National Trusts Lawyers Based in Indiana Delivering Peace of Mind with Trusts & Estate Plans
You’ve worked too long and too hard to let the courts decide who gets your business, cares for your children, or receives your hard-earned wealth and assets when you pass away.
About 50 to 60 percent of Americans don’t have a will, let alone an estate or plan for their business upon their death. That’s a startling number of people whose livelihoods, children and wealth, and resources are at risk every day if something unexpectedly happens to them.
That peace of mind everyone talks about when it comes to planning for some of life’s greatest challenges like death only comes with taking action and getting results before it’s too late.
So even if you’re perfectly healthy, you believe you have plenty of time, or you’re too busy right now—we simply want to make sure this isn’t you. Because you’re worth it, and so is your family.
Meet our legal team with Katie Charleston Law, P.C.—we focus on a proactive partnership to protect your assets, in life and business. Both are a journey, and we can help, every step of the way, to make sure your life’s work and the people in it, are protected.
Consider this your guide in better understanding how we can play a role:
Wills: What they are and how they can help
Trusts: A strategic tool to avoid costly legal issues
Trusts and wills working together: The key differences and how, together, they can protect you
Trust attorneys: Who we are, what we do, and how we can help with estate planning and creating trusts and wills to protect your life and business
What is a Will?
A will is a legally binding document that clearly and explicitly states your final intentions after you pass.
A will is an important tool for anyone that should include decisions such as who will care for your children, take over your business, as well as a plan for the division of other assets—real estate properties, financial accounts, artwork, jewelry, family heirlooms and more.
Our Indiana estate planning attorneys with Katie Charleston Law, P.C., focus on estate issues, wills, and trusts. We offer step-by-step guidance in drafting an ironclad will that factors in these key considerations:
- Personal information about yourself to help with will authentication in probate
- Naming an executor of your will
- Outlining beneficiaries, including alternative beneficiaries
- Choosing a primary guardian for minor children, as well as a secondary option should something unexpected happen [to the primary guardian(s)]
- Additional provisions (should you have minor children) to help manage your children’s bank accounts, any inherited property, and so forth, until they reach a certain age
- Designating funds for charities, volunteer organizations, or other donations
- Including a clear plan for your property and assets and how they will be divided, especially if there are multiple people to consider
The more assets you have, the more protection and peace of mind you’ll need to ensure your family is well-taken care of. We can make sure your hard-earned assets get into the right hands.
What is a Trust?
If you only have a will, your family might be subject to a lengthy and costly probate process. A trust can not only help you avoid probate courts, but it can also help you reduce estate taxes.
A few different factors impact the integrity of a will and whether it holds up in court. Perhaps it was not written clearly, never made official or, perhaps you used a generic template from an online legal source. The right or wrong language in a legal contract, such as a will could make or break its viability in court.
As a part of planning and protecting your business and/or estate, a trust is a viable legal option and arrangement that allows a third-party person, also known as a “trustee,” to safeguard your wealth, properties, belongings, and other valuables.
Similar to that of a will, once the owner of the trust (or “trustor) passes away, the assets are distributed [as intended in the trust] to the designated beneficiaries. Because trusts are private, any exchange of money and property, while you’re living or after your death, does not have to go through the court or probate process.
There are a few types of trusts. Our trusts lawyers with Katie Charleston Law, P.C. can help you determine the best option for your family, lifestyle, and long-term goals.
Living trust: A trust that’s designed for the easy transfer of assets during your life. The beneficiaries you name in your living trust when you pass away will inherit your assets.
Revocable living trust: A revocable living trust allows you to transfer money, property, and other assets into a safe, protected place. You can move these items in and out as you wish, without court involvement. When you pass, these items will be distributed, according to your instruction. And there’s no probate process involved.
Irrevocable trust: Irrevocable trusts also are a safe place for your assets, though they are more inflexible. You cannot move or change your assets while you’re alive. They cannot be changed or revoked by the grantor once implemented.
Do I Need a Will and Trust?
Both wills and trusts serve a specific purpose in protecting your estate.
Now that we’ve uncovered both, you can see how a trust, in tandem with a will, can be a bulletproof combination in ensuring your estate gets into the right hands.
To summarize, here are the key reasons why you should consider both a trust and a will when planning your estate:
A will is an important first step in legally capturing how you want your affairs handled.
First and foremost, it allows you to define your end-of-life wishes and funeral arrangements. If you have small children, a will is a tool that expresses who should care for your children in the event of your death, otherwise, the court system will decide. Additionally, a will allows you to determine how you want certain assets, typically smaller items of value, distributed.
Putting a trust in place gives you the added cushion of a private forum, so to speak, to exchange your money, properties, and other assets (outside of personal belongings and smaller ticket items) as you desire, with the benefit of avoiding probate, court and costly legal battles. Not every asset that makes sense for a will, is suited for a trust (and vice versa). If you’re a business owner, for example, you’ll want a trust to ensure someone can take over your business in the event you become incapacitated or pass away.
Wills and trusts are dictated by separate laws, and both have their advantages. And they work better, together.
How Can a Trust Attorney Help Me?
Our trusts lawyers can help you design wills and/or trusts as part of building out your estate plan.
Estate planning happens to be a core focus for our team at Katie Charleston Law, P.C. What makes us different is our comprehensive and partnership-style approach to helping you build a viable asset protection strategy that touches your personal and professional life.
Our involvement might include wills, trusts, and estate plans but can include a broader reach when and where you need us to help protect your assets.
We help you proactively secure your legacy and eliminate conflict for your loved ones while giving you the needed peace of mind knowing your family will be taken care of.
As we always say, you will never regret protecting your family or your business.
Get clarity on your estate plan, will, or trust and book a complimentary session with our team of estate planning attorneys. Call Katie Charleston Law, P.C. at (317) 663-9190 today.