3 Tips for a Paying a Low South Carolina Estate Tax

You love your family more than anything, and you want to ensure that they have every opportunity to thrive–even after you are gone.

Life happens in the blink of an eye. You have no way of knowing what will happen tomorrow, but you can take steps to protect your family in the future with your estate. 

Of course, it is not as simple as naming your family members as beneficiaries of your assets. You also have to deal with the South Carolina estate tax.

Here are three tips to help you sidestep the estate tax and ensure that your family gets the maximum benefit. 

Generation-Skipping

Generation-skipping, sometimes done via a generation-skipping trust, is when you transfer a portion of your estate assets to your grandchildren rather than passing the assets to your children. 

Typically, your assets are taxed twice on the way to your grandchildren: first, when they pass from you to your children (second generation), and again when your children later transfer them to their children (third generation). 

Generation-skipping sidesteps the intermediate tax. The downside, of course, is that your children cannot access assets that get designated to your grandchildren (which your children may not be happy about). 

Most people take a moderate approach. They designate as many assets to their children as they think they will need and elect the excess be apportioned to their grandchildren. 

Lifetime Gifts

If you are not entirely comfortable with generation-skipping, you can take a more proactive approach with lifetime gifts to your children and grandchildren.

This is precisely what it sounds like: rather than waiting for your assets to pass when you die, you directly gift part of your assets to your children and grandchildren. 

Every year, a person can make a gift of up to $12,000 without incurring a gift tax. If both you and your spouse give the maximum amount, you can collectively gift away $24,000 per year per recipient. This gift, in turn, reduces your taxable estate. 

It does require you to be comfortable giving away a portion of your assets while you are still alive–or have the financial bandwidth to do so. If you are worried about running out of money, though, this may not be the right choice for you, as it is inordinately difficult to reclaim this money once you have gifted it away.

Put Your Assets in a Trust

Ultimately, the only real way to protect your whole estate against taxes is to put it in a trust, though most people are wary of this option since it signs control of your assets over to someone else. 

First, keep in mind that there are many different types of trusts you can create, and you can designate almost anyone to manage the trust for you, including a family member. 

If you do decide to establish a trust, though, it is essential to work with an estate planner, as there are many rules and exemptions attached to trusts that you may not be aware of. 

Need Help Figuring Out South Carolina Estate Tax?

At Indigo Family Law, we know that family is the only thing that matters. We also know that time flies, especially for busy parents.  That is why we are here to help you figure out the South Carolina estate tax–or whatever else you might need.

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your options, use our contact page to get in touch.

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How Much is the Average Monthly South Carolina Child Support Payment?

Enduring a legal separation or divorce process in South Carolina is already difficult for everyone involved, especially children, but now the court is assigning your monthly child support payment.

The court assigns South Carolina child support according to your finances and responsibility for any children. Want to learn how much you could pay?

We have got you covered. We will discuss how the court will determine your child support payment and your estimated monthly payment. Read on to learn more.

Must-Know Basics About Child Support in South Carolina

According to the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines, either parent can request child support regardless of their responsibility for any children. Both parents must contribute to the well-being of any children.

Keep in mind that the SC court can order one or both parents to pay child support. If the parents of any children are under 18, the court may order the grandparents to pay child support.

How to Calculate Your South Carolina Child Support Payment

Calculating child support in South Carolina is not as straightforward as you may think. The court will calculate your monthly payment based on the SC Child Support guidelines. But, your payment may vary depending on your child custody arrangements.

Child support payments must cover the cost of any children’s education, medical care, childcare, among other necessary expenses. Your income and the number of children you have will influence your monthly payment as well. You may estimate your payment using a child support estimator, but the court does not only follow general guidelines.

The court will use their worksheets to determine your monthly payment. There is a different worksheet for every custody arrangement. It is recommended that you take a look at the worksheets and basic child support obligations table schedule in the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines.

Examples of South Carolina Child Support Payments

According to the US Census, the median household income in South Carolina is $5497. The South Carolina guidelines establish a basic child support obligation average between $793 to $1628. This range applies to parents of one to six children.

For example, a non-custodial parent of three children earns $3,000 a month. The custodial parent of all three children earns $1,500 per month.

If the non-custodial parent pays $250 a month to cover any children’s health insurance. The South Carolina Child Support Guidelines suggest the parent would pay about $762.67 in child support each month.

This payment may vary if the court uses Worksheet A from their guidelines to calculate the payment. This child support payment may decrease if the parents agree to a split custody arrangement.

An example of this is when Parent A holds custody of 2 of 3 children, earns $3,000 per month and pays $250 toward their health insurance. While Parent B takes care of 1 of 3 child, earns $1,500 a month, and pays $100 toward the child’s health insurance.

In this scenario Parent A would pay only $74.10 dollars per South Carolina guidelines. The court may assign a higher or lower payment if they use Worksheet B.

Bottom Line

There is not a one size fits all formula to calculate South Carolina child support. Your monthly payment may vary depending on your circumstances or custody arrangement, among other factors.

Before any child support hearing, you should hire a family law attorney who will protect your interests. Hiring the right lawyer will help you obtain the best outcome and fair child support payment.

Is your child support payment too high? You may be eligible for a modification if you or your child’s situation endured substantial changes.

Want to learn what modifications you may request? Read our article to learn more about your eligibility.

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