Wills and Trusts
Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for your family. Our estate planning involves a comprehensive approach that may comprise several aspects including Trusts, Wills, Living Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Health Care Representatives.
Over the past several years, Living Trusts have become popular estate planning tools. Living Trusts have several advantages such as avoiding probate and reducing taxes, expenses and attorney fees. Another important benefit of living trusts is the speed with which property can be transferred after death. In addition, a living trust is private and is not administered by a probate court.
Last Will and Testament
Upon death, a Will can minimize complications for the heirs of a decedent. A Will can provide instructions for disposition of property, payment of debts and, if necessary, appointment of guardian(s) for children. If death occurs and a valid Will does not exist, property will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the State of Indiana; a court will determine who the administrator will be and will choose guardian(s) for any minor children. We can prepare a Will that may minimize taxes and reduce the time and expense of handling an estate.
In addition to a Last Will and Testament, we recommend that a Living Will be executed that gives instructions to your doctors and other medical providers regarding the use of life support equipment if death is imminent. A Living Will is particularly important in comatose situations where there is no hope of regaining consciousness. We provide several signed copies of a Living Will that can be given to doctors, hospitals and family members. A Living Will also relieves one family member from being forced to make these difficult decisions for another family member.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document that authorizes a person or persons (Attorney-in-Fact) to act on behalf of another if he or she is unable to do so. A Durable Power of Attorney cannot be affected by any later incapacity, and it authorizes the Attorney-in-Fact to handle financial and other business related matters.
Appointment of Healthcare Representative
This document is commonly referred to as a "healthcare power of attorney." It appoints a person or persons to make healthcare decisions on behalf of another if the person making the appointment is unable to do so. When a person is facing a serious operation or an incapacitating illness, it is imperative that someone be appointed to make these important healthcare decisions should incompetence and/or unconsciousness occur.