Bluffton, South Carolina Estates Attorney Helping You Plan
Preserving your family’s wealth for future generations
Whether you’re planning the parameters of your future medical care or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, Law Office of Stephen S. Bird, LLC can help with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
- Estate planning
- Estate tax issues
- Choosing the appropriate executor
- Living wills
- Living trusts
- Wills drafting
Securing your legacy
You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.
Draft your living will and last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your living will sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.
Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet – making decisions that might not reflect your desires. Law Office of Stephen S. Bird, LLC can draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored.
Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. Law Office of Stephen S. Bird, LLC drafts valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.
Appointment of guardianship
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children and can make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, including naming a guardian to take responsibility for your pets.
The process of probate
The process of probate typically accompanies a painful emotional loss. In addition, most executors have never or only rarely probated a will and know little about the process. We can guide you through the complex probate process, including:
- Filing the will with the appropriate South Carolina county probate court
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously probating the estate
- Finding and collecting assets
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Contact an estate planning law firm you can trust
For estate planning services in Bluffton and throughout South Carolina, call Law Office of Stephen S. Bird, LLC at 843.815.3900 or contact the firm online to schedule an appointment.