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LAWYERLISA

Real Estate Law. Estate Planning. Simplified.

LawyerLisa, LLC focuses on Real Estate Closings, Estate Planning, Probate Litigation, and Elder Law.  Our firm is here to provide clients with comprehensive solutions in a comfortable environment.  Let our experience lead you to the solutions you seek.

Estate planning Betty White style.

It is common for me to talk to someone about updating their will or getting a health care power of attorney in place, and then not hear from them for months or even years.  Most people don't want to deal with the subject of their own mortality.  They don't want to think about not being able to take care of themselves.  It's understandable.  

We'd all like to think we'll grow old like Betty White.  Fabulous and functioning well beyond the norm.

While this is a great attitude to have and an even better goal, no one knows exactly what is in store.  After helping someone with their estate plan, the common response is....wait for it...relief.  All the pressure is gone.  All the wondering and concern is just gone.  It is such a weight lifted off their minds.  Think about it.  How many times a month, or a week, or a day, do you consider needing to get your affairs in order.  Do you have loose ends that you could forget about if you just took care of them?  This is your sign to do something about it.

So just do it.  And live your wonderful, fabulous Betty White life.

Ebola a/k/a Holy crap, we're all going to die

Sunday night, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York relaxed the mandatory quarantine for medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa but were asymptomatic. Instead of being required to stay in an isolation tent, workers can now be quarantined in their own homes.

More than 10,000 people in Western Africa have contracted Ebola since March.  Almost 5,000 have died.  9 cases have been reported in the United States to date.  1 of the 9 has died.

So why the hysteria in the United States? It probably has a lot to do with lack of correct information on how it is spread and how it is contained.

The same goes for estate planning.  Here's what you need to know: You are going to die.  

It likely won't be from Ebola.  But, while you are planning, plan for your family.  Does your Ebola/Zombie Apocalypse/Nuke plan include a comprehensive estate plan?  It should.  Take care of your loved ones by setting your plan in place to protect them and their future.

 

Do you really need a will?

Contrary to what some may think, if you pass away without a will, the state will not keep all your belongings.  Instead, the state provides your estate plan for you.  Is it what you would have picked?  Many times it is not.  If you care where your belongings will go at your death, it is important to make your own decisions with a comprehensive estate plan.  It is never too early to plan to avoid unintended consequences.

Special Needs Trust: Do you need one?

Are you caring for someone with special needs?  If you pass away before that person, what will happen to them?  Who will provide for their care?  How will they be taken care of?  Is your loved one on Medicaid?  Are you leaving them an inheritance?  If a person receiving Medicaid benefits is left assets that push them over the Medicaid threshold, they will be "kicked off" Medicaid.  This can cause serious issues for someone who needs the benefits provided by Medicaid.  These unintended consequences can be avoided by setting up a Supplemental Needs Trust, also commonly referred to as a Special Needs Trust, for your loved one.  By leaving an inheritance to someone in this statutory trust, your loved one can still qualify for important government benefits.  Medicaid planning is a complicated subject.  Be sure to visit an attorney who is experienced in this particular type of planning when you update your estate planning documents.

South Carolina Makes Its Own History Today.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling allowing same-sex marriages.  The result is that Virginia same-sex couples may now legally marry. South Carolina is also in the Fourth Circuit.  While this ruling does not negate the current state constitutional ban on marriages in South Carolina, it leaves room for the South Carolina case Bradacs v. Wilson to be decided in favor of marriage.  Charleston County and Richland County Probate Courts accepted their first marriage license applications from same-sex couples this week.  This move is undoubtedly foreshadowing events to come.

State and federal recognition of same-sex marriages provides rights and benefits to those couples.  And like other couples, it is important to have your estate plan and health care directives carefully reviewed by your estate planning attorney.  

LawyerLisa, LLC 534 St. Andrews Road Ste B Columbia, SC 29210 Phone: 803.563.5163

LawyerLisa, LLC 5175 Sunset Boulevard Ste 1 Lexington, SC 29072 Phone: 803.832.1068

LawyerLisa, LLC By Appointment Greenville, SC 29601 Phone: 803-563-5163

Serving: Anderson | Clemson | Columbia | Ballentine | Bamberg | Blythewood | Cayce | Chapin | Elgin |  Forest Acres | Fort Jackson | Gadsden | Gaston | Gilbert | Greenville | Hopkins | Irmo | Lake Carolina | Lake Murray | Lancaster |Laurens | Lexington | Mauldin | Pelion | Rock Hill | Red Bank | Seven Oaks | South Congaree | Springdale | St Andrews | Simpsonville | Spartanburg | Sumter | Swansea | West Columbia | White Rock