An Indianapolis inheritance planning attorney provides assistance with making plans that will allow you to not just leave a legacy but also to protect your heirs. In many circumstances, simply transferring money and property to loved ones after your death is not the best approach to take to providing for your loved ones. Your family members may have various special needs or may be in unique circumstances that make the direct transfer of wealth impractical, impossible or unadvisable. Because you need to ensure that an inheritance you provide is actually a blessing and not a curse, it is vital to be proactive in making a plan that takes the needs of your loved ones into account.
Frank & Kraft can help. An Indianapolis inheritance planning attorney at our firm can offer you the insight necessary to understand how the circumstances your heirs or beneficiaries are in can impact their ability to inherit. We can also help you to make sure you understand the different kinds of legal tools that can allow you to take care of your loved ones in the way you see fit. Give us a call to find out more about the ways in which our legal team can help you and to learn more about why it’s so important to consider the needs of your heirs as you make your estate plan.
Why Considering the Needs of Your Heirs is Important in Inheritance Planning
Considering the needs of your heirs or beneficiaries is important when you make an inheritance plan because you don’t want to structure an inheritance in an inappropriate way. For example:
- If you are leaving money to someone underaged: This can create problems because a minor cannot directly inherit and manage funds. Unless alternate plans are made, the court may appoint a guardian for the funds left to the child. The guardian will be responsible for managing the assets and the child will receive the inheritance at age 18 without any conditions or strings attached. If you don’t want this to happen, you can make a trust that names a designated person to manage the child’s funds and you can establish conditions or rules for when a child will personally take control over the inheritance.
- If you are leaving money to someone with a disability: Your gift could cause a loss of access to means-tested Medicaid benefits if you do not take appropriate steps such as using a special needs trust. Your disabled heir could also have difficulty managing funds you have provided or, if the person is not capable of managing money and property, a guardian could again become involved unless you’ve made plans in advance for who is in charge of taking care of assets.
- If you are leaving money to someone irresponsible with money: A number of issues could arise. The assets that you leave could be lost due to creditor claims or could simply be squandered as a result of irresponsible spending. Bankruptcy could also result in inherited wealth being lost. All of this can be avoided through the creation of a spendthrift trust, which allows for assets to be provided for an irresponsible loved one without putting the inherited wealth at risk. A responsible trustee will manage assets held within a spendthrift trust and will provide income to the spendthrift heir, with the assets remaining out of reach of the heir and his creditors.
Frank & Kraft can assist you in these and other situations where there may be special circumstances that make a direct transfer of wealth to heirs or beneficiaries inappropriate. Give us a call to discuss your plans for your legacy and the needs of your loved ones so we can help you to determine if there are any special estate planning steps you need to take to protect your wealth and your loved ones.
Getting Help from An Indianapolis Inheritance Planning Attorney
An Indianapolis inheritance planning attorney at Frank & Kraft can provide you personalized advice specific to the needs of your loved ones. Whether you want to provide for a minor, a disabled child, or someone you don’t think can manage money appropriately, we can assist you in taking the right steps to put a solid plan in place. To find out more about how we can help, 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. Call today to get your planning process underway.
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.