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Articles Published by Bluffton Estate Planning Lawyer Mark F. Winn, Esq.


When you pass on, would you like to avoid fees to the Treasurer, to avoid substantial fees to an attorney or law firm, avoid lack of privacy and to leave your assets to loved ones protected from most lawsuits?

Of course, the answer is yes. If you only use a will, then the assets your will governs which are “probate assets” will be listed on a form available to the public. If it is $1,000,000 going through probate the fee to the Treasurer is about $1,800 and the fee to the attorney who may charge 1.5 to 2.0 % of the probate assets could be $15,000-20,000. Let’s also imagine you own a home (real estate) in another state. Then, your out of state real estate would have to go through probate in that state and that, of course, could cost more in terms of legal fees and Court costs. 

So, let us imagine, you plan only with a will, and all of those fees, costs and lack of privacy do occur (unfortunately), and then your child inherits from you.  If they inherit outright and free of trust, they can lose everything they inherit from you to a lawsuit and it exposes it to federal estate tax in their estate.  So, if your child is married when they inherit free of trust from you, and they then later commingle those funds with their spouse, they can lose much of what they inherit from you to equitable distribution.

What is the solution? Create a Revocable Living Trust.  Title the out of state real estate and other assets (that would otherwise go through probate) into your RLT. Voila! None of the property goes through probate. Your named successor becomes the trustee upon your incapacity or death and the Court does not need to be actively involved.  All the fees to the Treasurer and much of the legal fees that would otherwise have been spent and all the lack of privacy and delay is avoided. People who want to avoid all of the above problems use a RLT and other legal papers to ensure their affairs are private and administration is as easy and less costly as possible.



Contributed by: Mark F. Winn, Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Estate Planning, a local asset protection, estate planning and elder law attorney.


As one of the few South Carolina attorneys to earn a Master of Laws degree in estate planning, I welcome the chance to share information on a wide range of relevant legal issues. Reflecting knowledge gained through more than 20 years of practice experience, these published articles can help you understand how to protect your assets, distribute your property efficiently and accomplish your goals. From there, Mark F. Winn Attorney at Law, Professional LLC can work with you personally to develop a complete strategy suited to your needs. If an article here addresses a particular concern of yours, I hope you find this information helpful and am always ready to answer any questions you have on how the pertinent legal standards apply to your situation.

Contact a knowledgeable South Carolina lawyer regarding your estate planning issue

Mark F. Winn Attorney at Law, Professional LLC in Bluffton, South Carolina counsels individual and family clients throughout the Lowcountry area on wills, trusts, advance directives, probate matters and elder law concerns. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation at my office, please call 843-473-3173 or contact me online. I also schedule in-home meetings upon request.