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Estate and Business Succession Planning

Overview

Turner Padget’s Estate Planning and Business Succession Planning Group offers clients a variety of solutions from dedicated attorneys, many of whom have advanced degrees in taxation or are certified specialists in estate planning/probate law and taxation by the Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina. Others are actively involved in reviewing and suggesting changes to South Carolina’s Probate Code, with one of our attorneys serving as the chair and being a former probate judge.

We work with clients to design and implement wealth protection techniques, business succession arrangements, and estate plans. Estate planning crosses several legal disciplines, including wills and trusts, estate and gift taxes, real estate transfers, charitable giving, and elder law. We design plans that, above all, properly hold our clients’ assets during life and distribute their estates in an orderly and efficient manner at death, giving special attention to reducing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes in the process. Also, if there should be litigation related to the estate, such as a will contest or a claim by an heir or a creditor, our estate attorneys partner with our litigation team to resolve disputes.

In addition to our planning services, our attorneys assist individual and corporate fiduciaries, such as banks and trust companies, in fulfilling their legal duties to administer and distribute trusts and estates. These duties include gathering assets, ascertaining and disposing of claims against the estate, determining and identifying heirs and beneficiaries, preparing and filing fiduciary income and estate tax returns where necessary, resolving disputes among heirs and beneficiaries, reducing taxes through post-mortem planning, and distributing estate assets to the appropriate recipients.

Our team of attorneys also work closely with the owners and management of businesses to develop plans for the future. The death or retirement of the principal of a business can be challenging. We help devise legal and business strategies to minimize the interruption to the business.

Representative Engagements

  • Assisted a large contractor in designing and implementing a comprehensive estate and asset preservation plan using Family Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and a Delaware Trust to which family assets were transferred. A later suit against the client as guarantor of a bank note was successfully settled without any recourse to the family property.
  • Designed and implemented a wealth protection plan to safeguard significant wealth accumulated by the spouse of a physician who was engaged in a high-risk specialty practice. The plan consisted of the creation of a Delaware Limited Liability Company and a domestic asset protection trust (organized under Delaware law) and the funding of the plan with selected real property and liquid assets.
  • Worked with numerous clients to re-title assets to utilize protected forms of ownership.
  • Represent individual and corporate fiduciaries and beneficiaries in will contests and disputes over administration of estates and trusts.
  • Represent fiduciaries in connection with estate tax and gift tax audits.