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Estate Planning

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Lawyer To English Dictionary


It is easy for attorneys to forget that the specialized terms we toss around every day are not words that most people have ever heard before. At Monk Law, we go out of our way to ensure our clients fully understand all of the documents they are signing, and the terms in them. 

It is our duty to our clients to make sure that we communicate clearly, so below is a list of common estate planning terms and a plain English definition of them.
Read more . . .


Friday, April 12, 2019

Inheritance Taxes: The Estate Tax’s Sneaky Cousin


When people rail against the “death tax” what they are typically talking about are estate taxes. But the close cousin of the estate tax, the inheritance tax, can cause just as much mayhem if not properly planned for. 

What’s the difference between estate taxes and inheritance taxes? 


The “death tax” that everyone knows about is the estate tax. The federal government, and some states, take a percentage of the wealth that is transferred at someone’s death. The tax is paid by the estate of the person who died.
Read more . . .


Saturday, April 6, 2019

How To Challenge A Will


In his novel Sycamore Row John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi where Jack Brigance, the lawyer made famous in A Time To Kill, has taken on another challenging case. 

A wealthy man name Seth Hubbard has hung himself in a sycamore tree and left almost his entire fortune to his black maid. Hubbard’s children, who thought they would be inheriting their ailing father’s millions, contest the will. They argue Hubbard’s handwritten will should not invalidate his earlier, professionally drafted plan. They suggest the maid must have hoodwinked Hubbard.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Apprising You Of Appraisals



If you have ever bought a piece of property or watched a tv show like Antiques Roadshow you are probably vaguely familiar with the concept of appraisals — a professional assessment of the market value of a piece of real estate or an item. But did you know that appraisals are an important part of the estate planning and Read more . . .


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Can I Ask My Parents For Money Now Instead of Waiting Until They Die?


Someone recently wrote in to the MarketWatch advice column with an interesting question about parents who are willing and able to make gifts now versus waiting until they have passed away to pass on their wealth. It’s a good reminder of two critical aspects of estate planning — communicating your intentions to your loved ones and taking advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion. 

An Interesting Question

SnubbedRead more . . .


Monday, March 4, 2019

Step-Sister Swindles Siblings Out Of Inheritance


A recent article in the MarketWatch advice column caught our eye because it is a scenario we have seen played out far too many times. A blended family is at one another’s throats because one sibling took advantage of her step-father’s poor estate planning in order to benefit her own family. Family disputes over estate planning and inheritances are incredibly common, but largely preventable if you work with an Read more . . .


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.

Read more . . .


Friday, February 15, 2019

Five Tips For Fighting Elder Abuse


When we teach our kids about bullies, we tell them that bullies are actually weak. They pick on people because they want to feel better about themselves, so they target the lonely, the weak, and the disheartened.

It turns out we should be listening to our own advice. As our parents and grandparents become older, and we become their caretakers, we must be prepared to look out for bullies. Because that’s what people who abuse our elders are — bullies.


Read more . . .


Friday, February 8, 2019

Stones & Statutes: What Law Applies When A Cemetery Is Disturbed?


It’s been months since Hurricane Florence made landfall, but in many ways we are all still recovering from the storm. We have helped numerous clients find and replace lost paperwork, and helped estate administrators manage repairs on properties they are responsible for but don’t live in. We have also counseled families who are trying to figure out how to fix or replace broken gravestones, and discussed what to do when a loved one’s grave has been disturbed by rising waters.  

No Longer Resting In Peace

We all like to think that our loved ones are resting in peace in a sacred space where no one and nothing can do them harm. Unfortunately, cemeteries are often impacted by natural disasters, or suffer at the hands of vandals.
Read more . . .


Monday, January 28, 2019

Estate Planning In The Opioid Era


It sneaks up on you like a thief in the night. It takes without hesitation, not caring what it destroys. It does not matter if you are young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural, it will get you if it can. Opioid addiction is ravishing our nation. 

It is something families can no longer ignore when

Read more . . .


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Preparing For Your Spouse’s Death


In most relationships there is one spouse that handles the couple’s finances. It’s a natural division of labor because it is redundant to have both spouses sign every check to the utility company. But it puts the spouse who is not the financial guru at a real disadvantage if they outlive their partner. 

We have heard way too many horror stories about a new widow or widower who is blindsided by debt or taken advantage of by someone who steps in to “help them sort out their finances” after their loved one’s death. This post covers a few key actions couples should take, from a legal point of view, to prepare for a future where only one of them is living.
Read more . . .


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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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