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Honesty, Integrity and Compassion

The Law Office of Stephen W Gause, LLC is a multi-practice firm created with one primary objective in mind - to help clients understand and successfully navigate the legal challenges they face.  Whether you need assistance crafting an estate plan or are working toward building your dream business, I will work to help you achieve your goals by providing sound legal advice tailored specifically to your situation. 

Introducing our law firm

Areas of Practice

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning

No one can predict the future, but you can prepare.  Having an appropriate Estate Plan in place can provide peace of mind and help ease the burden for loved ones.  I can help by providing customized legal advice and guidance to meet your goals in setting up a plan that protects your estate and properly distributes assets to your family and loved ones.

Business Formation and Counseling

Owning a small business can be a rewarding yet very challenging endeavor that will very likely require you to undertake new roles and develop new skills to help your business succeed.  I can help you navigate the legal aspects of forming and operating your small business so you can focus on growth, branding, advertising, or other important matters.  

What happens in the untimely event of your passing?

The estate planning process allows you to decide what happens if you can no longer make your own decisions or pass away.  Questions like, who will raise the kids,  who makes the medical decisions,  who manages your property,  who wraps up the affairs after you die?


If there is no plan, your family will be given the state's default estate plan. A judge will make important decisions regarding who raises the kids, makes the medical decisions, manages the property, and wraps up the affairs.  The judge may choose someone that you may not want taking these roles.  You know what is best for your family, and you deserve to have your wishes and best interest of your family tended to.

 

Getting a will is essential for several reasons:

  • Asset Distribution: A will allows you to specify how your assets should be distributed after your death. Without a will, state laws (intestacy laws) will determine how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your wishes.

  • Guardianship: If you have minor children, a will allows you to nominate a guardian to care for them in the event of your death. Without a will, the court will decide who will care for your children.

  • Executor: A will allows you to appoint an executor to manage your estate and carry out your wishes. This ensures that someone you trust is responsible for handling your affairs after your death.

  • Avoiding Family Disputes: A clear and legally-binding will can help prevent disagreements among family members regarding the distribution of your assets. It provides clarity and reduces the likelihood of disputes.

  • Minimizing Taxes: A well-drafted will can help minimize estate taxes, ensuring that more of your assets go to your chosen beneficiaries rather than to taxes.

  • Charitable Giving: If you wish to leave a portion of your estate to charitable organizations or causes, a will allows you to do so.

  • Peace of Mind: Having a will in place provides peace of mind, knowing that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones will be taken care of after your passing.

 

Overall, a will is a crucial legal document that ensures your intentions are carried out and your loved ones are provided for after your death.


Let’s talk about how a will- or trust-based estate plan can ensure your voice is heard and protect you and your family.

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Business Formation

Having an attorney for business formation can be highly beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Legal Advice: Attorneys can provide legal advice tailored to your specific situation. They can help you choose the right business structure (e.g., LLC, corporation, partnership) based on your goals and circumstances.

  2. Compliance: Attorneys can ensure that your business formation documents comply with state laws and regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues in the future.

  3. Protection: Attorneys can help protect your personal assets by ensuring that your business structure provides the appropriate level of liability protection.

  4. Contracts and Agreements: Attorneys can draft and review contracts and agreements, such as partnership agreements or operating agreements, to protect your interests and minimize disputes.

  5. Peace of Mind: Having an attorney handle the business formation process can give you peace of mind, knowing that your business is set up correctly and legally compliant.

Overall, while it is possible to form a business without an attorney, having legal guidance can help you navigate the complexities of business formation and avoid costly mistakes.

My Story

Born and raised in the Lowcountry, I grew up in the north area and have many fond memories of playing little league baseball, visiting the beaches and hunting for sharks' teeth, and spending time with my friends.  I graduated from Stall High School and stayed local to enroll at the College of Charleston.  After working for a year in retail and at a customs brokerage firm, I decided to attend law school. 

After three years in Columbia, I graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2003 and worked for two civil litigation firms prior to opening my own office.  At the first I was involved in a broad range of matters ranging from plaintiff personal injury actions to toxic tort defense.  At the second firm I worked almost exclusively on the National Coordinating Counsel team for a corporate client, where I helped manage a national toxic tort litigation portfolio.  Wanting to do more to help my neighbors and the local community, I established my own law firm so I could focus on assisting members of the community with their legal needs.  Whether I can assist a client fulfill the legal requirements of probating an estate, plan and prepare for the future or open their first business, I will approach each representation with honesty, integrity and a personal commitment to helping each client achieve their goals.

I now live in Hanahan (which still has that small town feel to it that I love) with my wife and three boys and attend Restoration Community Church.  I still enjoy rooting for the College of Charleston Cougars, the South Carolina Gamecocks and my sons' little league teams.  With three young and active boys I can often be found out at the baseball fields, fishing in one of the neighborhood ponds or at one of the local beaches.  I have a passion and strong belief in living life to the fullest.  I'd love to help you do the very same. 

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