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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Friday, February 22, 2019

Are Modern Day Fort Mill & Charlotte More Like Downton Abbey Than We Thought?

Have you ever watched the hit period drama Downton Abbey? If so, you have certainly heard people talking about estates. One of the underlying themes that drives the story forward is the search for an heir to the Downton estate. Only a male can inherit, but the Earl of Grantham has three daughters.

In the show, it is clear that the estate everyone is so eager to see settled is Lord Grantham’s title and all of the property and wealth that the family has accumulated for over a hundred years. But the show is set in the early 20th century, and things have changed dramatically since then. Why are we still talking about estates and estate planning? Are modern day Fort Mill and Charlotte more like Downton than we thought? 

The answer is yes. We are all modern day Lords and Ladies, able to hold property and make our mark on the world. We just happen to do our own laundry as well. 

Because America is a former British Colony, we have many of the same laws as they do in England, especially when it comes to property law and estate planning. The laws have of course been modernized to allow commoners and women to buy property in inherit things, but at their heart, many of our modern statutes are British Common Law. That’s why we still talk about estates and estate planning, even though none of us are titled nobility. 

Thanks to the show’s popularity, a lot of people think that estates are only huge parcels of land passed down from generation to generation. The truth is, each and every one of us has an estate. An estate is everything you own from your house to the hot pockets in your freezer. 

Your real estate, your car, your bank accounts, your social media accounts, and all of the stuff in your house make up your estate. Estate planning therefore refers to the process of determining what is going to happen to your estate when you die. 

A well-crafted estate plan will ensure that your debts are paid off, and your assets are distributed as you want them to be after you are gone. It will appoint someone to serve as your personal representative, who is responsible for carrying out your wishes, and it will name a guardian who can step in and care for your minor children if something should happen to you. It will preserve your wealth and minimize taxes so the next generation and beyond can benefit from your hard work and generosity. 

Estate planning is just as important for us peasants as it was for Lord Grantham. We all need to decide what to do with our estate, and to prepare things so they run smoothly for the next generation. If you are ready to take the steps necessary to craft an estate plan that fits your needs, please contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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