Estate Planning

Updated: Jul 29

Just for fun download Akin Investments free "Procrastinators Guide to Estate Planning"

It's a great way to begin a very important and often difficult task for some.

Here are a few things to consider.

Update other documentation as well as your will. Choose you executors, trustees or other representatives carefully. Make sure the contact information for them is up to date. Review all accounts and insurance policies and name your beneficiaries

Have you moved? Estate planning documents drafted out-of-state, as long as they were drafted with the formalities and requirements of that state, will be effective in all 50 states. That being said, having out-of-state documents can unnecessarily complicate trust or estate administration, or the ability to exercise powers of attorney or health care directives.


Investopedia says:

  • Estate planning involves determining how an individual’s assets will be preserved, managed, and distributed after death or in the event they become incapacitated.

  • Planning tasks include making a will, setting up trusts and/or making charitable donations to limit estate taxes, naming an executor and beneficiaries, and setting up funeral arrangements.

  • A will is a legal document that provides instructions on how an individual’s property and custody of minor children, if any, should be handled after death.

  • Various strategies can be used to limit taxes on an estate, from creating trusts to making charitable donations.

 

ESTATE PLANNING

We can plan trusts for your children, avoid having to go through the probate process at death, avoid government payback of your assets, protect against creditors, keep your assets and your distributions private, and a bunch of other great things! Call our office to schedule a consultation today.

Your family will be thankful.

ELDER CARE AND LONG TERM CARE PLANNING

We can assist with long term planning for you or your loved ones. We offer advice on asset preservation, inheritance planning, navigating benefits, and receiving all that you or your family member are entitled to. We work with attorneys, accountants and other professionals to develop comprehensive plans that work for your specific situation.

We assist with nursing home and care facility accommodations, document signings and family disputes. Comprehensive planning allows us to develop a unique plan that works for your specific situation, versus just preparing a "simple will" that could likely omit many important issues from being addressed.

We can also address social security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, senior housing choices, and a variety of other elder law issues.


PROBATE AVOIDANCE

The probate process can be lengthy, expensive, and emotional. As part of the estate planning process, we can consider different probate avoidance techniques and if it matches your goals, develop a comprehensive plan that works for your family and financial situation so that your family members may avoid having to go through the probate process. Examples of some probate avoidance techniques are: joint tenants with the right of survivorship or life estate deeds, use of LLCs or living trusts, and transferring the title to smaller assets that would normally pass through probate so they will instead pass non-probate.

If you own real estate in multiple counties or states, it may be necessary to file probate in each of those locations. In order to avoid having to file multiple ancillary estates in

every place you own real estate, we can develop a plan for your real estate that avoids the time and expense of these multiple court filings.

Probate avoidance is not the solution for everyone. Depending on your specific situation, it may be better to set up an alternate plan. If you are considering probate avoidance, we will discuss the benefits and detriments of this at your estate planning consultation.


WILLS AND TRUSTS


Drafting the appropriate legal documents that convey your wishes is only half the battle. A will or trust must also be properly funded. Developing a comprehensive plan that includes your wishes and the proper execution of them is important. Discount estate planners or online "lawyer-assisted" document generating websites usually do not address all of the issues that may come up. If you don't know what could go wrong or what you are leaving out, how can you fix it?


FIDUCIARY APPOINTMENTS


We can assist you with selecting the appropriate fiduciaries to manage your finances and make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so. A fiduciary is someone who has a special relationship of trust and good faith with regard to the transaction for the beneficiary. They generally use their judgment to decide what would be best for the beneficiary.



GUARDIANSHIP


For Incapacitated Adults:

Under South Carolina law, the definition of an Incapacitated Person is a "person who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, advanced age, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause (except minority) to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his person or property." S.C. Code of Laws 62-5-101 If someone is believed to be incapacitated and unable to make their own health care decisions, a Guardianship Action can be filed with the Probate Court to have that person legally declared an Incapacitated Person and have a Legal Guardian appointed with the authority and responsibility over their health and health care decisions.


If the person was previously competent and designated an Agent in their Health Care Power of Attorney, a guardianship proceeding can generally be avoided and the Health Care Power of Attorney can be used by the appointed Agent to make health care decisions for the now incapacitated person.

In the event of a parent's death:

If you care for a child or incapacitated person, your will or trust should nominate someone to be appointed the legal guardian over them, in the event of your death. A surviving parent who lives with and has custody of a minor child will normally automatically continue to have sole custody, but in the event they are unable or unwilling to, it is important to nominate alternates for this important role.


RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADULT AND MINOR GUARDIANSHIP STATUTES


Akin Investments represents clients in both Mississippi and South Carolina. We work with attorneys, accountants and other professionals to develop comprehensive plans that work for your specific situation.

We assist with nursing home and care facility accommodations, document signings and family disputes. Comprehensive planning allows us to develop a unique plan that works for your specific situation, versus just preparing a "simple will" that could likely omit many important issues from being addressed.

We can also address social security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, senior housing choices, and a variety of other elder law issues.

Mississippi Title 93. Domestic Relations Miss. Code. Ann. §§ Miss. Code. Ann. §§ 93- •Guardianship statutes are associated
 Chapter 13. Guardians and 93-13-111 to 281. 13-1 to -79. Conservators
 • Conservatorship (estates of adults) statutes have been separated

South Carolina Title 21. Estates, Trusts, Guardians and Fiduciaries
 Chapter 21. Natural and Parentally Appointed Guardians
 Title 62. South Carolina Probate Code Article 5. Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Property
 Part 3. Guardians of Incapacitated Persons


Part 4. Protection of Property of Persons Under Disability and Minors
 S.C. Code Ann. §§ 62- 5-301 to -313; 62-5-401 to -435.
 S.C. Code Ann. §§ 21- 21-25 to -55.
 • Guardianship statutes are separated
 • Conservatorship statutes are integrated


CONSERVATORSHIP


If someone is believed to be incapacitated and unable to make their financial decisions, a Conservatorship Action can be filed with the Probate Court to have that person legally declared an Incapacitated Person and have a Legal Conservator appointed with the authority and responsibility over their finances and financial decisions.

If the person was previously competent and designated an Agent in their Durable Financial Power of Attorney, a conservatorship proceeding can generally be avoided and the Durable Financial Power of Attorney can be used by the appointed Agent to make financial decisions for the now incapacitated person.