Estate Planning

Regardless of your age or your financial status, an estate plan is necessary. Indianapolis residents need an attorney who is well-versed in the law and can help them prepare a wide range of documents. Adam takes pride in helping his clients prepare a customized estate plan with their current status and future goals in mind.

Understanding Wills & Living Wills

Your last will and testament provides a detailed account of how you wish to have your estate divided up among your heirs, charities and anyone else you deem appropriate. Should you die without a will (intestate), a court will ultimately determine how your assets will be distributed among your heirs.  A last will and testament can also set forth your funeral and burial wishes, establish a personal representative to administer your estate, and help establish a guardian and trust for your children, among other items.

A living will ensures that your end of life wishes are carried out. Living wills must be written to include information about what care you wish your medical team to provide in order to keep you comfortable and to prolong your life only as long as you wish in the event of a physical or mental incapacity. These documents can be customized to your specific needs and wishes.

Why Powers of Attorney Are Important

Powers of attorney are designed to allow you to appoint a person whom you trust to manage your financial affairs and other affairs in the event you are unable to do so on your own.  A general power of attorney will allow someone to take care of your physical needs and a financial power of attorney is necessary if you wish to have someone handle your finances. Without these documents in place, your family will determine who will handle your finances and they may be forced to go to court in order to manage your financial assets.

Do I Need a Trust?

While not appropriate for everyone, a trust is helpful for those who have fairly substantial wealth, as well as those who have a family member who has special needs or is a minor. There are two general types of trusts: a living (or inter vivos) trust and a testamentary trust.  A living trust can distribute assets to certain beneficiaries while you are still alive and can also help pass assets to beneficiaries upon your death while avoiding the probate process. A testamentary trust is generally included in a person’s last will and testament and is only effective upon that person’s death. Determining which trust may be right for you depends upon your particular situation. Talk with Adam today about all of your estate planning needs and see if a trust will help you meet your goals.

Appointing a Health Care Representative

While a living will provides specific instructions regarding what happens under certain situations, appointing a health care representative is still a good idea. This should be a person with whom you have clearly discussed your wishes in the event you are injured, disabled or otherwise unable to make specific health care decisions for yourself. A representative may be a trusted friend or family member, depending on your specific circumstances. Discuss your options with Adam to see if appointing a health care representative is necessary for you.

Adam provides extensive estate planning services in Indianapolis (Marion County) and Hamilton County, along with Boone County, Johnson County, Hendricks County, Hancock County, Morgan County and Shelby County areas.

Call him today at Adam S. Lutzke Law Offices at (317) 258-7809.

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