Estate Planning Lawyer Indianapolis, IN

Estate Planning Lawyer in Indianapolis, INIf you’re searching for an estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana, you’re taking a solid step towards protecting your legacy – and protecting your loved ones from any unnecessary drama after your passing. When someone dies without leaving a will behind, they’re setting their friends and family up for a major headache. It’s one thing to deal with the grief and paperwork that comes with the loss of a loved one, but to throw in bitter family infighting over your estate is just salt in the wound. Consider what happens if someone dies and they never took the time to leave any guidelines to follow, and then consider how much easier things can be when you have the right Indianapolis, IN estate planning lawyer on your side:

What if there’s no will?

A will is a roadmap to effectively managing and dividing your estate when you’re not around. If there’s no will, you’re opening your family up to fighting and arguing over every little asset that you may have owned in the past, and sometimes the court responsible for the handling of your estate might go against your best wishes.

For example, if you failed to create a will (or if your will doesn’t include a list of beneficiaries) everything you’ve worked to build for yourself could possibly just go to whoever has the best lawyer. Even if you have a will, in some cases it’s possible for a vindictive ex-spouse to swoop in and contest the will so he or she can get their claws on as much of your estate as possible.

Grief can make everything stressful for the bereaved, and they certainly won’t need one more source of grief in their life while they’re trying to mourn your passing. Instead, you can turn to an estate planning lawyer and take steps to ensure there’s minimal drama and a solid plan for your loved ones to follow upon your death.

Contact Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White Today

At Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White, we understand that planning for your own death is a touchy subject. Most people would rather not think about their own mortality, and as a consequence, many families are left completely adrift after unexpected or sudden deaths. Fortunately, having the right legal advice makes all the difference when it comes to leaving behind an estate.

An estate planning lawyer can help you draft a comprehensive will, but they can also do so much more: The right lawyer can help you avoid estate tax, and can also protect your assets in the event you become medically impaired.

At the end of the day, your estate is your legacy. It’s the culmination of your life’s work, and it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect it and ensure it goes to the right people after your death. Protect your assets and your family: Reach out to an estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN today, and see how Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White can secure a future for you and your family.

What You Need to Know About Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts, also known as supplemental needs trust, provide an excellent way to make sure a disabled family member is able to have their needs met without compromising their eligibility for government services. Like all other estate planning tools, what makes sense for one person may not make sense for someone else. Therefore, you should make sure that you talk to a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN to find out whether a special needs trust is right for you.

Special Needs Trust Basics

Many disabled people rely on government benefits like Medicaid and SSI to meet their medical and personal needs. However, these (and other) programs are means-based and have a resource limit that participants may not exceed. However, sometimes people with disabilities that rely on these services will be the beneficiary of a will, gift, or be awarded money in a lawsuit. A special needs trust is a way for a person with disabilities to be able to accept the money to help provide for some needs, while at the same time not sacrificing their eligibility for means-based government programs.

How Does a Special Needs Trust Work?

A grantor will put the assets in a specially drafted special needs trust with specific language that keeps it from being countable as an asset for the purposes of government program eligibility. The trustee will then be able to pay for certain expenses using the money in the trust.

Expenses that Can Be Paid with a Special Needs Trust

The main issue with a special needs trust is that it cannot be used to pay for every kind of expense. Generally, special needs trusts can only be used for expenses that the government programs will not cover. Special needs trusts can be used to cover most expenses related to education, home health aides, out-of-pocket medical expenses, therapies not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, and rehabilitation costs. Another important aspect of a special needs trust is that if the beneficiary disabled person dies, the remaining money in the trust will first be used to reimburse the government for the services that they have provided.

How Do I Draft a Special Needs Trust?

Though technically you do not need to be an Indianapolis, IN estate planning lawyer to draft a special needs trust, it is highly recommended that a lawyer does draft the trust because regulations require specific language in the trust.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Estate Planning

You may not often think about what will happen at the end of your life in your everyday hustle, but having a good plan is essential. An estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, can make sure you have everything in place and you’re not leaving anything or anyone out.

Don’t Put Off Planning Until Retirement

Many people assume they need to wait until they are older to complete a will or plan how their assets are to be distributed after they’re gone. No one really knows when that will be, though. It’s never too early to start planning.

Do Meet With an Attorney To Complete the Process

You can technically draft a document on your own, but an estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, can help you cover all your bases. Attorneys can set up a trust, medical directives, power of attorney and other key aspects of a solid plan that you may not know you need.

Don’t Leave Out Assets or Important People

Everyone needs an estate plan. Even if you don’t own a lot of property or valuable items, it’s still vital to ensure that your end-of-life wishes are honored. Without a clear plan, you likely leave the decisions up to your next of kin, even if he or she is not the person you had in mind. 

Do Ensure That Your Plan Is Thorough

A good estate plan outlines exactly what you want to happen in the event of your death. It makes the distribution of assets clear, and it doesn’t leave anyone important out. If you are a caregiver, your estate plan can ensure that your loved one with special needs gets the care he or she needs without interruption.

Don’t Forget To Update the Plan When Life Changes

Any major life change requires an update to your plan. For example, if you get divorced or have a baby, your will should take the event into account. Keep your plan as current as possible.

Do Consult Your Attorney for Revisions

Your estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, can help updates go smoothly. He or she can adjust the terms in the plan to accommodate your new needs. Schedule a meeting as soon as you know you need to change anything.

You deserve to have your wishes honored after you die. An estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, can put together a clear plan so that your loved ones don’t have to worry about what to do.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Estate Planning Infographic

Contact Our Firm Today

If you think a special needs trust might be right for you or you have questions about it or other estate planning tools, you should contact a skilled Indianapolis, IN estate planning lawyer to help you figure out what estate planning tools are right for you. Call Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help.

Supplement Needs Trust Benefits 

A supplemental needs trust will help you and your family protect assets for the specific needs of a disabled individual. This particular trust could allow the beneficiary to keep all public assistance benefits. The special needs trust enables the beneficiary to have access to medical care, dental care, motorized wheelchairs, recreation, and specially equipped vehicles. Many of these benefits may not be available under Social Security or Medi-Cal. 

The supplemental needs trust is a mechanism that protects the benefits of disabled individuals. The disabilities that beneficiaries under a special needs trust may suffer from include learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and Downs Syndrome. 

A disabled family member does not need to worry about whether they will receive specific benefits or not. If your family member is worried about losing state coverage then setting up a special needs trust can protect your family member. 

Special Needs Topics 

Special needs topics are important to a special needs trust. If assets are in the beneficiary’s name that must be considered by the family and the estate planning lawyer. Financial planning is also important and it is important to work with accountants and financial planners along with an estate planning lawyer. 

Supplemental security income and social security disability income are also important special needs topics. Settlement planning, public benefits, health care, estate planning, and disability issues are all relevant to a special needs trust. 

A trustee typically purchases necessities for the beneficiary such as home furnishings, personal care products, and vacations. However, to avoid disqualification, state and federal laws recommend that trust documents clearly state that trust assets will only supplement and not diminish the government benefits held by the beneficiary. A special needs trust should contain language stating that it is not a basic support trust and cannot be interpreted as a basic support trust. 

The special needs trust must be irrevocable. This means the settlor cannot revoke the trust and deprive the beneficiary of the assets contained in the trust. Also, the special needs trust must be compliant with federal, state, and local law. Lastly, the special needs trust must clearly negate a court’s determination that trust assets are available resources of the beneficiary to comply with laws related to Supplemental Security Income. 

The trustee who manages the special needs trust should have experience in asset management who complies with the prudent investor rule. Also, a trustee should take a caring and friendly interest in the beneficiary. A trustee should have a sense of duty and loyalty to the beneficiary. 

A trustee must also possess the knowledge, skills, and experience that will enable him or her to manage financial records and maintain reliable record keeping practices. Trustees should also have the ability to avoid conflicts of interest that are more likely to arise when friends or family members serve as trustee of a special needs trust. 

Living Trusts FAQ

You may have heard about living trusts in estate planning. They’re quite different from wills, with unique purposes and advantages that can make it easier to transfer assets to your beneficiaries. This quick guide explains living trusts — their characteristics, benefits and more. 

What Is a Living Trust?

Simply put, a living trust is a legal document. As a trust creator (also called a grantor), you can place your personal assets inside the trust. This effectively means that you no longer own those assets — the trust does.

How Can a Living Trust Help Me?

Living trusts do not go through the probate process. That’s because the trust owns technically owns the assets placed inside it, not the grantor. It’s up to a co- or successor trustee to distribute assets according to the grantor’s instructions.

What Can I Include in My Trust?

Most assets can be placed into a living trust. These include cash bank accounts, non-investment brokerage accounts, non-qualified annuities, tangible personal property, business ownership shares and real estate. 

Are There Assets I Should Not Put in a Trust?

Living trusts are versatile, but there are certain assets that you cannot or should not include. Qualified retirement accounts, health or medical savings accounts, life insurance and motor vehicles are just a few examples. You can learn more from a qualified estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN. 

What Does My Trustee Do?

Within the trust document, you also authorize a trustee. This person is responsible for managing the trust’s assets. The trustee also makes decisions about those assets with the best interests of the grantor and beneficiaries in mind.

Who Can I Name as a Trustee?

Typically, a living trust’s grantor is also a primary trustee. You can name a successor or co-trustee to manage the trust’s assets if you’re unable to. Many people name their spouses as co-trustees, but you can also choose from your siblings, adult children or even adult grandchildren.

Other options include corporate trustees or professional trustee management companies. Basically, you can choose whomever you like so long as the person or entity has the legal capacity to enter contracts. 

Do I Still Need a Will?

Living trusts are flexible documents that can accomplish many goals in estate planning. However, you still need a will for a few key reasons: naming guardians of minor children or canceling any debts owed to you, for example. To learn how both a will and a trust may benefit you, talk to your estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN. 

When To Begin Planning Your Estate

You should start doing estate planning as soon as possible, even if you are young and healthy. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time and it is important to have all of your affairs in order. This will not only make sure that your loved ones are cared for, should anything ever happen to you, but it will also allow you to appoint a medical power of attorney in case anything ever happens to you as well. By doing this, you are giving all of the power to someone you know well and trust deeply. You can be detailed and explicit about what you want to happen to you in any case involving an accident or death. For example, how you want to be buried is something that you can put in your estate plan. 

You will also want to choose an executor for your estate. This is someone who is fair and will make sure that your wishes are followed. Your executor may be someone who is included in the will, or it could also be a lawyer or professional who is not involved in the estate directly. You will want to hire someone who will want to see your wishes acted out and will be fair if there is anything that comes up that was not in your will. 

Why You Need to Speak with a Lawyer

It is important to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN so that he or she can go over everything in great detail with you. Not only might your lawyer have ideas that will help you get through the process, but he or she will ensure that you are thorough in planning your estate and will make sure that everything is in line and ready to go. Your lawyer will likely even play a role in the estate process even after you pass away, as your estate planning lawyer will want to make sure your last wishes are executed. A lawyer can help you write a will, create a trust, and will explain the differences between the two things. Your lawyer can touch all the bases and ensure that both you and your loved ones will be taken care of after your passing. Do not hesitate to reach out. An experienced lawyer will be happy to speak with you about your case and what you want to do.

5 Reasons to Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer 

There are many benefits to hiring an estate planning lawyer. With a lawyer to guide you through every step of the process, you can complete your plan much more efficiently. They will be there to give you customized legal advice so that you can create a plan that suits your needs and interests. Here are some of the main reasons for hiring an estate planning lawyer that you can count on.

Determine Estate Planning Strategies

Estate planning can be an overwhelming process. It can quickly become a stressful and seemingly impossible task. There is a lot to consider if you are looking into making an estate plan, such as the ways in which you want to protect assets or pass some down to your loved ones. If you are not sure whether he wants to set up a trust or a retirement account, a state planning lawyer can help you understand your options. They are knowledgeable about a variety of estate planning approaches so they will break down the pros and cons of each one. 

Secure Your Assets

Whether you choose to set up a living trust or donate to charity, there are many ways that you can protect and secure your many different kinds of assets. Depending on the size of your estate and the types of assets that you have, You may rely on one or more methods of asset protection. A skilled estate planning lawyer can also help you determine who to appoint to manage your assets when you are gone, such as an executor or trustee. Decisions to make so having an experienced lawyer to guide you can make a huge difference.

Prepare Your Medical Directives

Thinking about your endless Life Care can be uncomfortable for many people. There are many things that you have to seriously consider, such as the type of medical care that you receive and the decisions you want you want made on your behalf. If you become incapacitated you will not be able to communicate your wishes to your family members, doctors, other members of your medical team. Setting up your advance directives can give a clear idea to your loved ones about your future care and how that should be established. 

Avoid Frequent Mistakes 

Estate planning is a complex process, and when you are not sure what to do it can be easy to make simple mistakes. Even a small mistake makes your estate planning more complicated and takes much longer to complete than it needs to. Hiring an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you avoid many common mistakes,  such as grammatical errors or missing information.

Designate Beneficiaries

If you are not sure who or how to name a beneficiary, Lawyer can help you. They understand the process for designating a beneficiary. You need to be able to clearly state who your beneficiaries are and follow the requirements to do so. Otherwise your beneficiaries may not be able to receive the assets that you give them. 

An Estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, IN from Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White has helped many people just like you who are unsure how to begin writing their estate planning documents. Despite the task appearing overwhelming, it can be made that much easier by having an estate planning lawyer to depend on for guidance. Here’s just a few tips to think about when beginning the first draft of your estate plan: 

Choose Your Team Wisely

When it comes to planning for the future, you need experienced professionals who are acutely informed about estate planning legalities. In addition to your lawyer, it can help to have a tax professional, financial advisor, and close loved ones to talk to about concerns and questions. Keep in mind that while your friends and family may have good intentions, you should only seriously consider advice from an estate planning lawyer who is seasoned in this area of law.

Create a List of Assets and Debts

Many people begin estate planning by composing a complete list of their assets and debts, so their lawyer has a better idea of what their estate entails. To calculate your net worth, you will have to be exact in your assets, including vehicles, property, jewelry, art collections, and other items of value. From there, an Indianapolis, IN Estate planning lawyer can advise how to write your estate plan in such a way that it is for your best interest and protection.

Be Thoughtful About Beneficiaries

After writing your list of assets, you will then need to assign who will get what of your estate after your passing. Which loved ones would you want to have certain assets? And are there charity organizations you’d like to donate to from the estate? These are examples of questions your lawyer may ask you to get you thinking about who you want to have a piece of your legacy after passing on. Depending on the situation, you may even want to talk with beneficiaries about what your estate plan involves so they have an idea of what to expect in the future.

Call Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White

Estate planning can seem daunting, and it isn’t the funnest task to think about one’s mortality. However, to ensure your legacy is left behind in the way you would like, it is essential that you have a strong estate plan. Consider calling an Estate planning lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana from Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White today for a consultation. 

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