Estate Lawyer - Summerville, SC
For many of our clients, estate planning is much more than simply drafting and executing a will – a comprehensive estate plan can protect your assets and ensure that your loved ones are provided for long after you are gone, taking into consideration your unique circumstances and needs.
Depending on your goals, our estate attorneys can help you to put together a plan that may include special needs trusts, spendthrift trusts, a will, asset protection plans, guardianships and conservatorships, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.
If you have an heir who is likely to squander their inheritance a spendthrift trust can be included as part of your estate plan to limit their access to assets instead of providing them all at once.
If you have an heir with special needs who is physically disabled, mentally disabled, or chronically ill, a special needs trust can be included in your estate plan to provide for them without reducing their eligibility for social security benefits or Medicaid.
Depending on your circumstances, it might be possible to avoid probate by crafting an estate plan that allows you to distribute your assets after death without the hassle of opening a file in the probate court at all.
The time to plan for the future, ensure your legacy, and protect your assets and your family is now. Don’t wait until the last minute. It’s not worth it.
WHAT A Estate LAWYER CAN DO FOR YOU
Summerville, SC, Estate Lawyers
At the Leviner Law Firm, our estate lawyers can also help our clients to administer their estate after death, ensuring that their financial affairs are wound up, their assets distributed, and the probate process runs as smoothly as possible.
Our estate attorneys have extensive experience helping members of our community navigate this stressful and confusing probate process, allowing you to focus on your family after the loss of a loved one while we handle the legal matters for you.
Unless your estate attorney has helped you to avoid probate through the use of living trusts, in most cases, a probate case must be opened by filing a petition in the probate court. The court then appoints an executor – usually a person who was designated as the executor or personal representative in the will.
The executor has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the estate and often retains a probate administration attorney to help them get through the process. The executor is responsible for:
- Filing the necessary legal documents to comply with the decedent’s wishes in the will and any court orders,
- Managing the estate’s assets and avoiding any unnecessary financial losses,
- Inventorying and appraising the estate’s assets,
- Hiring professionals like accountants or probate administration attorneys to assist in the process when needed,
- Keeping the heirs informed of the status of the estate and the probate case,
- Negotiating with debtors and creditors,
- Defending claims made against the estate, and
- Prosecuting claims on behalf of the estate as needed.
People in Summerville, SC, and the surrounding area turn to the Leviner Law Firm’s estate attorneys when they need someone they trust to help them resolve legal issues after the death of a loved one, preserve the estate’s assets for the heirs, and wrap up their loved one’s financial affairs to bring much-needed closure to the heirs and beneficiaries.
Do You Need an Estate Lawyer?
When is the right time to talk to an estate attorney?
We are only promised this moment, and proactive planning can save your loved ones time and money.
Even if you have minimal assets, a simple will can give you peace of mind and make things easier for your loved ones during the probate process.
If you have significant assets, a beneficiary with special needs, a spendthrift beneficiary, a family business, or other special considerations that will complicate the probate process, your estate attorney can help you to craft an estate plan that accomplishes your goals through the use of various trusts in conjunction with your will and other documents tailored to your situation.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to protect your assets to provide for future generations, and your heirs may be able to avoid the probate court entirely, but only if you begin planning now.
Do You Need a Probate Administration Lawyer?
The executor or personal representative of the deceased is responsible for administering the estate – wrapping up financial affairs, settling debts with creditors, collecting debts owed to the estate, and ensuring that assets are distributed according to the deceased’s estate plan.
It is a fiduciary responsibility, which carries certain legal requirements, and executors often express concern that they are 1) unsure of how to proceed and 2) fearful of liability if they make a mistake.
We understand, and this is what we do.
We also understand the depth of grief that many executors – a position often assigned to a child or other loved one of the deceased – are experiencing at this critical time and the difficulty of moving forward to wrap up an estate while you are still feeling shell shocked and lost.
This is where your estate attorney in Summerville, SC, comes in.
We have the knowledge and experience to help you wrap up the deceased’s financial affairs, protect your family’s assets, and settle the estate while you focus on what is most important in these difficult times – your family and loved ones.
Why Call the Leviner Law Firm?
When you call the estate lawyers at the Leviner Law Firm, you will get the personal attention that your matter deserves.
When you are ready to put your estate plan into place or to revise your existing estate plan, we will take the time to learn about you, your family, your current financial situation, your potential future financial situation, and your goals.
Most importantly, we care about helping you realize your goals – just as our family is the most important thing in the world to us, we understand that your family’s financial future is the most important thing in the world to you.
If you need help administering an estate in probate, we will be there at every step of the process. We have the experience that you need to settle the estate, whether the process is simple or complex, and we will 1) help you to preserve the estate’s assets for the heirs whenever possible and 2) do everything possible to ensure that the probate process runs smoothly.
Your estate attorney/ probate administration lawyer at the Leviner law firm will hear you, answer your questions, return your phone calls, and help you to preserve your legacy and accomplish your goals.
We Have Answers to Your Questions…
Q. Do I Need an Estate Attorney to Create Wills, Trusts, and an Estate Plan?
A. You are not required to retain an estate attorney before executing your will or crafting your estate plan, but why wouldn’t you? We see clients frequently who completed online forms, believing their estate planning documents were in order, only to find out they were executed improperly, or contained insufficient language to be recognized by the Probate Court.
Even if you have some knowledge of trusts and other legal documents that will be part of your estate plan, your estate lawyer can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you did it right, your family will be protected, and your assets will go where you want them to go.
Even estate attorneys consult with an independent attorney before executing their legal documents as part of their estate plan.
This is important enough that you do not want to take chances on legal documents being invalid, frivolous challenges arising during the probate process, or missing a critical document that would have allowed you to avoid tax liability or even to avoid the probate court entirely.
Q. What Happens if Someone Contests the Will?
A. Any interested party who believes that they are not receiving the inheritance they are entitled to or that they have been unfairly left out as a beneficiary can contest the will during the probate process.
Will contests, as well as other legal actions to defend against creditors, collect debts, or claim damages for wrongful death, may be a part of your probate lawyer’s responsibilities in preserving the estate’s assets for the beneficiaries.
Q. What is a Special Needs Trust?
A. Trusts are a tool that may allow your beneficiary to receive their inheritance over time or as needed – in some cases, the use of trusts may allow you to avoid probate entirely.
When your beneficiary has special needs like a disability or chronic illness, it is important that you do not inadvertently prevent them from receiving public benefits due to their inheritance. A special needs trust can be used to supplement government benefits without losing their eligibility for programs like Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicaid.
Q. What is a Spendthrift Trust?
A. When a beneficiary is not financially stable – due to addiction issues, chronic unemployment, or excessive debt, for example, a spendthrift trust is a way that you can provide for them financially while still protecting the assets.
A trustee will be in charge of managing the assets, creditors will be unable to reach the assets, and the beneficiary will receive the benefit of the assets while being prevented from selling or giving them away.
What Clients Say About Leviner Law Firm
Amanda Leviner is an ambitious woman of integrity and is passionate about her work. Her and her team work diligently on your behalf and maintain good communication with the client throughout the process.
Amanda is reliable and trustworthy in every sense of the word. She genuinely cares about her clients and the best possible outcome for the individual(s) involved. She is all heels and hustle!
Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Your Next Steps
DISCUSS YOUR SITUATION
DECIDE TO WORK TOGETHER
Together we can decide if we’re a fit and if not, no hard feelings. Our office will refer you to someone who may be a better fit.