An Experienced And Compassionate Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning encompasses a variety of legal steps that you can take to protect, control or distribute your assets. At my firm, Beth Sullivan-Summers, Attorney at Law, I have been helping families go through the probate process or create an estate plan for 30 years, and I can assist you with any of the following:
- Estate administration, which includes asset management and distribution
- Funeral planning declaration wherein you establish your burial preferences
- Guardianship measures, including guardianship administration and standby guardianship declarations
- Last will and testament documents
- Durable power of attorney
- Trusts of all varieties, including special needs, revocable and irrevocable arrangements
- Advanced directive naming health care representative
Not sure which measures you should consider? I will evaluate your current situation, concerns and existing estate plan to decide on your next best step.
Everyone Needs A Last Will And Testament
A last will and testament provides directions for how your assets will be distributed upon your death. A will only applies to “probate assets,” which are assets held in your name individually. If you die without a will, the laws of the state of Indiana decide who receives your assets. A will also allows you the opportunity to name a guardian for any minor children and to choose an executor to settle your affairs. Absent a valid will, these decisions are left up to the local court.
Understanding Nonprobate Assets In Your Estate
Nonprobate assets do not pass according to your will. Typical nonprobate assets are life insurance policies, individual retirement accounts 401(k)s, joint bank or investment accounts, and any other asset that passes to a named beneficiary upon your death. Anytime you experience a life-changing event, a review of your nonprobate asset beneficiary designation is essential. The failure to do so can result in assets passing to an undesired individual or unequal treatment of beneficiaries.
What Is A Funeral Planning Declaration?
Indiana law now allows you to put in writing your preferences about the disposition of your body, funeral home choice, services and goods you want for your funeral and who will enforce these decisions for you. If the document is properly drafted and executed, it is binding on your family and estate.
Standby Guardian Declarations Protect Your Children’s Future
The Standby Guardian Declaration allows parents of minor children and those serving as legal guardian over an individual to name someone who can assume the role of guardian in the event of death or disability of the parent(s) or guardian.
Call My Office Today
If you are still waiting on creating your estate plan, then you should contact me at Beth Sullivan-Summers, Attorney at Law, in Mooresville. I will help you create a plan that meets your goals and provides for you and your loved ones. Call 317-953-2380 or complete my online form to get an initial consultation scheduled today.