Wills & Estates Attorney Fort Wayne
Estate Planning, Power of Attorney, Last Wills & Testament
There are several terms that come to mind in this area of the law, such as probate, estate planning, estate administration, wills, trusts, power of attorney, and others.
Although some aspects of these can be very complicated, the estate planning and administration attorneys at Perry Law Office in Fort Wayne will assess your needs to figure out which estate planning tools you need to carry out your wishes upon your incapacity or death, as well as assisting family members after the passing of a loved one in making sure the estate is probated accurately and timely, or aiding you with obtaining a guardianship.
- Estate Planning
- Last Will and Testament
- Power of Attorney (POA)
- Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- Estate Administration - Probate
As a general concept, estate planning simply means the efforts you make prior to your death or incapacity to prepare for who will manage your assets if you become too ill to manage them yourself, and who will receive your assets when you pass away.
One option is to not do anything. We do not recommend that - you may think that is because we will make a profit from you creating an estate plan (which of course is somewhat true as we do charge for estate plans). However, we often make MORE money from estates where the person had no will and no plan because, quite frankly, an unplanned estate can be chaotic, disorganized, and unnecessarily complicated and therefore more time consuming, which means higher attorney fees. By spending a little time and money now, you not only put your family at ease but also leave more for them in the long run. An up-to-date estate plan coupled with personal organization is an act of love toward your family.
Effective estate planning takes into consideration both incapacity and death, which is why we recommend a will, power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and a living will.
We believe we have very competitively priced estate plan packages and our experience attorneys can guide you through the entire process. Contact the Estate Planning Lawyers at Perry Law office today for a free consultation to discuss your options.
A last will & testament should provide simple, straightforward directions to your loved ones, and can be used to give specific personal property items, monetary gifts, real estate, and other devices to individuals or even charities. A will should also name a "personal representative” (the modern term for an "executor”) to carry out the terms of your will and work with the estate attorney on handling anything that needs to go through probate. Your will can also be used to name a guardian for a minor child, create a trust for family members who are too young to handle direct gifts, and even provide for the care and financial needs of family pets.
It's never too early or late to get one. Talk to an attorney to discuss your needs for a will.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that gives legal authority to another adult to act on your behalf regarding financial matters and any other non-medical related decisions based upon parameters set by you such as when a doctor can confirm you are incapacitated, or even immediately for your convenience and assistance in handling financial matters.
If an adult becomes incapacitated and does not have a pre-existing power of attorney, guardianship of the person may need to be obtained through the court which is an expensive process. Naming a power of attorney is a simple, economical way of giving your family peace of mind.
Every person, even younger persons, should have a power of attorney (POA). A POA can be drafted to only take effect if a person becomes incapacitated or incompetent. It probably will never be needed, but should a person become incapacitated it can save thousands of dollars and much stress on family and friends. A person must be mentally competent to create and sign a POA.
A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney document sets forth the person or persons you want to make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated. Generally, doctors will defer to family members in those situations, but chaos can occur when there is disagreement amongst the group. Once a health care power of attorney is selected, it is recommended that you discuss with them your wishes and preferences. You must create and sign this document before you become totally incapacitated or incompetent.
Many associate living wills with a person giving authority to "pull the plug” on life support, but a living will is actually the stated wishes of whether hydration and nutrition (food and water) should be supplied if life appears otherwise unsustainable. With this document, the choice can be made to continue or discontinue hydration and nutrition, or the individual can leave that decision to their loved ones.
Our attorneys can draft a living will which allows you to dictate to your family how you want doctors to proceed with treatment if something were to happen to you or during the last stages of life. Having a living will takes the burden off family members during an already difficult time.
There are a variety of trusts to choose from, and whether you need a trust at all or which may be best for your situation is based on a number of variables that our attorneys can discuss with you.
One benefit of a trust is that real estate located in another state can be put into a trust, making it much easier to transfer upon death of the owner. Life insurance can also be used to fund a trust and the distribution to loved ones can be more detailed than is typical in a last will and testament. Perhaps most importantly, probate of an estate is generally a matter of public record where carrying out the terms of a trust is not, so trusts can be used to protect family and financial privacy.
When a loved one passes away, several questions come up: What happens to their house? Bank accounts? Life Insurance? What about bills they owed? Funeral expenses? What if the person didn't have a will? Figuring out what to do next, especially in the midst of grief, can be challenging. The Fort Wayne lawyers at Perry Law Office are here to help guide you through the probate process from start to finish.
If your loved one had an up to date estate plan, we can assist you in probating the will and carrying out their wishes. If your loved one did not have a will, we can explain to you how the Indiana intestacy laws work. We offer a low, flat rate for "small” estates valued at less than $50,000 and we try to keep your fees as low and reasonable as possible for larger estates, charging only hourly for the work we actually perform instead of taking a percentage of the estate as some law firms do.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your questions.
Contact the Fort Wayne Lawyers at Perry Law Office Today
Contact a Fort Wayne Wills & Estates attorney at Perry Law Office today at (260) 483-3110 to discuss your needs at a free consultation.
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