Why do you need a will?
In the state of Indiana, if you die without a will, you die “intestate” and the laws of the state will determine who receives your assets. A will ensures that your assets are distributed based on your wishes and not the laws of the state. A will can also provide that your assets are placed into a trust for your beneficiaries and can designate your preferred guardian for your children.
What is a trust?
A trust is a legal entity that holds assets for beneficiaries. The assets in a trust are managed by a trustee, appointed by you. The trustee has the ability to distribute the trust funds per the rules you determine when you establish the trust. The trustee is a fiduciary of the beneficiaries, meaning they have a duty to the beneficiaries to manage the trust assets as laid out in the document establishing the trust and they must act in good faith in doing so. The trustee will use the inheritance to provide for your child’s care, support and education until the age of distribution you determine and will distribute funds as you have otherwise determined appropriate.
Without a trust, it will be necessary to have a court appoint a custodian to manage the money inherited by the child so long as the child is a minor. On top of that, the child will then receive the balance of the inheritance outright at the age of 18. A trust allows you to provide for how the funds are managed, including control of the age you believe appropriate for distributions, including the ability to hold funds in trust beyond the age of 18.
What does it cost to have my will documents prepared?
The will planning attorneys at Cairns Law prepare wills on a flat fee basis, which means you know the cost of will preparation during your initial consult and can plan accordingly. For an individual, the cost ranges from $500 to $1,000 and for a couple the cost ranges from $750 to $1,500. The flat fee costs includes the cost of executing your documents at our office with a notary. Contact us today to have your consultation with an experienced Indiana will planning attorney.
What documents are included?
The will package includes a telephone consultation, drafting of your Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Representative Designation, and your Living Will Declaration, and an in-person meeting to execute your documents. We provide a notary for execution and keep electronic copies of your executed documents. We are also happy to provide you with as many copies of your documents as you request.
Who should have a will prepared?
Everyone can benefit from having a will prepared. Wills are useful for parents because they can establish trusts for minor beneficiaries and name preferred guardians. Power of attorneys are useful for anyone who has a concern about being incapacitated because they allow for a trusted love one to manage your finances and other decision making in the event you are unable to do so without the need for costly guardianship litigation. The living will gives you an opportunity to decide if you want to receive life support in the event a situation arises requiring such a decision to be made. In sum, almost everyone benefits in at least one way from having their will and related documents prepared.