In Indiana, "estate planning" broadly refers to the process through which someone determines what is to be done with their assets after death.
The first step in any estate plan is to figure out what you really want to be done with your assets after your death. This is a very personal decision, and you should discuss it with your family, and others who might have a direct interest in your decisions. As for really implementing your goals, you should probably speak with a legal and/or financial professional to figure out the best way to accomplish these goals.
In addition to decisions regarding the disposition of your property, you should decide how you want to spend your final days. For instance, many people have a strong preference about whether and to what extent they'd like to be kept alive by artificial means. Whatever your choice on this matter is, you should make it clear to the people who will be positioned to make such choices for you, if you are unable.
A reliable estate planner in Indiana may also help you maximize the percentage of your assets that go to your chosen beneficiaries, by minimizing the impact of taxes and court fees. Additionally, preventing a will or other estate plan from being litigated in court will save your survivors an incalculable amount of time, money, and energy - and the better an estate plan is, the lower its chances of ending up in court.
Common Elements of Estates in Indiana
Estate plans in Indiana almost always have these elements:
Will: If you've determined who you want to leave your property and money to after you die, you should make these wishes official, by writing a will. When writing a will, it's always a good idea to have the assistance of an attorney, since many problems can come up which might make the will much more challenging to implement, or they might even void it entirely. Common problems include ambiguities in the terms of the will (a term which is not precisely written, so it can be interpreted differently by reasonable people), as well as failure to follow the obligated formalities.
Power of Attorney: This is a legal document in which you give some other person (normally a family member) the ability to make decisions (often related to money or healthcare) on your behalf if you become incapable of doing so.
Funeral Arrangements: Obviously, deciding what you want done with your mortal remains is a very personal decision. Nonetheless, once you have made this decision, you should put it in writing, in some place other than your will. You should also make your wishes known to your family members. This is because wills are frequently not read until days or weeks after the testator dies, by which time it may be too late to enforce their wishes on this matter.
Do I Need an Indiana Estate Planning Attorney?
These decisions are normally considered extremely significant. For that reason, you will likely find that the cost of hiring an Indiana attorney to be well worth its cost.
Interesting Facts About Indiana
Indiana is situated in the Midwestern region of the U.S., near the Great Lakes. Indiana is noted for its highly developed sports teams, with representation in the NFL, NBA, and automobile racing. Its economy is largely supported by manufacturing, with the Calumet district being the largest steel producing region in the U.S.
Indiana's capital is the city of Indianapolis, which is the second largest state capital in the nation. The capitol building, Indiana Statehouse, is located there. The statehouse is home to the Indiana Supreme Court, the governor's office, and the state's legislature, the Indiana General Assembly. In the early days of Indiana's statehood, the General Assembly passed a series of laws encouraging industrial growth and protecting the rights of workers. These laws helped to secure Indiana's place as one of the nation's top industrial producers.
Indiana was one of the first states to adopt the "exclusionary rule", which prevents illegally obtained evidence from being used in court. The rule was first established in Callendar v. State, a 1917 case. In addition to the Supreme Court of Indiana, there are many other levels of courts, including the Superior Courts, Circuit Courts, and City and Town Courts.
Attorneys in Indiana work together with the judiciary to provide legal relief for citizens of the state. Lawyers in Indiana typically file cases at the Superior Court or Circuit Court level, depending on the type of claim involved. Indiana lawyers are frequently involved in protecting the rights and interests of Indiana residents.