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

What is Estate Planning in
Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, 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 Pacolet, SC

Man pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Upstate town

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet b...

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.

Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet by embezzling money from a renovation project.

The project was to renovate an old mill building into a senior center.

Anderson Jr. was contracted between 2014-2016 to work on the renovation, according to officials.

“That dream was stolen from the town by this greedy person, Mr. Anderson,” Pacolet Town Administrator Patrick Kay said. “It will never be what was originally dream up for the town.”

The judge ordered Anderson Jr. to pay $115,000 in restitution. He is also under probation and will face jail time if he violates it.

The Mayor, Ned Camby, said he’s glad Anderson is being held accountable for his actions, even if the town is not getting the full amount back.

From the Attorney General’s Office:

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the contractor charged in one of the largest frauds against a small town in South Carolina in years has pleaded guilty and been ordered to pay restitution of $115,000.

Callis J. Anderson, Jr., 68, pleaded guilty to Breach of Trust, Obtaining money or property Under False Pretenses, and Embezzlement felony charges in front of acting Circuit Judge Daniel Martin on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson provided $60,000 of the restitution immediately and was sentenced to two 10-year sentences and a one-year sentence, with all sentences suspended to five years of probation, provided the balance of the restitution is paid.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, who assigned prosecutors from his office to handle the case, emphasized the importance of prosecutions such as this one. “Contractor and other white-collar fraud can be every bit as devastating as losses from other types of crimes. For small towns, the outcome is especially devastating because they have less public money and are disproportionally hurt by these schemes,” Wilson said.

The case began in 2014 when the town of Pacolet had a dream to build a Senior Center, which they planned to do by transforming an old mill building Milliken had gifted the town. The town obtained gifts and grants to secure funding for the project and then hired Anderson to oversee the largest and final portion of the project, the transformation of part of the Mill’s old cloth room into a senior activity center, complete with a commercial kitchen so healthy meals could be prepared at the center.

The state alleged, and Anderson pleaded guilty to, taking money that was to be for the kitchen and other portions of the project and stealing it. Because of Anderson’s theft, the town ran short of money and had to take out a loan, which was supposed to be sufficient to complete it. Anderson embezzled a portion of that money as well and never completed the project, resulting in the town being in debt and having to repay grants and loans without getting the desired recreation center.

Reached for comment, Pacolet Mayor Ned Camby indicated “Today was a great day. Callis Anderson—the man who stole the town of Pacolet’s hopes and dreams of a beautiful, welcoming, and special place for all its citizens, but especially its senior citizens, to get together and play, eat, and socialize, has been held accountable for what he did to our town.”

The case was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agents Jacob Pridgen and Todd Ruffner and South Carolina Attorney General Investigator Valerie Williams and prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Donald Zelenka and Special Assistant Attorney Generals Tracy Meyers and John Meadors. Mr. Anderson was represented by attorneys Rick Vieth, Jennifer Wells, David Collins, and Stephen Denton, all of Spartanburg.

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — Multiple streets and roads in Western North Carolina and the Upstate have closed due to flooding from the onslaught of rain.

Bagwell Farm Road is closed until further notice due to debris. Drivers are asked to use Glenn Forest Boulevard as a detour for Bagwell Farm Road.

Hatchett Road in the Walnut Grove area is also closed.

According to Broad River Fire & Rescue, part of NC-9 is closed at High Rock Acres. There are trees and power lines down across the area. Additionally, roads are icy, so drivers have been urged to avoid travel.

In Greenville, parts of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, areas of Unity Park, the River Street underpass, the McDaniel underpass and the Sliding Rock Creek Bridge are closed.

Water is rushing down steps at Greenville High School. Students are having an e-learning day due to the weather.

Boilings Springs Road at Sugar Creek is closed due to the road being flooded.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Greenville County until 3 p.m.

Streets in Hendersonville are flooded due to large amounts of rain. The city has asked that individuals to not walk, swim or drive through the flood waters.

According to the City of Hendersonville, barricades have been put in areas impacted by flooding. Drivers are urged to not drive around barricades. Citations will be given out to drivers who ignore barricades.

The area’s Flood Response Plan has been upgraded to Flood Level 3, which means that flooding is actively happening.

The following roads and intersections are closed either by the City or the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT):

Laurens County

Residents in Laurens County shared images of flooding in the area.

A small SC town trusted him with a dream. Now half its annual budget is gone.

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for th...

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.

The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.

But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.

The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for the town of 2,300, town manager Patrick Kay told The Post and Courier.

Earlier this week, Spartanburg contractor Callis J. Anderson Jr. pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement, breach of trust and obtaining money under false pretenses.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said it weighed whether it was better to take the 68-year-old to trial where he faced as much as two decades in prison or strike a deal that would have the town get back at least a portion of the money.

In 2019, the State Law Enforcement Division accused Anderson of stealing $568,360 from the town between the time he was awarded the renovation contract in 2014 to 2017.

In the Aug. 14 deal, Anderson was sentenced to five years probation on the condition that he pays back $115,000 of the money he was paid.

The town had hoped for much more.

“He stole a dream,” Kay said. “He stole a portion of the community’s future. The $100,000, the town appreciates giving something back, but it pales in comparison to what he actually stole.”

Anderson’s attorney, Rick Vieth, didn’t respond to The Post and Courier’s request to comment.

The Attorney General’s office said that while the restitution is not all of the money that was taken, Anderson wouldn’t agree to a deal that required him to pay more.

“It was best for the town to get the $115,000 rather than zero,” Robert Kittle, spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, told The Post and Courier. “It’s a sure thing with the plea, but not necessarily for the trial.”

New family center to help address struggles of Pacolet community in Spartanburg County

PACOLET — Residents living in rural areas of eastern Spartanburg County will have more accessibility to programs to improve their quality of life once the new Benjamin E. Mays Family Center opens in September.Spartanburg School District 3 donated the former Middle School of Pacolet building on Sunny Acres Road for the new center. The school closed in June 2021 after the school district consolidated Cowpens Middle School and Middle School of Pacolet.Pacolet, a town of about 2,500 residents, has struggled economically in re...

PACOLET — Residents living in rural areas of eastern Spartanburg County will have more accessibility to programs to improve their quality of life once the new Benjamin E. Mays Family Center opens in September.

Spartanburg School District 3 donated the former Middle School of Pacolet building on Sunny Acres Road for the new center. The school closed in June 2021 after the school district consolidated Cowpens Middle School and Middle School of Pacolet.

Pacolet, a town of about 2,500 residents, has struggled economically in recent years. It once relied on the textile industry to support jobs. With little industry and few jobs, the town's poverty rate is 21.2 percent, above the national average of 13.6 percent. The new center aims to help reverse these trends and offer renewed hope by providing access to services and programs offered through local non-profits.

Spartanburg News

"We are trying to build a resource center with programming and bring them to Pacolet so they don't have to travel to Spartanburg," said Jerry Rice, executive director of the Benjamin E. Mays Family Center. "I have been here the last four months working on getting to know people and develop relationships."

Rice said the center will open Sept. 7 with Favor Upstate providing support services for individuals and families affected by substance abuse disorders. Over the next several months, SC Works will begin providing job search and training opportunities at the center. ReGenesis Health Center, Hope Center for Children and First Steps Spartanburg will also partner with the center to offer services.

Spartanburg Politics

"We have some agreements already in place," Rice said. "There will be other programs run out of the center. People who live in small rural communities have to drive to Spartanburg for everything. We are working to find an easier way for them to get resources so they can can become self sufficient."

Spartanburg School District 3 donated 25 computers for the center, which will include conference space for meetings. The 50,000-square-foot building has two hallways connected to a space formerly used as a media center. Rice said the building remains in good shape and is scheduled to be cleaned in September. The former cafeteria space could be used to host meetings as well. Rice is also working with local churches to make people aware the center will be opening.

"The reception is people have been really positive," Rice said. "Trying to get the word out in a small community can be complicated and churches are going to be key in helping us do that."

Rice said the center could be used as a business incubator to encourage entrepreneurships. He noted that Pacolet and the surrounding rural communities continue to struggle since there are few jobs and barriers for some to transportation, however, programs at the center provide new opportunities.

"The old mill town has struggled over the years because everything was provided to them through the mill," Rice said. "They need to reach out and develop their own businesses and we can help them do that."

The Spartanburg Academic Movement has served as a consultant and lead in the center's grant writing process to secure more funding for programs. The center plans to use grant funding to offer a four-day program for 3K students. The Mary Black Foundation is also involved in working to secure funding for programs at the center.

Spartanburg News

"We are really excited about what they are doing in Pacolet," said Russell Booker, Spartanburg Academic Movement executive director, said. "They have done a really good job coming together in a strategic and thoughtful way with very little resources. Our role has been lead grant writer and support them in their overall work. What they will do is provide services not easily accessible in rural communities."

Benjamin E. Mays, a South Carolina native born in Greenwood County, was president of Morehouse College for 27 years and a mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who attended Morehouse. The Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School in Pacolet was the first public school in the nation named after him.

Rice said the new center will include space to showcase Mays' life and contributions he made to the Civil Rights movement. A portrait of Mays hangs on a wall near the building's front entrance. Rice said the new center will bear Mays' name to honor his legacy and commitment to education throughout his life.

Middle School of Pacolet, formerly named the B.E. Mays Consolidated School, was built in 1953 to serve African American students. The name was changed to Pacolet Middle School in 1970 and later renamed Middle School of Pacolet in 1998 and Original Benjamin E. Mays School was added to the front of the building.

Upstate South Carolina Woman Hit With Tax Charges

“Render unto Caesar,” people. I don’t like oppressively high taxes – or the politicians who perpetuate them. That’s why my news outlet has pushed for years lower punitively high income tax rates – and other anti-competitive levies. But just because South Carolina has a regressive, job-stifling tax code does ...

“Render unto Caesar,” people. I don’t like oppressively high taxes – or the politicians who perpetuate them. That’s why my news outlet has pushed for years lower punitively high income tax rates – and other anti-competitive levies. But just because South Carolina has a regressive, job-stifling tax code does not give people the right to cheat the system.

Tax fraud only escalates hardship for the rest of us … which is why I support enforcement measures against tax cheats.

Earlier this week, agents of the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) exercised their enforcement authority against 51-year-old Shelley Ann Rochester of Pacolet, S.C. According to a news release from the agency, Rochester is charged with eight counts of assisting in the preparation of false returns, six counts of tax evasion, and one count of furnishing false tax statements.

The end result of all those alleged crimes? A total of $475,721 in “fraudulent medical deductions for tax years 2016 through 2021 on behalf of herself or others.”

***

Worth noting?

“The taxpayers whose returns were prepared by Rochester had no knowledge of the fraudulent returns and did not consent to them,” SCDOR’s release noted.

Which is probably one reason they weren’t charged in connection with this case …

Rochester owes the state of South Carolina $23,263 as a result of her alleged fraud, SCDOR noted, and could wind up paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines. She is also facing several years in prison.

Rochester was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Columbia, S.C. on Thursday. Her case will be prosecuted by Allen Myrick in the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.

“By taking enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers, (SCDOR) seeks to prevent unfairly increasing the tax burden on those who do comply,” the agency’s statement concluded.

Again, this news outlet is not in the business of defending big government in its routine pickpocketing of hard-working taxpayers … but as I have previously noted there is a big difference between clever accounting and outright theft.

SCDOR encourages anyone who knows or suspects individuals or businesses of committing state tax crimes – such as tax evasion or tax fraud – to submit a tax violation complaint form (.pdf) and email it here.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.

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Pacolet's funny lady has 1.2 million TikTok followers, competed on UK's 'The Circle'

Michelle Rider has always been able to find the humor in life and says she has her dad to thank for that.Growing up in the small town of Pacolet, Rider and her father recognized humor through everyday scenarios which later sparked her passion to become a comedian."My dad was a truck driver and loved to come home and tell these dirty, Johnny jokes," Rider said. "My dad would take me to go see Jerry Clower, and when he walked out on stage and be around people that were laughing was amazing for me. I ...

Michelle Rider has always been able to find the humor in life and says she has her dad to thank for that.

Growing up in the small town of Pacolet, Rider and her father recognized humor through everyday scenarios which later sparked her passion to become a comedian.

"My dad was a truck driver and loved to come home and tell these dirty, Johnny jokes," Rider said. "My dad would take me to go see Jerry Clower, and when he walked out on stage and be around people that were laughing was amazing for me. I wanted to do that when I grew up."

Rider decided to chase that dream and became the Southern comedian known as "Shelly Belly" on TikTok. She made several skits featuring adult themes about women and relationships. Her skits were popular and she decided to try stand-up comedy and performed for the first time at the Comedy Zone in Greenville.

"I just told my husband that I wanted to go and do an open mic," Rider said. "He looked at me like I was crazy, but all these funny things were in my head. It's about my life, being a woman, what women go through and all these things that are relatable."

From TikTok to 'The Circle,' social media boosts Rider's career

Rider's career began to kick off when her son arrived home from active leave in the Marines. Her son showed her a video that he made on TikTok, the social media app that allows users to create and share videos. Rider decided to check out the app and eventually reached a mind-blowing, 1.2 million followers.

"I did a video and said 'Look, I have 200 followers!' I thought I was something," Rider said. "He looked at me and said 'Mom, I have friends with 5,000 followers.' Challenge accepted. I was laying in bed one night and I did a video about my neighbor, and it just blew up."

Netflix's hit reality show, "The Circle," reached out to Rider, asking if she would be interested in auditioning. Next thing she knew, Rider was in the United Kingdom to compete in the show's third season with other contestants to win $100,000.

"The Circle" is a social media-based competition where contestants live in the same apartment building but are never allowed to meet and must communicate online. The show is similar to "Big Brother."

Rider was eliminated on episode three, but it didn't bother her and she continued with her growing career as a comedian.

"When I say that I went on 'The Circle' as myself, I meant it," Rider said. "The only benefit that came out of it was the [Netflix] logo and people recognizing me. I built my own brand and do everything on my own. I am thankful I had the experience, and it's not really owed to anyone but God."

The day before the show aired, Rider was laid off from her job at a distribution company. She was upset and trying to figure out her next steps, but her husband assured her that another door will open and she could continue to live her dream.

The bittersweet moment allowed Rider to focus on her dreams and further her career as a stand-up comedian.

The laughs that give back

Rider's platform has allowed her to not only accomplish her dreams but to give back to the community and fans. She said charity benefits are some of her most enjoyable shows.

"I'm doing a fundraiser in Greenville at the Think Tank Brew Lab for 'Just Say Something,'" Rider said. "I just got invited to do a benefit show in Georgia for domestic violence and child abuse. You do good for others and it will always come back to you."

Rider said the help and support of fellow comedians have helped her comedy career. Brandon Rainwater, a South Carolina comedian, is not only one of Rider's closest friends but is someone she considers a mentor.

"As a female, it's really hard," Rider said. "It's the hardest business to be in as a female. He [Rainwater] actually gave me my first show and the opportunities when a lot of people wouldn't. He's an amazing person and an amazing comedian."

Rainwater said Rider has both, the talent and the hustle.

"Her talent meets her hustle and not a lot of people can do that," Rainwater said. "Shelly is definitely putting in the work, and she definitely has her vision board planned out. It just works out together."

Rider recently announced she will be going on tour with comedian, Andrew Conn. The "Down Yonder Southern Tour" will take place on March 17-18 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also has tours scheduled with comedian Tanya Lee Davis.

Conn said he is excited about their upcoming tour together, and that their duo will make a shockwave.

"I think me and Michelle are gonna make a real good duo," Conn said. "We both started out on social media and both now into the millions of followers. It’s crazy how two strangers can meet and talk and then, boom, you're on together. I think we are going to make shockwaves in the standup comedy world!"

Rider will perform in Greenville at the Think Tank Brew Lab, located at 101 Airport Road, on May 4. To check out more tour dates, visit her website.

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