Estate Planning Attorneys.
Focused on Your Objectives.
The Charleston South Carolina Estate Planning Attorneys at Epstein & Howell will focus on your objectives and needs to carefully craft an estate plan that will safeguard your possessions and provide for the well-being of your loved ones in the event of serious health problems or death. The attorneys of Epstein & Howell will take the time to discuss your unique needs and objectives because each client’s life-situation is unique and important to your comprehensive estate plan.
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
Do you own personal belongings, real property, vehicles or even a business? Then you need an estate plan to make sure that your assets go to whom you desire when you want them those individuals or entities to receive those items. ‘Anything and everything you own’ falls within the gamut of property that can be distributed through your estate plan. That means your insurance, bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, bonds and any other property you own needs to be distributed upon your death. Careful estate planning can legally ensure that assets are distributed according to your wishes.
What Documents Are Included In a Simple Estate Plan?
Generally speaking, the Charleston South Carolina Estate Planning Attorneys at Epstein & Howell provide our clients who need a simple estate plan with a (i) Last Will and Testament, (ii) Healthcare Power of Attorney and (iii) Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death.
Last Will and Testament
Creating a Will is the most important step in managing your estate. Your Last Will and Testament is the legal document that designates the beneficiaries of your estate and when, where and how your assets will be distributed. A will is also the vehicle whereby you name a guardian for your minor children and name your personal representative or the person who is responsible for the administration of the probate of your estate. Other important tools in the estate planning toolbox of Epstein & Howell include (iv) Trusts and (v) Durable Power of Attorney documents.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a very important document in your estate plan because it allows competent adults to designate another individual to make decisions on their behalf about their medical care in the event they become incapacitated. This document is incredibly important because it puts your health care decision-making power in the hands of someone you trust rather than a doctor who doesn’t know you and understand what you would wish to have happen in any given situation involving incapacity.
Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death
A Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death is an extremely important document in your estate plan because it allows competent adults to express their wishes regarding the use or withholding of life-sustaining procedures, including artificial nutrition and hydration, in the event they are diagnosed with a terminal condition, are in a state of permanent unconsciousness or are in a state where they are unable to express their desires.
A trust transfers your assets to another person or entity that will be responsible for managing those specific assets. Your trust specifies the condition under which the transfer will happen whether during your lifetime, after disability or after death. Many types of trusts exist including Living Trusts, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts and Other Trusts.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney Document establishes financial directives including the writing of checks to pay bills and provide daily living needs, filing tax returns and managing investments.