Estate Planning Attorney inCharleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston 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 Charleston. 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What is Estate Planning in
Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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
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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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston, SC

Home visiting program spends a day at the farm

As Germaine Jenkins confidently chomped on a weedy-looking plant’s stem and flowers, a group of moms and dads tentatively followed her lead.It tasted like broccoli – which made sense, since the plant was a broccoli that had bolted, growing tall stems and delicate yellow flowers. Most gardeners work hard to prevent bolting, but Jenkins allows this natural process at Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston, since this is what produces seeds for next...

As Germaine Jenkins confidently chomped on a weedy-looking plant’s stem and flowers, a group of moms and dads tentatively followed her lead.

It tasted like broccoli – which made sense, since the plant was a broccoli that had bolted, growing tall stems and delicate yellow flowers. Most gardeners work hard to prevent bolting, but Jenkins allows this natural process at Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston, since this is what produces seeds for next year’s crop.

In addition to the broccoli, the parents got to taste borage and several types of mint as they toured the farm, which Jenkins established in 2014 on the grounds of the old Chicora Elementary School, one block off of Rivers Avenue.

“There was nothing here in 2014 but grass,” Jenkins told the group. “And fire ants.”

The parents were part of the nationwide Healthy Families America program, which is run locally by MUSC Children’s Health. It’s a voluntary home-visiting program with the goal of preventing child abuse and neglect.

Pediatrician Luke Edmondson, M.D., oversees the grant that funds MUSC’s program. It’s something he wishes he could offer to every new mother, but funding limitations mean it’s restricted to children considered at risk because of the young age of the mother, low education levels, poverty, drug or alcohol abuse, lack of social support or past Department of Social Services involvement.

Family support specialists make regular visits to each family’s home, where they talk about child development milestones; offer ideas for activities; and help the families to access resources for food, housing, education, child care or other needs. Many of the families are immigrants from Mexico or Central America, so language and cultural education is also a component.

The pandemic was particularly challenging to the program’s typical operations. Home visits were replaced by virtual visits. The family support specialists might swing by a family’s home to drop off food or diapers on the doorstep. But Edmondson was surprised and pleased that families didn’t give up on the program during that time. Most remained engaged.

And on this beautiful blue-sky day, the families gathered together for a bit of community bonding and a bit of learning about organic gardening and nutrition.

The event was held to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Jenkins, who sits on the local Healthy Families America community advisory board, shared some of her personal story – how she arrived in Charleston as a single mother with a 3-year-old and 18-month-old. She talked about how it could be stressful, trying to figure out how to pay bills and to get nutritious food for her children. But she also discovered the calming power of nature.

“For some reason, when I stuck my hands in the soil, a lot of answers came,” she said.

Jenkins’ children are now grown and help with running the farm. Jenkins started it with the idea of providing fresh, healthy food to a neighborhood that lost its last grocery store back in 2005. There’s a small grocery store on site, which sells the produce on a sliding scale and hires locals at a livable wage.

“Along with the vitamins and the beautiful space, we’re growing community,” Jenkins said. “The idea is that if we can figure it out here, then other communities can come together and figure out how to do something similar.”

Jenkins noted that although the produce within the farm is sold, anything that grows over the fence is free for foraging.

“I get excited when I see peach pits because I know the kids are tasting a food that tastes like what their parents would have eaten, without chemicals. It has a lot of flavor and nutrients when you pick it right off the tree,” she said.

After the farm tour, the parents split into two groups. One group helped to lay down wood chips, which suppress weeds and retain water during hot summers, and the other group used some of the site-grown produce to create a chicken pasta salad with a light vinaigrette.

Then, the entire group of parents, children and program staff sat down to enjoy the locally grown, delicious meal.

Sandwich boards are sidelined in Charleston, SC

@travelwithchaiWe know that nothing stands between you and your morning coffee — courtesy of your go-to local shop. Except for, well, sandwich boards, pedestal signs, and outdoor seating along the sidewalk.With that in mind, the City of Charleston is working with businesses to clear unapproved obstacles from walkways. Beginning on Mon., May 16, citations will be issued to businesses using signage and seating without permits or permission within public rights-of-way. Before Monday,...

@travelwithchai

We know that nothing stands between you and your morning coffeecourtesy of your go-to local shop. Except for, well, sandwich boards, pedestal signs, and outdoor seating along the sidewalk.

With that in mind, the City of Charleston is working with businesses to clear unapproved obstacles from walkways. Beginning on Mon., May 16, citations will be issued to businesses using signage and seating without permits or permission within public rights-of-way. Before Monday, warnings will be issued.

It’s a familiar story: You’re strolling down King Street on your way to a café, when suddenly you see:

~ Half off heels ~~ Come in, we’re open ~~ Get your Taco Tuesday fix ~

Three colorful sandwich boards stand on the sidewalk ahead, and you weave through them to get to the café. You settle on a bench outside the front door of the shop. Starting next week, you could have a totally different experience — no signs, no bench.

There’s already a city ordinance in place to keep walkways clear for public accessibility + safety — check it out here for the full details. Enforcement was temporarily dismissed during the pandemic. Now that crowds are returning to shops, cafés, eateries, and bars as pandemic restrictions have eased, unauthorized signs and seats may be getting the heave-ho.

There are a few work-arounds — signage and seating may be allowed if businesses are approved for permits including encroachment permits or the Sidewalk Café program. Encroachment permits may allow for planters and benches if certain criteria are met. The Sidewalk Café program authorizes food + bev service on a public right-of-way directly adjacent to the business, with rules and regulations.

Keep an eye out on your next walk down King Street and count how many sidewalk signs you see. We’re thinking if several obstacles are removed from walkways in the city, getting that iced Americano is going to be a total cakewalk.

Spine Center adopts robotic technology

Lying in her hospital bed in an operating room as staff bustled about, preparing for the surgery, the patient quietly teased the doctor: “Have you got all your toys?”He did, he assured her. Her surgery was to be the first at MUSC Health-Charleston Division using the Mazor X Stealth robotic system and Medtronic O-arm mobile X-ray machine. But those “toys” are more than shiny new playthings for surgeons. Neurosurgeon ...

Lying in her hospital bed in an operating room as staff bustled about, preparing for the surgery, the patient quietly teased the doctor: “Have you got all your toys?”

He did, he assured her. Her surgery was to be the first at MUSC Health-Charleston Division using the Mazor X Stealth robotic system and Medtronic O-arm mobile X-ray machine. But those “toys” are more than shiny new playthings for surgeons. Neurosurgeon Bruce Frankel, M.D., believes they will enable the doctors in his division to continue to innovate and improve surgeries for patients, moving MUSC Health to the very cutting edge of spinal surgery offerings.

The patient was clearly in pain, wincing as the anesthesia team lowered the head of the bed as gently as possible. The surgery, a microdiscectomy, was to address that pain. It’s a common procedure to deal with a herniated disc within the spinal column that’s pressing on nerves, causing sciatica.

It is not commonly performed with the Mazor X, however. Although the robotic system wasn’t designed with a discectomy in mind, Frankel wanted to see whether the system’s imaging and navigation capabilities could allow for more precision when performing this surgery.

“This is how you challenge yourself to adopt a newer technology to improve an older surgery,” he said.

While robotic surgery has become almost commonplace in other specialties, it’s still very new in the field of spinal surgery. In the past few years, some studies comparing robotic surgeries to traditional methods indicate that common spinal surgeries performed with robotic assistance could result in more accurate screw placement, less blood loss and even shorter hospital stays for those surgeries that require hospitalization. But techniques and protocols are still developing as surgeons explore the possibilities with different companies’ robotic systems that have been introduced in recent years.

Doctors in the Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Surgery practice at MUSC Health examined five such systems and reported their findings to hospital leadership. Although MUSC has a value-based health care partnership with Medtronic, which owns Mazor, the partnership didn't drive the decision to pursue the Mazor system – quality did. However, now that the health system has acquired two of the Mazor X Stealth robots, there are opportunities to pursue innovation within the framework of the partnership, said Caroline Brown, chief external affairs officer.

Part of that innovation will occur at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, which will become the first pediatric hospital in South Carolina to have the Mazor X Stealth robot.

“We are excited to announce the implementation of this advanced technology for the most complex pediatric spinal deformity patients,” said Robert Murphy, M.D., the chief of pediatric orthopedics. “We can provide the safest and most up-to-date orthopedic surgical care for children and adolescents with spine deformity and related spine conditions.”

After completing his first Mazor X surgery – which went well, with the patient going home that same day – Frankel said he expects he’ll continue to use it for discectomies, with a few adaptations.

“It gives you this accuracy that you didn’t have before,” he said.

The system works by taking images of the spine and then mapping the images to the patient on the table. This allows the surgeon to program the robotic arm to insert a port at a precise angle and location. Previously, Frankel said, accomplishing this required multiple X-rays as he went through each step of the surgery.

"This is constant fluoroscopy,” he said, referencing real-time moving X-rays. “It could be several minutes of it in complicated cases. Whereas with this, it’s one spin of the O-arm. This decreases the fluoroscopy time, which is better for the health of the patient and the health of everyone in that room who’s getting radiated, too.”

Frankel went on to perform a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion – a fusion of two vertebrae – using the Mazor X. In the coming months, he’ll use the system for the majority of his surgeries. He expects that, as he comes to understand the strengths and limitations of the system, he’ll probably settle at using it for about three-quarters of his cases.

“This system, with its imaging, navigation and robotic assistance capabilities, will allow us to further refine the surgeries we offer at the Spine Center and improve patients’ experiences in the hospital and their recoveries at home,” he said.

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A local’s guide to Charleston, SC

The best part about being a Charlestonian is knowing the ins and outs of the 843. With National Tourism Day last weekend — on May 7, to be exact — we thought it apt to rack your brain about the best things a tourist should do in the Holy City.From neighborhood bars like Share House to the Gibbes Museum of Art that you really sh...

The best part about being a Charlestonian is knowing the ins and outs of the 843. With National Tourism Day last weekend — on May 7, to be exact — we thought it apt to rack your brain about the best things a tourist should do in the Holy City.

From neighborhood bars like Share House to the Gibbes Museum of Art that you really shouldn’t skip, here are 16 recommendations for tourists to do according to, well, you.

Eat + drink

Vicious Biscuit, 409 W. Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant

Check out this local restaurant suggested by Reader Mary V. that also landed a spot on our list of brunch eateries around town. We’d recommend The Fat Boy.

Shoutout to Reader Mary V. for this submission as well. Enjoy panoramic views of the peninsula while sipping on a frozen negroni or mimosa.

Firefly Distillery, 4201 Spruill Ave., North Charleston

DYK the co-owner of this local distillery is one of two masterminds behind the worlds first handcrafted Sweet Tea Vodka? Enjoy live music + other events, plus more than 25 spirits at this Park Circle establishment.

Hero Doughnuts & Buns, 145 Calhoun St.

Grab a dozen donuts from this hidden gem offering breakfast, buns, and baked goods. Thanks, @thingstodoincharleston.

Check out the view from the highest rooftop in Charleston while indulging in light bites + cocktails. We’ll take an order of oysters on the half shell, please.

Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill, 14 N. Market St.

Be sure to make a reservation + check out the menu for this awardwinning, casual steakhouse, suggested by @the_twinmike.

We can confirm: This recently-opened duo on Ann Street suggested by @noonan_15 is the place to be. Order a Larceny Mule from Share House and head back the next morning for a breakfast sandwich from Bodega.

Tours

Holy City History Tours, 164 Market St., Ste. 227

Get tickets to explore our city during a daytime walking tour or evening ghost tour, if you dare. Shoutout to @lindseyy__m for the suggestion.

Choose a fishing charter, sunset cruise, beach walk, or custom charter to experience the Holy City waterways, suggested by @the.hangry.captain.

Must see

There’s nothing better than a beach day in the Lowcountry. Grab a beach chair + some friends and soak up the sun along this two and a half-mile long barrier island. Thanks, @thecharlestonsuites.

Waterfront Park Pineapple Fountain, Vendue Range, Concord St.

Reader Mary V. hit the nail on the head for a must-do during a classic Charleston day. Be sure to snap a photo of the picturesque landmark.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Rd.

This local venue was recognized as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Embark on a historic garden walk and explore the venue for an event or wedding.

The Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 N. Hwy. 17, Awendaw

Check out weekly tours + flight demonstrations at this local nonprofit dedicated to conservation through education.

The Woodlands Nature Reserve, 4279 Ashley River Rd.

Swing by this 6,000-acre nature reserve to explore 11 lakes, a blackwater swamp, and wildlife just outside of Charleston, by the suggestion of @thingstodoincharleston.

Museums

Suggested by local restaurant Bull & Finch, this museum offers programs + events, exhibitions, and a membership, working to connect our city’s history to contemporary art.

Boy Scout to spiritual leader: Bishop-elect preps for new role with Diocese of Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — From Boy Scout to spiritual leader.Humble beginnings for a man from Haiti are leading him to a high-profile role in the Church."I've seen wonderful people. Welcoming. Smiling. Very happy. I don't know if its the honeymoon."Barely moved in to his new home in South Carolina, Bishop-elect Jacques...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — From Boy Scout to spiritual leader.

Humble beginnings for a man from Haiti are leading him to a high-profile role in the Church.

"I've seen wonderful people. Welcoming. Smiling. Very happy. I don't know if its the honeymoon."

Barely moved in to his new home in South Carolina, Bishop-elect Jacques Fabre-Jeune reflects on his initial impressions. The 66-year-old missionary priest is getting ready for an important promotion -- Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston.

Bill: "When the Pope tapped you to become the next Bishop of this Diocese, what were your overall feelings?"

Bishop-elect: "I don't deserve this. I'm not fit for it. I have dreamt about it."

Humbled by the appointment, Bishop-elect Fabre-Jeune recalls meeting Pope Francis in 2020. He said the pontiff wanted him to use his missionary experience to help people of all ethnic backgrounds. The native of Haiti can speak five languages. Now as a new pastoral shepherd, he plans to lead the faithful with even more involvement, while relying on others.

"The way that I've been functioning is that, and people will say that, is take talents and put it to the use of the common good," said Bishop-elect Fabre-Jeune. "I'm not above the Church. And no one is above the Church."

Among the challenges he faces --- a limited number of priests. The Bishop-elect wants to engage all Catholics.

"It has to be the parents. The family. And by the way -- to have more children. Instead of one or two. Because it makes it more difficult."

"To get all the priests involved in the process. Because the pastors are the ones that are in contact with the faithful."

As he enters a new moment of his ministry, Bishop-elect Fabre-Jeune explains how he sees the palmetto tree as a symbol of spreading God's Word.

"The profoundness of history of South Carolina and the deep faith of the people that we can go and branch out and before the others the life that we receive from Christ and share it with others."

The Bishop-elect's ordination and installation will take place Friday at 2p.m. at the Charleston Area Convention Center.

Among the people invited to attend -- many of the Boy Scouts he grew up with in Brooklyn, New York.

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