Although the primary goal of your estate plan will likely be to provide a roadmap for the division of your estate assets upon your death, you will likely choose to include additional goals in your estate plan as well, such as tax avoidance. If you are fortunate enough to have built up a modest to large estate you must be mindful of federal gift and estate taxes when creating your estate plan. Numerous estate planning tools and strategies may be used to help minimize, or even avoid altogether, … [Read more...] about What Is the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion?
In the United States it often seems as though just about everything is taxed. It seems that way because the truth is that just about everything is potentially taxed! It should come as no surprise then to find that tax avoidance is a common estate planning goal. In order to avoid taxes though you need to understand all the potential ways in which your estate can be taxed and/or all the potential tax implications of your estate planning decisions. For example, are you familiar with the capital … [Read more...] about What Is Capital Gains Tax?
The civil court system in the United States is intended to be a way for parties with a dispute to settle the dispute. Ideally, the issues are settled without the need for a trial through negotiations between the parties; however, when a trial is necessary either a judge or jury will decide the outcome of the case. There is yet another way to settle civil disputes though – alternative dispute resolution, or ADR. There are several different ADR methods used, with mediation being one of the most … [Read more...] about Can a Mediator Take Sides?
Whether because you are creating your own estate or because someone else has named you as one, you will undoubtedly need to know what an Executor is and what the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position are. All too often people make the mistake of naming an Executor in their Last Will and Testament without giving much thought to the appointment, often with disastrous results. When an individual creates a Last Will and Testament a number of important decisions must be made. … [Read more...] about What Is an Executor?
If you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage and you are a resident of the State of South Carolina you will need to decide on what grounds you plan to petition for divorce. Although many states allow a couple to obtain a divorce in a rather short period of time after the initial separation, South Carolina is not one of them. It is important, therefore, to consider the grounds you plan to use now so that you can plan accordingly. Not all that long ago most states required a … [Read more...] about What Are the Grounds for Divorce in South Carolina?
In a traditional adoption the identity of other members of the triad is not known to members of the triad. This has come to be known as a “closed adoption”. In more recent times, open adoptions, where members of the triad do know the identity of other members, have become much more common; however, there are still millions of people living in the United States that are impacted in some way by a closed adoption. Sometimes, a member of the adoption triad wants contact with other members. … [Read more...] about What Is A Confidential Intermediary?
In a best case scenario, the parents will make a decision together on both physical custody and legal custody. Parents can negotiate on dividing custody during a divorce or if they have never been married but have a child together that will be raised in different households. Topics covered in this report include: How Does a Judge Decide Custody Issues? The Best Interests of the Child Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF. … [Read more...] about Free Report: Spousal Support in a South Carolina Divorce
As the parent or caregiver of a special needs child you undoubtedly already realize that the costs involved in caring for your special needs child can be high. Fortunately, there are numerous state and federal assistance programs that provide financial and other assistance to special needs individuals to help defray those costs. If you plan to supplement the assistance provided by these programs when your child is an adult care must be taken in the methods you use to provide that assistance to … [Read more...] about When Do I Need a Special Needs Trust?
At some point in your life you may be faced with the difficult decision to pursue guardianship over a family member or loved one. Making the decision to petition for guardianship is rarely easy because it often feels as though you are takin away your loved one’s freedom and independence. If the person in question is your parent and you feel guardianship is needed because your parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s or another age related dementia disease it is important to keep in mind that failing … [Read more...] about How Is Incapacity Defined in South Carolina?
Given how common they are, it should not be surprising that most people, at some point during their lifetime, execute a power of attorney. A power of attorney, or POA, can be used for a virtually infinite variety of purposes and objectives. If you do decide to execute a POA it is critical that you understand what you are signing, with particular emphasis on the authority you grant to the Agent under the POA. One decision you will need to make is whether you should have a durable power of … [Read more...] about Should I Have a Durable Power of Attorney?