I Spend Part Of The Year Outside South Carolina, Will My Estate Planning Documents Be Valid In Both?

While most estate planning documents will be respected and valid in multiple states, this is not always the case, and it is always best to verify with a local attorney.

In almost all instances, a trust will be valid in any state you take it to and a will is usually valid because most state laws are pretty uniform. But again, this depends on the state and their laws, and can only be confirmed by a local attorney.

The same is true for a durable power of attorney as there may be witnessing differences. On the other hand, a healthcare power of attorney and a living will are state-oriented documents so they definitely should be checked by a local attorney before filing.

Can Property Distribution In A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement Be Overridden By A Will In South Carolina?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are arrangements mutually decided on between you and your spouse before or during your marriage for how your assets will be handled should the marriage come to an end. While they are often intended for a divorce situation, they can come into effect at the death of a spouse.

Usually, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will take precedence over the will. However, this is not always the case. If there is a contradiction between the will and the prenup or postnup agreement a probate judge will have to review both documents, the situation, and any other relevant evidence, and then make a decision.

While they will usually rule in favor of a properly signed prenuptial or postnuptial agreement over a will, there may be quite significant exceptions.

What Is A Family Limited Partnership, And What Role Can It Play In South Carolina Estate Planning?

A Family Limited Partnership (or FLP) is a partnership designed to help pass on business assets and their benefits to future generations. It is usually used by an individual or couple who owns a business and wants to preserve those assets and pass them along to their descendants without having to go through probate or risk them being too heavily taxed.

A Family Limited Partnership is designed to preserve the family’s wealth and provide for tax-free transfer down through children, grandchildren, and so on. Because they will all be members of the partnership and therefore automatically own the real estate or other business property in the family Limited partnership.

FLPs are a way to maintain control over property through several generations and are also widely used in South Carolina to limit the liability of individual partners.

What Is The Spousal Allowance In South Carolina Estate Planning?

The spousal allowance or spousal share is one-third of the other spouse’s estate which the other spouse is broadly legally entitled to upon their death. However, it is not an automatic grant or guarantee that they will receive it.

In South Carolina, if a spouse leaves their other spouse out of the will entirely then that omitted spouse must file with the probate court within eight months after death and request their spousal share. This share can be diminished, however, by gifts recently received, expenses, and other items in the estate.

Therefore, the spousal allowance is not a clear-cut share and can be very complicated to try and get, especially without the help of an experienced South Carolina estate planning attorney.

Would A Significant Inheritance Impact My Loved One’s Disability Benefits Eligibility?

This would depend on the disability and the type of benefits at stake. Some disability benefits are based on the disability of a person and not their needs. In this case, they are entitled to their disability benefits no matter what other assets they have.

Other benefits on the other hand, such as entitlements to Medicaid or Supplemental Social Income (SSI), are “need-based” and thus are definitely impacted by the other assets they may possess. These benefits can be discontinued if someone receives a large inheritance.

Though there are ways to put money aside to help such a loved one without endangering their benefits, such as a special needs trust.

These strategies, and more, are all part of every South Carolina estate planning attorney’s toolbox to help ensure your rights, legacy, and will are respected after your death.

For more information on Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 271-7940 today.

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11 McGee Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Phone: (864) 271-7940
Fax: (864) 370-3413
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