Indianapolis estate planning lawyers can assist you in creating an estate plan that accomplishes the specific goals you have for your legacy. Many people are unaware of all of the different tools that they could use in a comprehensive estate plan and, as a result, they don’t make the most effective plan. You should learn about the different options available to ensure that you have put the right legal tools in place to protect your family and your assets.
The best way to make sure that your estate plan is comprehensive enough to achieve all of your goals for your legacy is to work with an experienced attorney at Frank & Kraft. Our Indianapolis estate planning lawyers can discuss your goals with you and help you to put a plan in place that gives you the maximum protection for your assets and the highest level of control over what happens at the end of your life and after your death.
Give us a call to find out more about how we help with the estate planning process and to find out more about the tools you can use in your plan. You can also learn about five key estate planning tools here that might become a part of your plans once you get help from our legal team.
A Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is one of the most common estate planning tools. Many people create a will and believe their plan is complete, but a will is usually not the best way to protect assets and facilitate the fastest transfer of wealth to new owners. If you simply leave money to someone in a will, this provides no protection from estate tax and the assets will typically have to transfer through the probate process. You can ensure assets transfer more quickly, can have more control over assets, and can provide more protection from assets if you use other estate planning tools instead of or in addition to a last will and testament.
Trusts are a very versatile tool that are a powerful addition to many estate plans. When you create a trust, you can accomplish many different goals, including protecting assets while you are alive and after you pass away. Depending upon what kind of trust you end up making, you could avoid losing wealth if you need costly nursing home care, you could keep assets safe if you have a spendthrift heir, you could protect a disabled child’s access to benefits, and/or you could keep assets safe from creditors. Since different kinds of trusts are utilized in different situations, it’s best to get legal help with trust creation.
A pay-on-death account will allow the assets within the account to be transferred automatically to the designated beneficiaries after your death. By avoiding the probate process, heirs or beneficiaries will be able to access the assets in the pay on death account in a timely manner instead of having to wait months for probate to be completed.
If you own property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, you can transfer assets to co-owners upon your death. The property can be transferred automatically and does not need to go through the probate process.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney provides protection for you and your assets in case you become incapacitated. When you create a power of attorney, you name someone who will manage you affairs if something unexpectedly happens to you. You can ensure that guardianship proceedings in court aren’t necessary for someone to be put in charge of making decisions on your behalf. You can avoid delays in determining who should be responsible for you, you can ensure the right person is chosen to act for you and you can maximize the chances your wishes will be respected by choosing an agent you can trust.
Getting Help from Indianapolis Estate Planning Lawyers
Indianapolis estate planning lawyers at Frank & Kraft will provide the assistance you need to use these legal tools if they are an appropriate part of your estate plan. We can also discuss with you other components of your plan that may be appropriate based on your age, family status, type of assets, and other factors relevant to your specific situation.
To find out more about how our firm can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online to get personalized one-on-one advice about the effective use of legal tools to create an estate plan that accomplishes all of your goals.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.