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Top Charleston, SC Estate Planning Lawyers Near You

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

170 Meeting Street, Suite 110, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

146 Fairchild Street, Suite 130, Charleston, SC 29492

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

164 Market Street, Suite 362, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

5 Exchange Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

115 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

171 Church Street, Suite 260, PO Box 395, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Mount Pleasant Office | Serving Charleston, SC

800 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

126 Seven Farms Drive, Suite 200, Charleston, SC 29492

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

171 Church Street, Suite 330, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

834 Wappoo Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

177 Meeting St, Suite 320, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

151 Meeting Street, Suite 600, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

205 King Street, Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Mount Pleasant Office | Serving Charleston, SC

735 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Suite 200, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Estate Planning Lawyers | Mount Pleasant Office | Serving Charleston, SC

724 S Shelmore Blvd, Suite 104, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Estate Planning Lawyers | Mount Pleasant Office | Serving Charleston, SC

222 W Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Estate Planning Lawyers | Mount Pleasant Office | Serving Charleston, SC

528 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Suite 102, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

111 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | North Charleston Office | Serving Charleston, SC

885 Island Park Drive, Suite B, North Charleston, SC 29492

Estate Planning Lawyers | Mount Pleasant Office | Serving Charleston, SC

75 Port City Landing, Suite 110, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

211 King Street, Suite 200, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

176 Croghan Spur, Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29407

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

171 Church Street, Suite 160, Charleston, SC 29401

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

280 Seven Farm Drive, Suite A, Charleston, SC 29492

Estate Planning Lawyers | Charleston Office

78 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401

Charleston Estate Planning Information

Lead Counsel Badge

Lead Counsel Verified Attorneys In Charleston

Lead Counsel independently verifies Estate Planning attorneys in Charleston and checks their standing with South Carolina bar associations.

Our Verification Process and Criteria
  • Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
  • Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
  • Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
  • Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.

Find an Estate Planning Attorney near Charleston

Visit our free Estate Planning Resource Center.

Estate Planning For the Future

Estate planning uses legal documents to make decisions about what will happen to your property and assets after death. Planning for the future can also involve designating certain representatives who can make financial decisions if you are incapacitated or unable to communicate. Without an estate plan, any real estate, bank accounts, and personal property will be distributed according to state law, even if it would have been against your wishes.

What Are Estate Planning Tools?

There are many estate planning tools that can offer different benefits for how to plan for the future while allowing you to use your assets in the present. Some common estate planning documents include:
  • Will
  • Living trust or revocable trust
  • Irrevocable trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Living will or advance healthcare directive
  • Power of attorney

Wills and Trusts

A will is the most common estate planning too. A will is simple to make and can be updated or changed. After you pass away, the court will go through the process of estate administration with your will in probate court, to pay off any liabilities and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. Trusts can allow you to avoid probate court altogether by naming trustees to distribute your estate assets to your beneficiaries. Some trusts can also provide asset protection and offer proper estate planning benefits for your loved ones.

Living Wills and Healthcare Directives

A living will can allow you to make healthcare decisions while you are still alive if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. Also known as an advance healthcare directive, if you become seriously ill or incapacitated, your living will can make specific provisions about your own medical treatment, including what type of procedures you do not want to receive. You can also use a durable power of attorney to designate a health care proxy to make long-term care healthcare decisions on your behalf. A South Carolina elder law attorney or estate attorney can give you more information about living wills.

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Charleston?

The cost of estate planning can depend on your individual circumstances. Some estate planning attorneys in Charleston will prepare documents like a will or power of attorney for a flat fee. Other legal services may be offered based on the attorney’s hourly fees. The costs of legal services can depend on the type of estate plan, amount of assets, and an attorney’s years of experience. In some cases, the lawyer can provide a free consultation to help you decide which estate planning law firm is right for you.

Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

South Carolina estate planning law and individual legal issues are unique. Getting help from an estate planning law firm can help, especially if you own substantial assets and want to plan for your family’s future. An estate lawyer can give you legal advice and guide you toward the best options to minimize your estate taxes, provide the most for your future beneficiaries, and give you peace of mind.

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

Many people put off making an estate plan because they don’t think they need to. It is never too early to make plans for what might happen if you become incapacitated or pass away. If you get married, have a child, or begin to accumulate significant assets, it is time to think about making plans to provide for your loved ones. A Charleston estate planning law office can provide an initial consultation to help you make a decision for your estate planning needs.

What estate planning documents do you need?

Every estate plan should include a last will and testament or establish a trust. This will allow you to state how you wish to distribute your assets to beneficiaries upon your death. A power of attorney declaration will name someone you trust to handle your health care and/or financial decisions if you are ever unable to. An advanced directive (also known as a living will) will state your wishes for any care you want to receive if you are unable to make those decisions at the time. This is useful when it comes to end-of-life care or if you ever need life-saving care because of an accident or illness.

When to Hire a Lawyer

It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

Tips on Hiring an Experienced Lawyer with Estate Planning Cases

The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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