You’re Ready to Sell Your Business. Now what?

Lawyer to help sell business

Selling a business is not as easy as selling a car or house. Preparing for the process is critical in ensuring it’s as simple and successful as possible. Here are the steps to take when you’re ready to sell your business.

Step One: Consolidate and Organize Your Financials

A buyer for your business needs to see all your financials in one place for careful review. When prepping to sell, consolidate and organize all the information for your and the potential buyer’s review. The documentation should include the following:

  • The last three years of federal tax returns
  • The previous three years of Profit and Loss statements, plus the interim statement and balance sheets
  • List of equipment on hand, including estimated value
  • Inventory of any product still available that is saleable.
  • Information on any real estate or property included in the sale, including appraisal and tax information.

Step Two: Determine the Value of the Business

Don’t give your best guess when it comes to the sale value of your business. When you’ve built it from scratch, you have an emotional and financial investment, so inflating the price is tempting. Instead, hire a professional to provide a business valuation. Setting the right price is critical for optics and getting the most money for your business.

Step Three: Put Together Your Team

Selling a business is a complicated process. Including experienced professionals will help make sure the sale goes smoothly and you get the best price possible. Your team should include your accountant, a business broker, and an attorney. All will work to protect you and your interests throughout the sale process.

When you’re ready to sell your business, start with an experienced legal team. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, to get started.

Debt After Death: What You Need to Do

Estate planning lawyer

Who is responsible for the debt after death? Many people fear they will be responsible for a loved one’s debts, but we’re here to clear up the confusion. Here’s what happens to a decedent’s debt and what you need to do.

Do Debts Die When a Person Does?

Debt does not go away when a person dies. Their debt needs paying, but relatives and loved ones are not responsible for that debt. The debt must come out of the deceased’s estate. The only time someone other than the deceased is responsible for the debt is if they have co-signed on a loan or other obligation, if the law requires the spouse to pay certain debts, or if they are legally responsible for the debt. The estate pays any debts after death unless there aren’t enough funds, and then they may be unpaid.

Who Pays the Debt?

The executor of a person’s estate is responsible for managing debt payments. If the will names an executor, that person settles the affairs of the person who died. If there is no will, the probate courts assign an administrator. Creditors can present claims to the executor or administrator within eight months of the notification of the person’s death.

What Should You Do?

When a loved one dies, the best course of action is to contact a probate attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you work through any disputes with creditors and the deceased’s assets, navigate the probate process, and manage the administration of your loved one’s will and estate.

The last thing you want to do when a family member dies is manage the business of their debt after death. Contact the experienced legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC,

for the compassionate help you need in the process.

How to Change a Custody Agreement in SC

Modifications To Custody Agreement

Contrary to what many divorced or separated parents believe, a change to a custody agreement is possible. Lives and circumstances change, and sometimes an agreement that made sense in the past no longer serves the parents or children. Informal custody changes are not considered an order of the court so a parent may have trouble with schools, doctors, or others recognizing the changed custody or authority of the custodial parent. To ensure you protect your rights, and those of your children, you must follow the legal process to make a change.

How to Change a Custody Agreement

The first step to a change in custody agreement is to submit a petition to the family court. Most of the time, the petition, or complaint, will be filed in the same county that initially had jurisdiction over the first agreement. If both parents agree to the changes, the process is straightforward, but there are still formal steps which must be taken to get your new agreement before a judge for his or her approval, and ultimately obtaining the new court order.

If the parents are not in agreement, the parent requesting the change must  submit the petition and include a compelling reason why the change should be ordered, including the substantial and material change in circumstances that occurred since the initial agreement. The family courts will evaluate whether substantial changes have occurred, and determine what is in the children’s best interest. There is no specific time one must wait to seek a change in custody; rather, the crux is what circumstances have changed since the original agreement was approved by the court.

Child Support Formula

Modifications to a custody agreement many times also require reconsideration of child support. The formula used in South Carolina considers, among other things,  the gross income of each parent and the amount of overnights the child spends with each parent. Support obligations would also change if the custody modifications included a change to the amount of time spent with one or the other parent.

In every custody change request considered by the courts, the child’s best interest is a top priority. As a parent, you know what’s best for your child, and as family law attorneys, we know how to help. Contact McCutchen and McLean LLC to find out how we can help you navigate these important legal modifications.

3 Estate Planning Tips for Families with Beneficiaries with Special Needs

Estate planning lawyer

All children deserve the thought and foresight that goes into estate planning, but estate planning for a special needs child takes on a special kind of significance. Whether you have a child with a physical, medical, or intellectual disability, planning for their future is a priority. Pay attention to these three tips for estate planning when your beneficiaries have special needs.

Tip #1: Understand the Impact of Money and Assets

Many individuals with special needs take advantage of government programs that aid in their support and care, including medical care. Leaving an inheritance, assets, or financial benefits to your child could leave them ineligible for the government assistance they need. Without thoughtful estate planning, your child could find themselves running through their inheritance quickly due to the cost of their care and loss of the government assistance they need.

Tip #2: Think About a Special Needs Trust

There are different trust structures for different circumstances, and when you have a special needs child, a special needs trust is worth considering. The primary benefit of this type of protection is that the trust and the assets within aren’t factors when qualifying for public assistance. The assets and financial support from the trust can cover needs not met by that assistance.

Tip #3: Consult an Estate Planning Lawyer

There are many legal considerations and ramifications of inheritance and trusts, so it’s critical to set them up correctly. This is especially true when your beneficiary is a child with special needs. Consulting an attorney with experience with estate planning is the best way to ensure your plans will work in your child’s best interest.

Estate planning for a special needs child requires care, consideration, and a legal team on your side. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC to schedule your consultation.

Name Change in SC- What Is the Process Like?

How To Change Name In South Carolina

There are many reasons to change your name. The process in each state can vary, but a name change in SC is relatively straightforward. Here’s what you need to know so you can get it done.

What’s Required

You need to petition the family court to legally change your name in any state, including South Carolina. Whether you’re changing your last name due to marriage, divorce, or other life circumstance, or changing your first name, there is a process that you must follow. According to the South Carolina Legislature, the process includes the following:

  • Petition the court in writing and include the reason for the change.
  • Complete fingerprinting and a criminal background check.
  • Provide a statement from the Department of Social Services to prove you are not on the child abuse and neglect registry.
  • Proof from State Law Enforcement that you are not on the sex offender registry.
  • Provide information and documentation on court orders, including child support or alimony.

There are additional steps and considerations depending on the petitioner’s age, whether there is a criminal background, and sometimes the reason for the name change.

Why You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney

The documentation required, and elements that must be pled in your petition, are governed by South Carolina statute. Some steps in the name change process are easy to complete on your own, but others can be more complicated. Anytime you deal with the court system, issues and questions can be challenging to manage. This is especially true when you need consent from another parent for a child’s name change, when there may be a criminal history or prior court orders, or if someone contests the name change. Additionally, the documentation required can be overwhelming to assemble. An attorney can help you navigate all these areas, simplify the process for you, and help you reach your goal of attaining your brand new (or former) name.

Contact the experienced family law team at McCutchen McLean, LLC today for a free consultation regarding how to change your name in South Carolina.

Your Spouse Left with Your Kids, Now What?

Divorce lawyer

During a separation or divorce, especially a contentious one, your spouse may leave the state without telling you, taking your kids along with them. When this happens, your first question should be, are there custody lawyers near me? Here’s what to do when you find out your kids and your spouse are no longer in the same state as you.

If They Plan to Leave

If you learn that your spouse plans to leave the state with your children, the first thing you need to do is contact a lawyer. Unfortunately, unless there are drastic circumstances where your child’s life may in danger, a parent wanting to relocate with the child, by itself, is generally not enough for an emergency hearing in South Carolina. Therefore, timing is critical in getting your matter before a judge as soon as you can.

If They’ve Already Left

If your spouse has already left the area with your child, don’t panic. You may have legal recourse to get them back. First, call your divorce or custody lawyer for assistance. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may be able to file for an emergency hearing, requesting the return of your child and seeking a change of custody. It may be very beneficial if you have proof the other parent removed the child without your permission.

Don’t Wait to Contact Your Lawyer

If your spouse plans to leave or has left the state, don’t wait to contact your divorce lawyer. Waiting to act may create the perception that you agreed to the move or that you don’t have concerns about the child being away from you for an extended period with your spouse in another state. A favorable court ruling requiring the other parent to return the child to South Carolina will take careful planning between you and your attorney. As with all family court matters, but particularly relocation cases, the court will scrutinize why the parent left with the child and will decide what is in the best interest of your child.

If your spouse takes your children out of the state without your permission, we’re here to help. Contact the experienced legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC, for help navigating the family courts for custody.



James McCutchen drafted our estate planning documents and he did a fantastic job. The entire process was easy and affordable. I highly recommend James for any of your estate planning or probate needs.



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I recently had a tax issue with the IRS. I called McCutchen McClean law firm and they were able to fit me in quickly. They sat down with me, reviewed all the documents, listened to my concerns, and gave me wonderful advice as to how to fix the issue. They were friendly and understanding. Now, my tax issue is resolved, taking a HUGE weight off my mind. I would recommend them for any tax issue you may have! The service, hospitality, knowledge, and professionalism was outstanding!



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I have referred several clients to them. My clients are very happy with the outstanding, timely service they receive. James and Robin are extremely smart and professional, yet speak in "plain english" so everyone walks away educated regarding their tax, estate or family law issue.



Smart people that do great work.



I used Robin McLean as an attorney to secure a divorce about 20 months ago. I found her to be efficient, reasonably priced, and very well skilled. I was completely happy with her work. She did what she said. Since that time, I needed additional help with paperwork and she responded promptly and to my complete satisfaction. I highly recommend Robin as an attorney.


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