Estate Planning Attorney inDuncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan 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 Duncan. 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, 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 Duncan, SC

Bear spotted walking in front yard at Duncan home

DUNCAN, S.C. (WSPA) – A homeowner in Duncan said that security video footage caught a bear walking along his driveway and the front yard of his home.The bear was walking at a home located along Holly Drive in Duncan on Monday night around 8:25 p.m.Multiple black bears have recently been spotted in Spartanburg County, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed...

DUNCAN, S.C. (WSPA) – A homeowner in Duncan said that security video footage caught a bear walking along his driveway and the front yard of his home.

The bear was walking at a home located along Holly Drive in Duncan on Monday night around 8:25 p.m.

Multiple black bears have recently been spotted in Spartanburg County, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Luxury medical spa now open in Duncan is a family affair

DUNCAN — When clients walk through the door of Joey Simpson’s Refined Skin and Body medical spa, she wants them to feel like family.While Simpson does much of the spa’s injectable aesthetics, her husband serves as the medical director and provider, and her mother serves as the patient coordinator for her business.Since Simpson’s family is helping her live out one of her dreams, her goal is for her clients to also feel like they’re a part of a family atmosphere when they come in for services....

DUNCAN — When clients walk through the door of Joey Simpson’s Refined Skin and Body medical spa, she wants them to feel like family.

While Simpson does much of the spa’s injectable aesthetics, her husband serves as the medical director and provider, and her mother serves as the patient coordinator for her business.

Since Simpson’s family is helping her live out one of her dreams, her goal is for her clients to also feel like they’re a part of a family atmosphere when they come in for services.

After having over 20 years of experience in nursing, pharmaceutical sales and managing medical clinics with her husband, Simpson decided to venture into the aesthetics side of the medical field. She opened Refined Skin & Body in Duncan in late January to pursue a passion and to open a business that offered services she felt her community was lacking.

“It’s been a journey, but it’s been really fun,” Simpson said.

The medical spa on East Main Street offers some of the same services as a non-medical spa in addition to services that are supervised by an on-site medical doctor through the use of technology, products and tools that aren’t used at a non-medical spa.

Simpson said the business aspect of opening the spa wasn’t difficult, but the aesthetics side was more challenging.

Over the past year, she and her husband went to training sessions, spoke with medical professionals in aesthetics and received certifications in devices and procedures that cover aesthetics.

“We’ve tried to make it very encompassing in aesthetics and weight loss altogether so that if someone came here for a regular facial and had other areas they wanted to address, it can all be done under one roof,” she said.

Some of the services offered at the medical spa are microneedling with radiofrequency, neurotoxin injections, fillers, skin resurfacing with CO2 machines, body contouring, IV therapy, laser hair removal and medical-grade peels.

The spa has CO2 fractionated laser machines that cause resurfacing of the skin for better tightening and help with acne scarring, discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles.

Customers can get microneedling with radiofrequency as well through 24-karat coated needles that go into the skin and emit radiofrequency that can kill fat cells underneath the skin layer and produce results of skin tightening and stimulate the body to produce more collagen.

Simpson said the business’s weight loss program is popular.

Once a client gets to their ideal weight, they can look into body contouring services. For the weight loss program, semaglutide, an FDA-approved injectable weight loss medication is used. Clients also receive education on ways to implement good lifestyle choices and eating habits into their daily routines.

Customers can get medical-grade products from ZO Skin Health and SkinCeuticals.

The spa is 3,800 square feet and has five occupied treatment rooms.

In addition to a physician and someone who does injections, Simpson has an esthetician that focuses on makeup and facials and a medical esthetician who specializes in machines on her staff.

Simpson said as her business grows, she plans to look for a massage therapist and someone who does permanent makeup.

Spartanburg’s Duncan Park to celebrate 100th anniversary

SPARTANBURG — Family bike rides, live music and kickball will be part of Duncan Park’s 100th anniversary celebration held this weekend in Spartanburg.The celebration event begins at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 at 1000 Duncan Park Drive.The park was gifted to the city on Feb. 29, 1923, by heirs of Maj. David R. Duncan. Duncan was an attorney and businessman in the city. For more than 100 years, the 300-acre park has been a popular destination on the city’s southside.As the park celebrates its past, the park’...

SPARTANBURG — Family bike rides, live music and kickball will be part of Duncan Park’s 100th anniversary celebration held this weekend in Spartanburg.

The celebration event begins at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 at 1000 Duncan Park Drive.

The park was gifted to the city on Feb. 29, 1923, by heirs of Maj. David R. Duncan. Duncan was an attorney and businessman in the city. For more than 100 years, the 300-acre park has been a popular destination on the city’s southside.

As the park celebrates its past, the park’s future is also being shaped by a Duncan Park Visioning Plan developed with help from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Spartanburg County nonprofit Play. Advocate. Live Well! is also helping with the park’s plan for future upgrades.

“Though it is the city’s largest park, Duncan Park has for many years has been underutilized asset for our community,” City Communications Manager Christopher George said. “Through these trail enhancements ad other improvements, we hope to provide folks new opportunities to engage with this beautiful and serene public space and to better connect it with nearby amenities along the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail.”

The city’s plan includes upgrades to the existing trail, new paved trails, a new trail around the lake, pickleball courts, shelters and new bathrooms. A Friends of Duncan Park group is working with organizers also to help guide redevelopment of the park.

City Council agreed Oct. 9 to spend $157,875 to remove invasive plant species from the park’s 60 wooded acres. George said the city will add 2,300-square-feet of new asphalt trail and resurface 3,600-square-feet of existing trail at the park. The cost for these projects will be about $230,000. The youth athletic fields at the park will be improved, including the restroom and concession areas. These improvements to the fields will be funded partially by private contributions.

The park’s upgrades will be done in phases. The first projects include building a dock at the lake which is accessible to people with disabilities and a storage unit for kayaks. Invasive plants will be removed from the park’s trail system this fall.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources plans to do a fish count at the lake in the fall as well. A 14-acre lake centers the park. New programming will be developed to also draw more people to the park.

Kim Moultrie, City Parks and Recreation Director, said work continues to prepare the 100th anniversary celebration. Tours of the baseball stadium built at the park in 1926 will also be included in the anniversary event.

“Hosted by the Friends of Duncan Park, this community celebration will honor the rich history of the park and highlight future plans,” Moultrie said. “Activities include music in the park by Undercover Jazz, food trucks and information booths in the amphitheater.”

Suspect admits to being “high on coke,” complained of pain after Oct. 21 pursuit

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) released Tuesday new dash camera video from an Oct. 21 pursuit involving Rashard Duncan in the Hollywood-Ravenel area.The video shows the suspect reaching high speeds and even driving on the wrong side of the highway, eventually ending in a mobile home community where a foot chase ensued.After Duncan’s arrest and apparent assault by another deputy, the dash camera video – which comes from Charleston County Deputy Alexander Hod...

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) released Tuesday new dash camera video from an Oct. 21 pursuit involving Rashard Duncan in the Hollywood-Ravenel area.

The video shows the suspect reaching high speeds and even driving on the wrong side of the highway, eventually ending in a mobile home community where a foot chase ensued.

After Duncan’s arrest and apparent assault by another deputy, the dash camera video – which comes from Charleston County Deputy Alexander Hodge’s patrol vehicle – picked up a conversation with the suspect, believed to be Duncan, while being detained and awaiting EMS to be checked out.

The suspect can be heard admitting to being high after “having some coke” and stating that he wanted to see how fast his rental could go.

He also complained of pain on the side of his face. Duncan was punched several times with a closed fist by another Charleston County deputy – James Carter – following the pursuit.

The deputy is heard asking the suspect about his movements before being assaulted by the deputy. The suspect replied saying he was just pulling up his pants and was not reaching for a gun at the time.

Video released on Monday shows Duncan with his pants slightly down at points during the assault and arrest.

Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said she believes it is important for the public to see the events that led to the encounter between Deputy Carter and Duncan after releasing the second video.

“Our deputies face uncertain circumstances daily in their efforts to keep the community safe. I am thankful for their commitment, and we are fortunate no one was injured during the course of this incident,” she said.

Attorneys representing Deputy James Carter said the suspect reached speeds of over 100 mph during the chase and discarded items from the window while traveling on Highway 17.

Duncan was charged at the time with resisting arrest, failure to stop for blue lights, reckless driving, and various drug charges.

The sheriff’s office said it found no policy violation against Deputy Hodge during an internal review of the pursuit.

Carter was terminated from the sheriff’s office and later charged by the State Law Enforcement Divison with misconduct in office and third-degree assault and battery. He was released the same day.

President of company AFL, based in South Carolina, has been suspended

DUNCAN, S.C. —The president of AFL, a company based in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, has been suspended.Jody Gallagher was the president and CEO of AFL, a company based in Duncan.The company told WYFF News 4 in an email that Gallagher was suspended pending an internal investigation.The email said Jaxon Lang had been named acting CEO."No other comments are available at this time," the email from AFL said....

DUNCAN, S.C. —

The president of AFL, a company based in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, has been suspended.

Jody Gallagher was the president and CEO of AFL, a company based in Duncan.

The company told WYFF News 4 in an email that Gallagher was suspended pending an internal investigation.

The email said Jaxon Lang had been named acting CEO.

"No other comments are available at this time," the email from AFL said.

The AFL website says Gallagher has served as President and CEO of AFL since 2003.

The website says the company is "an international manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise, hyperscale and industrial markets."

The website says the company has 7,000 employees worldwide.

According to the company website, Gallagher has been a member of the board of directors for AFL’s parent company, Fujikura, headquartered in Tokyo.

The website says, "Headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan."

A news release from Fujikura posted on May 26, 2023, said there was an investigation related to "an improper real estate acquisition at a U.S. Subsidiary," after a whistleblowing complaint on May 3, 2023.

The release said in part:

"Based on a whistleblowing complaint made on March 3, 2023, we were made aware of suspicious activities regarding the personal misappropriation of real property owned by one of our US subsidiaries by a director of the Company, who is the CEO of such subsidiary, and launched an internal investigation immediately thereafter. Our investigation is still continuing at this moment, however, to date, it has uncovered that an improper acquisition was made with respect to land purchased in 2020 and a building built in 2022 by such subsidiary (the total value of such land and building at the time of acquisition amounts to approximately 6.5 million US dollars (equivalent to 847 million Japanese yen)). Further, our investigation to date has uncovered that the said officer disguised the purpose for acquiring the land and building to make such subsidiary acquire such property and that said officer used such property for a certain period for its personal purpose. The said officer has been suspended from the US subsidiary and the Company."

The company has not said whether this investigation lead to Gallagher being suspended.

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