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WILLS AND ESTATES
Creating a will is one of the most procrastinated and important legal events in the life of average Americans. Many people believe that a will is only necessary when death is imminent; however, in most cases this assumption doesn’t get the big picture. If you have pets, children, own property (real estate, personal items, financial assets), and/or have concerns or reservations about how and to whom your property is being distributed, you need a will—no matter what age you are (as long as you are at least 18). As more and more families experience divorce at some point, obtaining a will is especially important for ensuring the people you want to have your property get it.
If you do not have a will the State of Indiana has laws about to whom and how your property gets distributed and who gets to decide that—for example, if you have a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations to the eldest daughter in your family and you would like to do the same, if you do not have a will, you do not have a say in how anything gets distributed. However, a will affords you the opportunity to nominate personal representatives you trust to carry out your intentions of property distribution as memorialized in the will.
The offices of Podlaski LLP know that a will can be more than just a document which dictates how an item of personal property gets passed along. There are many types of legal tools which can be contained in a will. A will is often more than just what is called a simple will: a legal document that simply states what property goes to what heir.
Estate Planning. Family Law. General. Criminal. Personal.
Q: WHO NEEDS A WILL?
As referenced above, if you have children, own property (real estate, personal items, financial assets), and/or have concerns or reservations about how and to whom your property is being distributed, you need a will and the best time to do it is now.
Q: HOW DO YOU OBTAIN A WILL?
Obtaining a will can be as simple as having a document drawn up by an attorney which states who gets what property you own or as complex as you want to make it with testamentary trusts and other types of distributions. A will is an invaluable legal resource to help create certainty and remove emotion from an otherwise tumultuous time when it is actually needed.
Q: DOES INDIANA HAVE ANY SPECIAL RULES REGARDING WILLS?
The State of Indiana permits testamentary trusts, for example. A testamentary trust is a trust that is created in your will which springs into existence the moment you die. There are other types of trusts and many types of restrictions and instructions on how property gets distributed through a trust. Often a trust is an effective tool for estate planning to save money and shelter it from certain taxes.
In Indiana, courts consider the best interests of the child in determining who should have custody. No presumption is given favoring either parent. The courts consider several factors, including the age of the child, the wishes of the parties involved, and the child's adjustment to home, school, and community.