Trusts and Estates
Whether you are planning the care or support of loved ones upon your death or wrangling with the probate process while mourning the loss of a loved one, Theresa A. Horton, P.A. can help. We assist with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, excluding wealth transfer plans for extremely wealthy clients, whom we would refer to more specialized counsel.
Advice to trustees
A trustee can be personally liable for mistakes or omissions that result in losses for the trust. Our firm offers sound advice to trustees to ensure accurate and complete compliance with all aspects of trust administration. If you have been named a trustee, we strongly recommend that you retain professional assistance from a trustworthy source. As an established law firm with a long record of success in trust administration in South Carolina, Theresa A. Horton, P.A. can help.
An estate plan is more than mere transfer of property. There are personalities and family dynamics at work. Ms. Horton is interested in helping you analyze the relationships among your family members, sharing ideas about how to deal with issues that may make certain members of your family more or less able to manage your estate, and protecting your loved ones. When devising an estate plan, Ms. Horton considers these issues, as well as how best to protect your children, support your loved ones and contribute to charitable causes that are close to your heart.
In South Carolina, state estate taxes exist, but only for the very wealthy; therefore, tax planning takes a back seat in this firm to the more personal and human issues, like:
Which child (or sibling) should make health care decisions for me if I couldn’t?
Which child (or sibling) could best manage my level of wealth? Or do I need a third-party fiduciary for my estate?
How can I protect the people I would like to have share my wealth, but who cannot manage things properly for themselves?
These kinds of questions interest Ms. Horton, and our face-to-face interview is designed to allow the client to open up about these issues so that, working together, the client and Ms. Horton can resolve these sometimes hidden concerns in a way most satisfactory to the client.
We understand that the process of probate follows a time of painful emotional loss. For more information about this firm’s approach to the Probate process, please click on “Estate Planning, Wills, and Probate” under “Practice Areas.”
Our mission statement includes the phrase “the imperfection of human beings”. Because human beings are imperfect, and because of sadness and misunderstanding in family history, from time to time families cannot agree about the intentions of the deceased. Ms. Horton has handled various forms of probate litigation for the decades of her practice: Will contests, formal closings of estates when the family members could not agree with the distributions suggested by the Personal Representative, and removal of Personal Representatives who were failing to fulfill their duties. Other forms of probate litigation involving the incompetence of adults and provision for their care are addressed under “Guardianship and Conservatorship”.
Theresa A. Horton, P.A. does not encourage litigation; nonetheless, when it seems appropriate, Ms. Horton will take litigation cases in the probate arena. The stress of a probate dispute dramatically escalates the pain of losing a loved one. Our approach is to find middle ground and settle if the other side can be brought to reason; however, having an attorney with Ms. Horton’s experience and reputation on your side of the litigation, sitting at your table in the courtroom, should ease your mind. We never promise an outcome, but we do promise our best efforts to have your side heard and the best legal reasoning available brought to the court’s attention.