Wills and Estate Planning
Estate planning is essential at every stage of your life and a will may be the cornerstone of your estate plan. A will assures that your property is distributed in accordance with your wishes, establish care for your children, and otherwise express your final wishes. If you die without a will, Indiana statute will determine how your property is distributed and who cares for your children, and may not accurately reflect your desires.
Probate is the process of distributing property in accordance with a valid will or Indiana Statute if the individual died without a will. A personal representative (executor) is selected to administer the estate, meaning they will pay debts and taxes and distribute assets.
A trust allows an individual to hold property for the benefit of another, the beneficiary. A trust acts much like a will by allowing you to pass on your assets to your loved ones. However, the major benefit of a living trust is the ability to avoid probate which can save your loved ones time and money. If you own property in another state, a living trust can help you avoid multiple probate proceedings in other states.
Power of Attorney
A general durable power of attorney allows another person to make financial decisions on your behalf should you become disabled or incompetent.
A living will serves to express a person’s end of life desires regarding prolonging medical procedures in the instance that you have an incurable injury, disease or illness, your death will occur in a short period of time, and using life prolonging procedures will only delay the dying process.
Health Care Appointments
A health care appointment, or health care power of attorney, allows another person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious or unable to make your own health care decisions.
Transfer on Death Deed
Are you looking for an Estate Plan that will allow your loved ones to avoid probate? Attorney Anna K. Christodoulakis, when appropriate, utilizes a Transfer on Death Deed to assist clients in transferring real estate to named beneficiaries outside of probate. A Transfer on Death Deed will only transfer ownership of property when the owner has died. The owner retains full ownership of the property during their lifetime and is free to refinance the property or sell the property at any time. When the original owner passes away, the named beneficiaries of the original owner may present a death certificate and affidavit to the county’s recorder’s office and a new deed will be issued in the beneficiaries’ name without having to probate the property.