A Healthcare Power of Attorney? Do I really need one?

A healthcare power of attorney is a document that is legally appointing someone to make health care decisions for you should you be unable to do so yourself. In South Carolina, if you do not have a Healthcare power of attorney the Adult Health Care consent act designates who will make decisions for you among family members. The act first gives power to spouses, then children, followed …

5 Things to Know to Reduce Your Tax on Capital Gains

Although it is often said that nothing is certain except death and taxes, the one tax you may be able to avoid or minimize most through planning is the tax on capital gains. Here's what you need to know to do such planning: What is capital gain? Capital gain is the difference between the “basis” in property — usually real estate or stocks, but also …

How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations. A power of attorney allows someone to appoint another person — an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” — …

Gift taxes and you!

The IRS has announced that the gift tax exclusion has been raised for 2018. A person can gift an annual exclusion of $15,000 without any gift tax consequences. Which means that you and your spouse could gift a child a total of $30,000 without any gift taxes. The lifetime limit was raised to 11,180,000. Double that for a married couple. This is the amount you …

When Should I Update My Estate Plan?

So you go an estate plan set up and executed. Great! But you aren’t done yet. You want to be sure to have that plan reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The rule of thumb that we use is to have your plan reviewed anytime you or a family member has a major life event. A few examples may include: You have a child …

Should I Add My Child to My Accounts and Real Estate as Co-owner

My stance on adding children as co-owners is that clients should never add children as co-owners of property. Many clients want to add their kids to title to property in order avoid having the property go thru the probate process once they pass away. However, adding kids to title usually causes more issues than it solves. Addition of child to property will cause the property …

Who Should I Name as an Executor, Trustee or Agent?

You can name anyone to serve as executor, trustee or as an agent. It could be a family member, friend, or a professional. Here are a few things to consider before naming someone as your fiduciary in an estate plan. Do you trust this person? Trust in the person is paramount. Your fiduciary must be someone who you trust to serve your best interests and …

Meet Donnie Brooks

Donnie Brooks, founder of Brooks Legal Services, LLC, has been serving the Myrtle Beach and overall Grand Strand area since 2006. He started Brooks Legal Services, LLC in 2011 and has been providing clients with personalized care in matters regarding estate planning, as well as drafting wills and trusts ever since. As an undergraduate at Radford University, Donnie Brooks studied Criminal Justice. Following graduation, he …