In Need of a Wills & Trusts Lawyer in Lancaster County?

At the David W. Martin Law Group, our Lancaster County will and trust lawyers help South Carolina residents plan for their futures using customized estate planning tools.

One of the first estate planning resources most people need is to decide between a will and a trust. This decision depends on various factors, including your individual goals, financial situation, family circumstances, and preferences. We can help you and your family understand the key considerations to determine which option may be more suitable for your unique needs.

Wills & Trusts Law in Lancaster County

Why Do South Carolina Residents Need a Will or Trust?

Our Indian Land will and trust attorneys help South Carolina residents create these vital legal documents to help ensure their current and future estate planning goals align.

Some of the primary motivations for developing a will or trust with an estate planning attorney in Lancaster County include, but are not limited to:

  • Asset Distribution

One of the primary purposes of creating a will or trust is to specify how your assets and property should be distributed after death. This ensures your wishes are fulfilled, and your loved ones receive the intended inheritances.

  • Avoiding Probate

Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets are distributed and debts settled under court supervision. Wills and certain types of trusts can help expedite or even avoid the probate process altogether, saving time and money for the estate and beneficiaries.

  • Providing for Minor Children

Parents often create wills or trusts to designate guardians for their minor children in the event of their death. They can also establish trusts to manage and distribute assets for the benefit of their children until they reach a certain age or milestone.

  • Protecting Beneficiaries

Trusts can protect beneficiaries from poor financial decisions, creditors, divorcing spouses, and other potential threats. For example, a trust can provide for a special-needs beneficiary without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits or distributing funds at certain ages in designated amounts, protecting the trust from overspending.

  • Tax Planning

Wills and trusts can be used for estate tax planning to minimize tax liability and maximize the amount of assets passed on to beneficiaries.

  • Incapacity Planning

A will or trust can include provisions for managing our client’s affairs in the event of incapacity by appointing a trusted individual to make financial or healthcare decisions on their behalf.

  • Business Succession Planning

Our clients, who are business owners, often use wills and trusts to plan for the succession of their business interests upon death, ensuring a smooth transition of ownership and management to the next generation of chosen successors.

  • Charitable Giving

Wills and trusts can support charitable causes and organizations by specifying donations or establishing philanthropic trusts.

Creating a will or trust allows our South Carolina clients to control the distribution of their assets, provide for their loved ones, minimize taxes and probate costs, and ensure their wishes are carried out according to their intentions. If you have questions about why you should create a will or trust and which one is right for your estate planning needs, contact our trusted Lancaster County attorneys today for help.

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

The main difference between a will and a trust lies in when they become effective and how they distribute assets.

A will is a legal document outlining how a person’s assets and property should be distributed upon death.

This means:

  • It becomes effective only upon the death of the person who created it (the testator).
  • Wills must go through the probate process, a court-supervised procedure for validating the will, paying debts, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
  • Wills can include instructions for guardianship of minor children, appointing an executor to carry out the terms of the will, and making specific bequests to individuals or organizations.
  • Wills can be amended or revoked during the testator’s lifetime by creating a new will or amending an existing will.

A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person (the grantor) transfers assets to a trustee to hold and manage for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

It can be established during the grantor’s lifetime (a living trust) or upon their death through the terms of a will (a testamentary trust).

This means:

  • Living trusts can help avoid probate because assets held in the trust at the time of the grantor’s death pass directly to the named beneficiaries without probate.
  • Trusts can provide flexibility in managing assets, allowing the grantor to specify how and when beneficiaries receive distributions. For example, a trust can provide for minor children, individuals with special needs, or beneficiaries who may not be capable of managing assets independently.
  • Trusts can also offer privacy because they are private documents and do not become part of the public record like wills that go through probate.
  • Trusts may provide asset protection benefits, including shielding assets from creditors or preserving assets for future generations.

If you are unsure which estate planning tools are right for you, contact our dedicated Indian Land will and trust attorneys to get the legal guidance you need to make informed decisions about your future.

How to Determine If a Will or Trust is Right for Your South Carolina Estate Planning Needs

Since each of our client’s estate planning goals is unique, we begin by clarifying them by considering factors like who they want to inherit your assets, how you want those assets to be distributed, whether you have minor children or beneficiaries with special needs, and if you have concerns about privacy, probate, or asset protection.

We then thoroughly explain the differences between wills and trusts, including how they operate, when they become effective, how assets are distributed, and their respective benefits and limitations.

Our experienced Lancaster County estate planning attorneys will take stock of your assets, including real estate, financial accounts, investments, retirement accounts, business interests, life insurance policies, and personal property, and consider the types of assets you have, their value, and how you want them managed and distributed.

Finally, we will consider your family dynamics, including the needs and circumstances of your beneficiaries. These details are essential when creating a customized will or trust and require getting to know our clients and their sincere wishes for their futures and after they are gone.

Contact Our David W. Martin Law Group Today

If you need help determining which estate planning resources are right for you and your family, including whether a will or trust will achieve the desired results, contact our David W. Martin Law Group legacy planning attorneys in South Carolina today by calling (803) 590-1958. We can help you understand your personal, professional, and legal options so you can confidently move forward.


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David W. Martin Law Group

108 Springs Street
Fort Mill, SC 29715-1722
(803) 548-2468

1061 Red Ventures Drive, Suite 145
Fort Mill, S.C. 29707
(803) 548-2000

910 E. North Street
Greenville, SC 29601
(803) 590-1958

324 East St. John Street, Suite F-2
Spartanburg, SC 29302
(864) 606-0053

331 Oakland Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 985-9200

110 Trader’s Cross, 1st Floor
Bluffton, SC 29909
(843) 949-4354

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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(854) 854-5623

1240 Winnowing Way,
Suite 102 Office 1120
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
(843) 800-8165

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1501 Main Street,
Suite 507, Columbia, SC.

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