Estate planning is not a "one size fits all".   Elder law and estate planning is all we do.  We start by providing our clients factual information and dispelling myths so they can make the best decisions based on their own personal circumstances.  Estate planning is for everyone, not just seniors and retirees.  

Your last will and testament is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. If a person dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate" and state laws will determine how and to whom the person's assets will be distributed. Some things you should know about wills:

  • A will has no legal authority until after death. So, a will does not help manage a person's affairs when they are incapacitated, whether by illness or injury.

  • A will does not help an estate avoid probate. A will is the legal document submitted to the probate court, so it is basically an "admission ticket" to probate.

  • A will is a good place to nominate the guardians (or back-up parents) of your minor children if they are orphaned.  All parents of minor children should document their choice of guardians.  If you leave this to chance, you could be setting up a family battle royal, and your children could end up with the wrong guardians.







A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person (the attorney-in-fact) the legal right (powers) to do certain things for you. What those powers are depends on the terms of the document if you are unable to make decisions for yourself or you become incapacitated.  A power of attorney may be very broad or very limited and specific.


There are typically two types of Powers of Attorney:

  • Springing; and

  • Durable

All powers of attorney terminate Upon the death of the maker.  Durable Powers of Attorney should be frequently updated because banks and other financial institutions may hesitate to honor a power of attorney that is more than a year old.










An advance directive is a document that specifies the type of medical and personal care you would want should you lose the ability to make and communicate your own decisions.


Anyone over the age of 18 may execute an advance directive, and this document is legally binding in South Carolina. Your advance directive can specify who will make and communicate decisions for you, and it can set out the circumstances as to whether you would like your life prolonged.


A document that goes hand-in-hand with your advance directive is an authorization to your medical providers to allow specified individuals to access your medical information. Without this authorization, your doctor may refuse to communicate with your hand-picked decision maker.

Estate Planning

Powers of Attorney


​​Lifetime Planning

​​Your Last Will and Testament


Health Care Documents (or Advanced Directives)

Trusts: Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, etc.

Avoid do it yourself estate planning, work with a qualified and licesned estate planning attorney

All Rights Reserved 2017

Elder Law & Estate Planning Center

Brian T. Treacy, LLC

​Disclaimer

The Elder Law & Estate Planning Center (located in Bluffton , South Carolina) is a full service South Carolina Estate Planning Law Firm. Elder Law & Estate Planning focuses on fundamental estate planning, Elder Law, Veterans benefits, wills & trust planning, powers of attorney, Medicaid application & qualification, long-term care planning, probate & estate administration, Medicaid crisis planning, special needs & disability planning, Aid & Attendance qualification, charitable planning, estate tax planning, and asset protection. Elder Law & Estate Planning services families and individuals throughout Bluffton, Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Hardeeville, SC 



Trusts come in many "variations," they can be simple or complex, and serve various legal, personal, investment or tax planning purposes. At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved:


The trust-maker, the trustee (trust manager), and the trust beneficiary. Oftentimes, all three parties are represented by one person or a married couple. In the case of a revocable living trust, for example, a person may create a trust (the trust-maker) and name themselves the current trustees (trust managers) who manage the trust assets for their own benefit (trust beneficiary).


Depending on the situation, there may be many advantages to establishing a trust, including avoiding probate court. In most cases, assets owned in a revocable living trust will pass to the trust beneficiaries (or heirs) immediately upon the death of the trust-maker(s) with no probate required.


Certain trusts also may result in tax advantages both for the trust-maker and the beneficiary. Or they may be used to protect property from creditors, such as the nursing home, or simply to provide for someone else to manage and invest property for the trust-maker(s) and the named beneficiaries. If well drafted, another advantage of trusts is their continuing effectiveness even if the trust-maker dies or becomes incapacitated..

Estate & Lifetime Planning

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