Estate Planning

Elder Law Attorney Helping Indianapolis Residents Prepare for Their Future

Creating an estate plan is an important process, often necessary to ensure that your family is protected, your concerns are addressed, and your wishes are carried out. An elder law attorney is vital in designing the plan that sets up a stable financial future for your loved ones. With 15 years of experience to guide him, Indianapolis estate planning lawyer Michael J. Adler advises people in many Indiana communities on matters such as trust and will formation, estate administration, probate litigation, and more.

Representation in Estate Planning and Trust Creation

Estate planning typically includes the creation of a Last Will and Testament, which will expressly define your intentions for the distribution of your property. The will may also contain provisions related to other matters, such as nominating the person you wish to handle the administration of your estate, your funeral arrangements, any guardianship wishes, and more. In Indiana, any person who is of sound mind and at least 18 years old can craft a will. It must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the will. If an individual dies without a will, the estate will be distributed pursuant to the Indiana laws of intestacy.

Probate is the legal administration of a decedent’s estate, which may be necessary with or without a valid will, depending on the assets involved and other circumstances. Probate proceedings are often disfavored because they can prolong the settlement of an estate and tend to be more costly. Many times, probate can be avoided with careful planning by ensuring that all of your assets are held in forms that are not subject to probate. Non-probate property passes according to beneficiary designation, such as an insurance or retirement account, or ownership, such as bank accounts held jointly with rights of survivorship and trusts. Probate assets consist of all other property owned by the decedent.

For many people, a revocable living trust is a useful estate planning tool because it allows them flexibility and control over the assets they place into the trust during their lifetime. In addition, trust property is not subject to probate upon the death of the grantor. The grantor creates and funds the revocable living trust, and he or she is named as the trustee and beneficiary. If the grantor can no longer administer the trust due to incapacity or death, the successor trustee appointed by the grantor will take over these duties. Upon the grantor’s death, the trust becomes irrevocable, meaning that it cannot be changed. The successor trustee will carry out the terms of the trust as directed without the need for probate.

For estate planning purposes, a Pour Over Will is typically executed along with the creation of the revocable living trust to avoid probate. A Pour Over Will provides that any remaining assets owned by the decedent shall be transferred to the trust upon the death of the grantor and distributed by a successor trustee.

Seek Guidance from an Estate Planning Lawyer in Indianapolis

At Adler Law LLC, we are prepared to listen to your concerns and offer thoughtful solutions to address any issues that may arise. Indianapolis estate planning attorney Michael J. Adler has experience in a wide range of trust and estate matters, ranging from creating trusts and estate plans to handling probate litigation and will contests. Mr. Adler advises people in Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Greenwood, and Zionsville, among other communities in Boone, Marion, Hamilton, Johnson, and Vigo Counties. To schedule a free consultation with an estate planning and probate attorney, contact us online or call Adler Law LLC at 317-635-7880.

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