Planning for end-of-life care and for your death can be unpleasant, but a thorough estate plan can relieve stress about what will happen to your loved ones and your property at the end of your life. An experienced Indiana estate planning attorney can help you create your estate plan today.
A will is the foundational document of any estate plan. Along with testamentary trusts, wills dispose of a decedent’s assets at death. If you die without a will or trust, your assets will instead pass to your closest family members under Indiana’s rules of intestacy.
Wills must be executed with certain formalities. They must be a signed writing, signed by two witnesses. Further, to make a valid will in Indiana, you must be of sound mind and memory. A testator’s mental capacity is often the subject of will contests, but an attorney can help you to avoid the likelihood of a contest after your death.
Sometimes, the elderly become incapacitated and can no longer manage their personal or financial affairs. An attorney can draft a power of attorney, which authorizes a trusted person to manage your affairs if you become incapable of doing so. Then, the court will not have to appoint a conservator if you become incapacitated. Your lawyer can help you identify the specific powers and limitations you wish to include in the power of attorney.
Trusts are estate planning tools that may be used to avoid taxation, manage money for family members, avoid probate, and protect assets from creditors. There are several types of trust in Indiana, and each type has different benefits. An attorney can help you decide which is best for your individual needs, draft the trust documents, and help you put assets in the trust.
Special Needs Trusts
If you have a special needs loved one who is dependent on you, you may want to provide for him or her after your death. Having too many assets can mean that a disabled person is disqualified for Medicaid benefits, but creating a special needs trust can avoid that problem while still allowing you to bequeath money to care for your loved one after you are gone.
At the J Peterman Legal Group Ltd., we offer comprehensive estate planning services. If you do not have an estate plan, or if you wish to amend your will or trust, please call us today at our Merrillville office for an initial consultation.