Estate Planning Attorney inBluffton, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Bluffton, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Bluffton that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Bluffton. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Bluffton, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Bluffton, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Bluffton, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Bluffton, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Bluffton, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Bluffton, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

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2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

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3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

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Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm Bluffton, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Bluffton, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Bluffton, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
Free Consultation

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Bluffton, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney Bluffton, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

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3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law Bluffton, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Bluffton, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in Bluffton, SC

Bluffton homeowners sue Palmetto Bluff, alleging it devised ‘deceptive and costly hoax’

More than a dozen property owners in one of Bluffton’s luxury communities alleges the developer devised a plan to “carry out a deceptive and costly hoax” on them, according to an 83-page civil action lawsuit filed last week in Beaufort County....

More than a dozen property owners in one of Bluffton’s luxury communities alleges the developer devised a plan to “carry out a deceptive and costly hoax” on them, according to an 83-page civil action lawsuit filed last week in Beaufort County.

At its core, the plaintiffs’ main frustrations are overcrowded amenities, forced paid-membership in the Palmetto Bluff Club, and an attack on short-term rentals, according to the suit.

“The lawsuit is about the illegal actions of the developer of Palmetto Bluff, which is working with the other Defendants to carry out a deceptive and costly hoax on Palmetto Bluff property owners,” the suit says.

It alleges the Palmetto Bluff Development, LLC “constructed a house of cards, buttressed by deceptive and illegal governing documents — intending to exit before the cards collapsed.”

Crescent Communities, a Charlotte-based development company, purchased Palmetto Bluff in 2000, and it has since grown to become the town of Bluffton’s largest tract, with space for 4,000 residential dwelling units and 180 acres of commercial development.

The gated waterfront community features residential properties, including a number of multimillion-dollar homes, with amenities including swimming pools, fitness facilities, dining venues, clubhouses and courts for racket sports.

The master plan for the community calls for about 4,000 homes, of which “at least 800” lots have already been constructed and 400 more are underway, the suit says.

It’s also the location of five-star hotel and spa Montage Palmetto Bluff, which made national headlines in 2019 when Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin had their wedding there and again when No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence and his longtime girlfriend tied the knot there last year. Palmetto Bluff has never lacked for celebrity visitors.

Residents, who pay for the amenities, “frequently” find they are “overwhelmed” by hotel guests and events, who receive “preferential treatment” according to the lawsuit, adding owners no longer have access to the amenities that influenced them to purchase within Palmetto Bluff.

“There is no room in the dining venues; there is no room by the pools; there is no room on the courts; there is no room in the fitness areas,” the suit says.

The plaintiffs allege Palmetto Bluff passed the costs of the amenities onto the homeowners but kept the benefits for itself by prioritizing the resort guests.

The suit names 12 defendants — Palmetto Bluff Development, LLC; Palmetto Bluff Preservation Trust, Inc.; Palmetto Bluff Club, LLC; PBLH, LLC; Palmetto Bluff Real Estate Company, LLC; Montage Palmetto Bluff, LLC; Palmetto Bluff Preservation Trust Board of Stewards and four of its officers, and South Street Partners, LLC — and 25 “John Does,” which are “unidentified corporations, entities and/or individuals” who potentially will be added to the suit as it progresses.

The main defendant appears to be the Palmetto Bluff Development, but the lawsuit accuses the others of acting “in concert with one another” as Palmetto Bluff “orchestrated its fraudulent scheme,” the suit alleges.

A “catalyst” for the legal action was a change in ownership of the development in June 2021, according to the suit, where South Street Partners, LLC is now “making the day-to-day decisions” therefore “directly responsible for the current situation.”

South Street Partners is a private equity firm out of Charleston, which is a co-investor with London private equity firm Henderson Park. The suit alleges the companies “have a business plan to flip Palmetto Bluff within eight years ... after bringing from it as much profit as they can manufacture.”

“These profit-focused private equity executives see Palmetto Bluff as a lucrative short-term transaction on a manipulated spreadsheet,” the suit says.

It also alleges that homeowners being required to join the for-profit Palmetto Bluff Club, which requires a joining fee and dues, is unlawful because it is not a homeowners’ association. However, the suit says homeowners have no stake in the club.

Lastly, the lawsuit says although the developer originally allowed some designated homes to be rented out short term, it “later realized, to its irritation, that these rentals directly compete with its hotel business” and diluting the resort’s profits. Now, the developer is “weaponizing the community’s governing documents to propel business away from” these homes.

An internal document included in the suit states the firm’s goal is to “do away with” neighborhood amenities and short-term rentals besides their own.

No other actions or response from either the plaintiffs or the defendants have yet been publicly filed, but a Palmetto Bluff spokesperson released a statement Tuesday evening saying “the planned changes ... are designed to be in the best long-term interested of our residents.”

“We regret that a small handful of our existing property owners, who have elected to use their homes as short term rental properties, are dissatisfied with these planned modifications,” the statement said. “They do not impact the Bluffton resident access to visit and enjoy Palmetto Bluff, rather only impact a renter’s access to the private club component of the community and are in keeping with the governing documents. South Street Partners has a long term commitment to the Palmetto Bluff community, our members and the town of Bluffton.”

This story was originally published April 19, 2022 5:38 PM.

Check out these theater, music and cultural events on Hilton Head and in Bluffton in May

Here are some upcoming arts and cultural events in Beaufort County to enjoy.“In the Heights,” the Tony-winning best musicalWhen a winning lottery ticket, a power outage, and romantic tension shake up the neighborhood, the long-time friends and neighbors make discoveries about each other and themselves.Featuring an exhilarating score by Lin Manuel-Miranda, this fresh and revolutionary musical combines Latin rhythms and dance to tell a captivating story about what it means to chase your dreams as you cli...

Here are some upcoming arts and cultural events in Beaufort County to enjoy.

“In the Heights,” the Tony-winning best musical

When a winning lottery ticket, a power outage, and romantic tension shake up the neighborhood, the long-time friends and neighbors make discoveries about each other and themselves.

Featuring an exhilarating score by Lin Manuel-Miranda, this fresh and revolutionary musical combines Latin rhythms and dance to tell a captivating story about what it means to chase your dreams as you cling to your roots and to celebrate the community from which you grew.

Bluffton Village Festival, known as “Mayfest”

This is one of the area’s favorite festivals because it has something for everyone, such as food, arts and crafts, music, and entertainment.

Two stages — the main stage in Martin Family Park and a second on Bridge Street — will provide a variety of entertainment. Admission is free.

Look forward to the Derby Hat parade, the Country Project, the Pie-Eating Contest at Dubois Park and the infamous Ugliest Dog Contest starting at 1 p.m. at Heyward House.

Terpsichore by Hilton Head Dance Theatre

Don’t miss Hilton Head Dance Theatre’s annual production of both classical and contemporary dance. It’s always an audience favorite!

“The Versatile Jazz Band,” by the Lowcountry Jazz Band

The 17-member Lowcountry Jazz Band will present jazz favorites about love, standards arranged by the gifted composer Wally Menard and newer arrangements of jazz classics, all with engaging introductions.

The Jazz Band with vocalist Robin Lind is a subgroup of the Lowcountry Community Concert Band under the auspices of the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute and is directed by Mary Woodmansee Green. The concert is free; an offering will be taken to support the band’s purchase of music and equipment.

Swing into Summer concert

Hilton Head Big Band, under the direction of Pete Stephenson, will premiere “Where is Freedom?” by musical theater writers Luanne and Kristen Rosenfeld. The new song, arranged by Richard Orr and performed by Amber Thornburg, will be featured at the Swing Into Summer concert benefiting the Junior Jazz Foundation. The foundation helps ensure young music students get the instruments, lessons and opportunities they need to keep music alive on Hilton Head for the next generation.

“America Sings!” by the Hilton Head Choral Society

A celebration of the American spirit! Join the chorus, the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet, and a special guest speaker in an all-American musical program including a tribute to the men and women of our armed forces, current and past. Celebrate the Memorial Day weekend with the HHCS.

Artists of HOPE works on display

Artwork produced by The Artists of HOPE, a group of local cancer patients and survivors, is on display on Hilton Head. Many of the paintings are available as part of a silent auction to raise funds for the H.O.P.E. Life Cancer Recovery Fund which provided the art therapy to this group.

Looking ahead to summer

Ben Wolfe and his Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute have two amazing musicals planned at the Seahawk Cultural Center on Hilton Head. For more info, go to HHISummerMusicals.com or call 866-749-2228.

Nancy Wellard may be reached at coastalartnews@gmail.com.

Recruiting Spotlight: Nico Martucci of Bluffton baseball

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) – The Bluffton Bobcats baseball team will wrap up its regular season next week before embarking on their postseason journey.One player that Bluffton will need at his best to advance far in those playoffs is pitcher and third baseman Nico Martucci, a threat at the plate and on the mound.Martucci, who has dreams of playing college baseball, sat down with WSAV for our weekly Recruiting Spotlight. The following transcript is lightly edited for grammar and syntax.Q: How did you kind of choo...

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) – The Bluffton Bobcats baseball team will wrap up its regular season next week before embarking on their postseason journey.

One player that Bluffton will need at his best to advance far in those playoffs is pitcher and third baseman Nico Martucci, a threat at the plate and on the mound.

Martucci, who has dreams of playing college baseball, sat down with WSAV for our weekly Recruiting Spotlight. The following transcript is lightly edited for grammar and syntax.

Q: How did you kind of choose the positions that you chose? What was it about pitching and playing third base for you?

A: I always played third and first growing up. During 12 and 13U, I started pitching and really fell in love with it. When I’m pitching, I just have a lot of confidence up there and I really think I can do my best on the mound.

Q: In terms of your recruiting, are you allowed to have contact with other schools yet?

A: The rule for sophomores is that a college cannot contact you, but you can contact them.

Q: What kinds of schools have you reached out to?

A: I’ve reached out to a couple of schools in South Carolina like College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, but I haven’t really reached out to any other schools. I’m looking to do that this summer.

Q: When you reach out to a school, what does that actually mean? Is there a questionnaire that you fill out?

A: No, when you reach out, you usually go to a prospect camp and then you would email them after and then you email them your schedule. I sent our schedule out to College of Charleston and come to Shipyard, which is close to them, and give them times and dates and everything to make sure it doesn’t mess up their schedule.

Q: I’ve talked to one or two other baseball and softball players and they described that process of sending out the schedule. Since the college cannot actually talk to you, do they just sit in the stands and observe?

A: Yes, sir. They kind of just show up, you don’t know if they’re there or not so you always just have to play well.

Q: When you think about what you want to improve on over the summer, is there anything that stands out?

A: It’s a combination of velocity and accuracy. Obviously, you want to throw harder than most kids but you also have to be accurate. I really want to increase my velocity this summer. My top velocity last summer was 84, so I’m probably sitting at the low-80s. I’d like to be sitting at mid-80s this summer.

Q: What is your pitch repertoire like? You have the four-seam fastball it sounds like, what else do you have?

A: I have a four-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup. I’m trying to work on my curveball right now, trying to get it like more of a 12-to-6 motion.

Q: You hear a lot in the MLB about advanced pitching stats like revolutions per minute. How much do colleges get into that?

A: It’s mostly velocity and accuracy. They also look at spin rates, though. Like on a curveball, that’s obviously going to have a higher spin rate than a fastball.

Q: When you think about your relatively short time in high school so far, do you have a favorite moment or accomplishment that stands out?

A: Last year as a freshman, I pitched against Beaufort’s varsity and pitched eight innings and a hundred-something pitches. That stands out to me because I really proved to myself that I could sit up there and grind with a good team.

Q: What is your schedule like this summer? I know travel baseball can get pretty hectic.

A: We have six tournaments this summer and half of them are at colleges. We’ve got one at Coastal Carolina and one at Gardner-Webb and then some in the Atlanta area.

Q: You said you’re looking to reach out to some more schools this summer. Any in particular that you have in mind?

A: My dream would honestly be just to play Division I baseball, just to get to that level and experience it. I don’t have a certain team right now that I’d want to play for. I’m open to anyone.

PERFECT GAME: https://www.perfectgame.org/Players/Playerprofile.aspx?ID=702479TWITTER: https://twitter.com/martucci_nico

Learn How One Grandmother Inspired This Gardener to Transform His Simple Backyard Plot

The seed for Ryan Clark's love of gardening was planted with his grandmother when he was a kid. "My earliest memories of childhood are about gardening with her," says Clark. Fast-forward to 2016, when he was ready to cultivate the plot he built with his dad in his parents' Bluffton, South Carolina, backyard. "When I planted my first vegetables there, my grandmother was with me," he says. "It was a special moment, kind of a role reversal, and now I'm carrying on her tradition." His year-round efforts yield a boun...

The seed for Ryan Clark's love of gardening was planted with his grandmother when he was a kid. "My earliest memories of childhood are about gardening with her," says Clark. Fast-forward to 2016, when he was ready to cultivate the plot he built with his dad in his parents' Bluffton, South Carolina, backyard. "When I planted my first vegetables there, my grandmother was with me," he says. "It was a special moment, kind of a role reversal, and now I'm carrying on her tradition." His year-round efforts yield a bounty of organic produce, herbs, and flowers. He also collects fresh eggs from his brood of 12 hens and honey from two hives of bees. Clark describes gardening as a "total creative expression," while his background with a degree in biology helps with the plant-growing process. "I jokingly tell people that this is my full-time job outside of my real one," says Clark, who has a career in marketing. "My favorite part of the day is when I slip off my work shoes and put on my boots." Here, he takes us inside his Lowcountry oasis to share his gardening tips.

"One of the themes of the garden is duality. I put interesting companion plants together to serve different roles and help one another out," says Clark. In the front beds, for example, he pairs daffodils with society garlic, which deer don't browse. After the daffodils bloom during winter and early spring, the society garlic flowers in late spring and summer. "The leaves look very similar and take up the same amount of real estate, but you still get two kinds of blooms. Then as the daffodil foliage is regrowing for the next season, it blends into the society garlic," he says. Clark also likes to incorporate plants that can serve multiple purposes. The cypress trees and boxwood hedges placed along the border act as a screen for the garden, and he uses fresh clippings for holiday greenery.

"I didn't want people to see the whole garden right from the get-go. There's a sense of adventure as they walk through the yard because I let things reveal themselves," says Clark. The flowy flower borders in front balance out the tidier, formal raised beds inside the fence. He adds a mixture of annuals, perennials, and evergreen shrubs so the beds will be in bloom year-round. Gaura, snapdragon, butterfly bush, chaste tree, and Mexican bush sage welcome bees and butterflies. Inside, the garden is divided into quadrants with beds devoted to fruits, vegetables, and cutting flowers. Wander along the pea gravel walkway to discover the chicken coop and the potting shed.

Clark leverages plants to his advantage around the chicken coop. Wisteria grows on the south-facing front side, so during the winter (when all its leaves fall off), the chickens can warm themselves in the sun. During spring and summer, the wisteria foliage comes back, providing shade and cooler temperatures. The jasmine growing on the coop adds fragrance to help mask the smell of the flock. When it comes down to it, Clark advises, "Just allow nature to do its thing, and don't try to fight it too much."

Clark's 12 hens inspired the garden's name, The Daily Dozen. Follow along with his harvests on Instagram, @the_daily_dozen.

When Clark had no luck growing alliums, he conceded to the climate and invested in plants that would thrive in his area. "Focus on what does well, and celebrate that. Not everyone is going to have the same success with everything. That's the beauty of it too," he says. Citrus trees love the Lowcountry conditions, so Clark went all in. Planting them along the border creates a screen for deer, squirrels, armadillos, and other bothersome animals. He harvests 'Meyer' lemons, 'Persian' limes, 'Key' limes, 'Valencia' oranges, blood oranges, and clementines, just to name a few fruits.

None of the produce goes to waste because Clark shares his bounty with friends and family. He makes tomato-basil soup and pickles with some of his bumper crop and gives lemons to his grandmother, who uses them in her water every day. Clark juices the excess citrus, freezes the liquid in ice trays, and defrosts the cubes as needed. He has also experimented with homemade limoncello and clemencello.

He loves to share his happy place with others. "The garden has been home to big life moments and also provides elements of tradition," he says. It's where a friend held their wedding and where Clark picked the flowers for his brother's nuptials. He also grows the sweet potatoes for his family's Thanksgiving meal, and his grandmother uses the oranges for her Christmas salad.

How hot is the real estate market in Beaufort County? Home prices rise to $480K

The median sales price for a single-family home in Beaufort County during February was $480,000. That's an increase of 15.5% compared with February 2021, according to a USA TODAY Network localized analysis generated with data from Realtor.com.On a year-over-year basis, prices have been rising for 21 consecutive months. February prices are down from $490,000 the previous month.The number of houses sold fell by ...

The median sales price for a single-family home in Beaufort County during February was $480,000. That's an increase of 15.5% compared with February 2021, according to a USA TODAY Network localized analysis generated with data from Realtor.com.

On a year-over-year basis, prices have been rising for 21 consecutive months. February prices are down from $490,000 the previous month.

The number of houses sold fell by 21.8% from a year earlier. A total of 287 houses were sold countywide during the month of February. During the same period a year earlier, 367 single-family homes were sold.

Real estate sales can take weeks or months to be recorded and collected. This is the latest data made available through Realtor.com to the USA TODAY Network.

Beaufort County condominiums and townhomes sold in February had a median sales price of $310,000. That figure represents a 25.5% increase year over year. Some 140 were sold, down 11.9% from a year earlier.

How hot is Beaufort County's real estate market?

Information on local housing markets is available through the USA TODAY Network, with more data from Realtor.com.

In Beaufort County, the top 10% of the properties sold had prices of at least $1,200,000, up 34.8% from a year before.

In February, 50 properties sold for at least $1 million, consisting of 44 single-family homes, four condominiums or townhomes and two other properties.

The median home sale price — the midway point of all the houses or units sold over a period of time — is used in this report instead of the average home sale price because experts say the median offers a more accurate view of what's happening in a market. In finding the average price, all prices of homes sold are added and then divided by the number of homes sold. This measure can be skewed by one low or high price.

The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Realtor.com. Localized versions are generated for communities where the data quality and transaction volume meets Realtor.com and USA TODAY Network standards. The story was written by Sean Lahman.

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