Estate Planning Attorney inCowpens, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Cowpens, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Cowpens that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Cowpens. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Cowpens, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Cowpens, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Cowpens, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Cowpens, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Cowpens, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Cowpens, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Cowpens, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Cowpens, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Cowpens, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Cowpens, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Cowpens, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Cowpens, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Cowpens, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Cowpens, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Cowpens, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Cowpens, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Cowpens, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

CONTACT US

Latest News in Cowpens, SC

Fire destroys Cowpens restaurant

...

COWPENS, S.C. (WSPA) – A fire destroyed a Cowpens restaurant Sunday morning.

The Converse Fire Department’s fire chief said a call came in at 10:51 a.m. to a fire at the Wagon Wheel Fish Camp on Wagon Wheel Road. They arrived five minutes of the call.

Firefighters said they saw heavy smoke coming out of the building when they arrived and strong winds made the fire spread quickly.

According to the fire department, the building is completely destroyed. The cause is unknown at this time.

Vehicle crashes into convenience store near Cowpens

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A vehicle crashed into a convenience store Friday near Cowpens.The Cowpens Fire Department said the SUV crashed into the Hot Spot on Battleground Road.Firefighters were able to shore up the building to allow employees to retrieve their belongings and make it safe for repairs.Nobody was injured in the crash.Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.SPONSORED CONTENT...

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A vehicle crashed into a convenience store Friday near Cowpens.

The Cowpens Fire Department said the SUV crashed into the Hot Spot on Battleground Road.

Firefighters were able to shore up the building to allow employees to retrieve their belongings and make it safe for repairs.

Nobody was injured in the crash.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Upstate veteran surprised with thousands of dollars in home repairs free of charge

Five Star Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical surprised Army veteran Herbert Johnson at his home in Cowpens Wednesday. Infinite Scroll Enabled GET LOCAL BREAKING NEWS ALERTSThe latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.Your Email AddressPrivacy Notice COWPENS, S.C. —Herbert Johnson is an Army veteran who served in the '70s and current...

Five Star Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical surprised Army veteran Herbert Johnson at his home in Cowpens Wednesday.

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COWPENS, S.C. —

Herbert Johnson is an Army veteran who served in the '70s and currently lives in Cowpens with an American flag flying outside of his home.

Johnson lives alone, and he said for more than a decade, he's had to "get by the best he can" without certain additions to his home that many would consider to be necessities.

"I've been struggling with issues for a number of years, about 12 to 15 years," Johnson said. "Heat, air conditioning, water problems and water pressure. I tried repairing it myself when I was able and I tried, but I never could get it quite right."

Johnson currently deals with limited mobility, pushing through severe arthritis in one leg and a torn ACL in the other. To get around, Johnson utilizes a walker, a wheelchair at times, and a ramp outside of his home to make accessing the ground easier.

"In this day and age, you just have to get by the best you can, and that's what I've been doing. I don't have heat or air inside," Johnson said. "Sometimes I just put the unit in the window, and the toilet basically works when it wants to. It always runs. You can't use the toilet and the kitchen sink at the same time."

Due to his health, Johnson felt it was time to finally call a professional to come out and take a look at what repairs needed to be made. He called Five Star Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, or Five Star Today.

"I was here at the home a few days ago," said Stephen Burdett, who is a plumber at Five Star. "We had a service line going into the house that had several leaks. His water service was in excess of 50 years old. That being the case, with a lot of pressure and weaker pipes, it gives over time. The valves in your toilet will continue to run. You’ll start having leaks in your faucet. You can have pinhole leaks in all of your piping under the house.”

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After Five Star's first visit, Johnson said the price tag was something he just couldn't afford.

"The price was running about $13,000," Five Star General Manager Ingrid Verseeuw said. "Stephen also noticed there was no air in the home, and that it was a veteran. We're always looking to see how we can help the community here. He brought it to my attention that there was no way he could pay for it. Everybody came together from my team and the suppliers, and we're just happy to be able to help."

A large team from Five Star showed up unannounced to Johnson's home Wednesday morning to surprise him with free services, to honor Johnson for his service to the country.

"You know what, I was watching the 700 Club, and a miracle had just happened on that show this morning, and this felt like a blessing," Johnson laughed. "A miracle to me. I thought I saw one truck. Then I came out and saw five, six trucks and I said, 'What are they doing? Do they think I'm going to sign a contract or something?'"

Five Star spent several hours at Johnson's home letting him know how much they appreciated his service and how happy they were to be in a position to provide a blessing.

"Five Star is providing (a) new water supply line for this home, as well as a new heating and air conditioning system free of charge," Verseeuw said.

Johnson said he's forever grateful for the company's generosity.

"They realized I was in serious need for repairs," Johnson said. "They showed up and told me they were going to take care of it. Just goes as a reminder for everybody that there’s always hope no matter how bad your situation is. As long as you believe in God, our country and our freedoms, things can get better."

Johnson said he's excited to have his house return to feeling more like a home.

Fire guts Cowpens, S.C., church sanctuary on Christmas weekend

COWPENS, S.C. (BP) — A fire raged through the buildings of Cowpens First Baptist Church on Saturday. More than a dozen local fire stations responded, but ultimately the sanctuary and the attached education building were declared a complete loss.The fire, which started Saturday afternoon, was noticed by a church employee who notified authorities. By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had engulfed the church buildings. The fire department was unable to save the sanctuary and education building because of concerns over struct...

COWPENS, S.C. (BP) — A fire raged through the buildings of Cowpens First Baptist Church on Saturday. More than a dozen local fire stations responded, but ultimately the sanctuary and the attached education building were declared a complete loss.

The fire, which started Saturday afternoon, was noticed by a church employee who notified authorities. By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had engulfed the church buildings. The fire department was unable to save the sanctuary and education building because of concerns over structural integrity, but successfully prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the campus, salvaging the church’s family life center.

Dozens of church members and residents from the community, along with interim pastor Kermit Morris, stood down the street and watched helplessly as the once pristine worship center became a pile of charred rubble.

“This is a devastating loss for our church,” Morris said. “It’s heartbreaking to see the building going up in flames. My first thought was, ‘this is so sad,’ but my immediate second thought was, ‘where are we meeting tomorrow?’ I knew it was critical for us to gather as a family on Sunday.”

The church, founded in 1878 and located in the Spartanburg area of upstate South Carolina, held services Sunday at a local high school. They plan to meet at the Broome High School Fine Arts Center again this week before returning to the church campus Jan. 10 for services in the family life center.

“We’ve had so many pastors and churches reach out offering to help and to pray for the church,” Morris said. “Area churches are providing chairs, a sound system and other needs as we shift to meeting in the family life center.”

This is not the first time the sanctuary at FBC Cowpens has suffered a fire. In Dec. 1987, while renovations were taking place, a fire caused major damage. Though not a complete loss, the sanctuary interior was severely damaged. The building reopened in 1989. Further renovations to the sanctuary were completed in 2016.

Now, all that is left are memories.

“We stood on the sidewalk for 5 hours and watched it burn,” Morris said. “I told them, ‘That’s not the church. That’s a bunch of buildings. The church is meeting tomorrow.’ We will always have the memories, but we are starting fresh and moving forward. God has big plans for us and we will move forward with those plans.”

Morris said a team will reenter the buildings as soon as

possible to recover anything salvageable before they are demolished. After the first of the year, the church plans to begin working with construction and architecture companies on rebuilding.

At Battle of Cowpens the Scots-Irish of SC Helped Save Our Republic

There are many important dates in American military history that most are familiar with. However, there is one date that receives little attention, but is one of the most important in securing our nation’s freedom.It was January 17, 1781. The new republic was teetering, her knees were wobbly, and her back was against the wall. People were hungry, commerce had almost come to a halt, and our currency had been greatly depreciated. Furthermore, on the battlefield, the British had taken Charleston and Savannah and just a few months b...

There are many important dates in American military history that most are familiar with. However, there is one date that receives little attention, but is one of the most important in securing our nation’s freedom.

It was January 17, 1781. The new republic was teetering, her knees were wobbly, and her back was against the wall. People were hungry, commerce had almost come to a halt, and our currency had been greatly depreciated. Furthermore, on the battlefield, the British had taken Charleston and Savannah and just a few months before had soundly defeated the Southern Continental Army at the Battle of Camden, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolutionary War.

Just two days before on January 15, 1781, General George Washington wrote to his friend John Laurens, who had just been appointed to our mission in France, about our military’s “sufferings, for want of clothing, for want of provisions, for want of pay.” Washington’s letter went on in great detail to explain the plight of America and the dire straits it was in both from a military and civilian perspective.

But then, just two days later on January 17, 1781, something happened. The Scots-Irish of the backwoods of South Carolina came together to turn the tide of the American Revolutionary War and rout the British at the Battle of Cowpens. These rugged pioneers, who had come to America seeking a better life, set in motion a chain of events that would ultimately lead to the British surrender at Yorktown in October of that year.

Led by General Daniel Morgan, a brilliant military tactician, the American forces conducted a “double envelopment” of the British which, in fact, would be the only double envelopment of the war. A double envelopment, also called a pincer movement, is a military maneuver in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks of an enemy formation.

At the Battle of Cowpens, the British were led by “The Bloody Butcher,” Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton was known for his ruthless tactics, including slaughtering American soldiers after they had surrendered in a previous battle.

The American victory at the Battle of Cowpens was actually depicted in the movie "The Patriot." In fact, Mel Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, is a composite portrayal of General Morgan and Francis Marion (the “Swamp Fox” and father of modern guerilla warfare). Daniel Morgan was one of America’s best military minds. While his accomplishments have been honored with the naming of Morgan Square in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the new Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington, D.C., he still remains one of our most underappreciated battlefield commanders.

Although the National Park Service is postponing the Battle of Cowpens anniversary due to the government shutdown, that isn’t stopping the descendants of those who fought at the Battle of Cowpens and others in the community from commemorating this historic event. Wofford College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is located close to the Battle of Cowpens and will present a Battle of Cowpens commemoration designed to educate both students and the public alike on the significance of what occurred at the Battle of Cowpens. It will take place this Friday at the college. Education is a national security issue, and events like this are important.

President Reagan reminded us that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” He went on to say, “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

God has blessed America over the years by giving us men and women who exemplify the spirit of those Scots-Irish pioneers at the Battle of Cowpens. They put America above self, put on the uniform, and are willing to give their lives for their country. This week, let’s honor those early American pioneers who helped give us the freedom we enjoy today.

Van Hipp is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.” He is the 2018 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden Leadership Award for National Security. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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