Common Estate Planning Mistakes in South Carolina

Lawyer-960x640Planning out a will and how to handle your estate once you are gone is a very important step in your life. You should take time to consider it carefully and make changes as frequently as needed. There are a lot of mistakes that people make when it comes to planning out their estate. Residents in the Fort Mill/Rock Hill region of South Carolina can rest assured they have the Harden Law Firm there to help them avoid these mistakes. For everyone else, here are some the most common estate mistakes that planners make.

Putting it off until its too late.

Whether it is the mental block of not wanting to think about their own mortality, or simple laziness, putting off writing out your will can spell disaster for your family. Without a clear outline of what you with to happen with you estate, even with your funeral, the time after your parting can be a heavier burden than it needs to be. If you have no estate plan when you die, the distribution of your assets will become the duty of the state. One of the biggest problems with letting the state resolve the estate is that they will take the largest possible amount of taxes from it.

For people with large estates, using the “I love you will”.

This is the term given to the simplistic will that many people use. It is the general order of passing everything to the surviving spouse, or children if there is no spouse left. For a lot of people this simplistic estate management works fine. However, for persons of significant fortunes and assets over the 5 million dollar mark, dictating this rolling tier of inheritance can cost almost a million dollars in taxes. A good lawyer can help you preserve the order of succession without loosing precious money to tricky taxation and probate laws.

Improperly handling assets.

There is a saying that the two constants of this world are death and taxes. In a way it is somewhat ironic and fitting given that probate taxes that are due after you die can leave quite the burden on your loved ones. If they managed to avoid much debt over the funeral costs, there are always probate taxes lurking around the corner. One error of either not making a will, or having issues with your assets is that you can end up creating more debt upon death than when you were alive. Having assets that are not liquid create more taxes than anything. For people who invested in real estate and business holdings as part of their collect of assets, in most cases, over half of the holdings have to be sold at sellout pricing to cover the probate taxes levied them. A good estate lawyer can help you avoid creating the situation were loved ones who are left property are forced to choose between trying to pay the often extremely high taxes on it or selling it.

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