National Estate Planning Lawyers Based in Indiana Helping Families Protect Their Future
One way to protect your future and family is through estate planning.
While none of us can control death, we can control how we plan and prepare for it.
Estate planning is our core focus at Katie Charleston Law, P.C. Through estate planning, we give you the needed peace of mind and comfort, knowing your family and loved ones will be taken care of when you’re gone.
Our objectives are clear and simple when it comes to preparing your estate:
- Provide long-term support for your significant other, loved ones, and children
- Be a proactive partner in helping you create wills, trusts, and other important legal documents that will define your legacy
- Help your family avoid probate, unnecessary legal expenses, and taxes with estate strategies like trusts
- Take the guesswork out of planning
- File appropriate paperwork and documents
- Fix and update wills, trusts, and other legal documents as your life and needs change
- Offer legal support should probate litigation needs arise
At Katie Charleston Law, P.C., our livelihood is protecting your life, business, and assets every step of the way.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of designating who will receive your assets should you pass away or become incapacitated. A collection of documents, from trusts to wills and guardianship designations, make up an estate plan.
Your estate is considered every valuable asset you own—including minor children and who will care for them in your absence. Other examples include vehicles, businesses, rental properties, investments, savings accounts, personal belongings, and other items of importance.
There’s often a misperception that if you don’t consider yourself wealthy or have enough assets of value, you don’t need an estate plan. This could be why only a startling 33 percent of Americans have established estate plans, according to CNBC.com.
Think of an estate plan as a comprehensive view of not only your assets but final wishes, funeral arrangements, and any other end-of-life requests. You use an estate plan to leave a legacy behind for your family and loved ones.
In it, you’ll typically find a collection of legally binding documents designed to protect your future:
- A will
- Named executor
- Guardianship designations
- A living trust, if applicable
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Beneficiary designations
- A durable power of attorney
- Personal letter of intent
Our team of lawyers with Katie Charleston Law, P.C. can help with estate planning needs in Indiana – from designing an estate plan to preparing and filing all of the necessary legal documents on your behalf.
How is a Will or Trust Part of Estate Planning?
A will and trust are two key components of an estate plan—and both serve a specific purpose.
A will clearly expresses your final intentions and outlines a plan for your assets after you pass. It only goes into effect after your death.
In it, you might include important details such as:
- An executor to carry out your will
- How you would like your assets, property, and personal belongings distributed among loved ones
- Beneficiaries that will inherit your assets
- A primary guardian for any minor children—including alternative guardians
- Additional provisions related to your children, such as bank accounts, inherited property, and more
A living trust, on the other hand, is a private legal arrangement that allows a third-party person or “trustee” to manage and distribute your money, property, business, and other assets while you’re alive—and after you pass away. It goes into effect immediately, not just after death.
Any exchange of money and property does not require court involvement, so you can avoid the unnecessary and sometimes costly probate process, as well as taxes.
Together, a will and trust can provide defensible protection in carrying out your final legacy.