Our years of experience in selecting the best estate plans for our clients allow individuals and families to reduce death taxes and preserve family harmony. We realize that every client's situation is unique, and our ultimate goal is to prepare a plan specifically designed for the needs of each of our clients. We ask our clients to complete an estate planning questionnaire prior to meeting with us so that we can better understand each client's personal and financial situation.
Dan Gordon, Michelle Adler, and David Anthony have the knowledge and experience to create an estate plan that works for you and your family, and can implement that plan with the use of one or more of the following legal documents:
- Last Wills and Testaments
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- General Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills
- Transfer on Death Deeds
- Life Estate Deeds
- Limited Liability Companies
FAQ: Estate Planning
Q: What is estate planning?
A: Estate planning is the process of legally structuring the future distribution of current and projected assets. You are not required to have an estate plan, but having one will ensure that your wishes are carried out following your death. If you die intestate (without a will), the laws of Indiana will determine who receives your property which may or may not reflect your actual wishes.
Q: When should I start my estate plan?
A: It’s never too early to start, regardless of net worth or family status. The sooner you implement your wishes, the less chance there is of family disharmony after you are gone and the greater the chance that you provide for the individuals you wish to continue to support to after you are gone.
Q: How often should I review my estate plan?
A: Every two to four years, you should look over your plan to see if you need to revise that plan due to significant life events, tax law changes, or the addition of family members. You can make changes to your estate plan any time, as long as you are competent to do so.
Q: What is the difference between a will and a trust?
A: Both are useful estate planning devices, but they serve different purposes. One of the main differences between the two is that a will only goes into effect after you die, while a trust is effective as soon as you create it. Your will states how your property is to be distributed upon your death, is subject to probate, and names a personal representative who is to carry out your wishes. A trust can be used to distribute property before death, at death, or after death, and may not be subject to probate.
FAQ: Powers of Attorney
Q: What is a general power of attorney?
A: A general power of attorney gives one or more persons the power to act on your behalf in regard to your finances and your other assets, if you are unable to do so. The power of attorney may give temporary or permanent authority to act on your behalf and can take effect immediately or in the event of a certain circumstance. One important reason to use a general power of attorney is to prepare for situations when you may not be able to act on your own behalf due to absence or incapacity.
Q: What happens if you do not have a general power of attorney but are unable to handle your own affairs?
A: It may be necessary for a court to deem you incapacitated and appoint a guardian to act on your behalf. There is greater expense and time involved in obtaining a guardianship than there is in executing a general power of attorney.
Q: Does a power of attorney supersede a guardianship?
A: Yes. If you have executed a power of attorney and a guardianship is established for you, the power of attorney supersedes the guardianship.
Q: Is a general power of attorney still effective after your death?
A: No, the general power of attorney ceases at your death and the attorney-in-fact no longer has authority to act.
Q: What is a health care power of attorney?
A: A health care power of attorney is specifically designed to grant access to your medical information and hold the power to make decisions concerning your medical treatment. A health care power of attorney allows you to appoint one or more persons to make health care related decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
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