Estate Planning, Wills and Living Trusts
For the majority of individuals, planning for the impact of
estate taxes is a small to non-existent portion of the reasons they
should be thinking about what will happen to their family and
their estate after they have passed away. Far more important
reasons to plan ahead for your family and your estate include:
- Making sure that the persons (or charities) that you choose
(and not the persons the State of Indiana will otherwise choose
for your) receive the benefits of your lifetime of working and
- Providing that young children will have the guardians of
your choice, and not the choice of the county probate judge, if
you should die before your children are raised.
- Exercising your ability to appoint persons or institutions
you trust to serve as trustees to invest your estate assets for
the benefit of your young children or your special-needs
children, and to use their discretion in expending those assets
for the benefit of those children, if you should die before your
children are mature enough or able to handle your assets on
- Insuring that all your final debts, taxes and expenses which
are due to your legitimate creditors will be paid, and that
creditors who are not legitimate cannot force your family to
make payments to them.
- In the proper circumstances, reducing or eliminating the
involvement of the probate court system in the administration of
your estate, by the use of either an unsupervised estate
administration or a revocable living trust.
This planning is made effective by drafting a Last Will and
Testament, and in some cases, a Revocable Living Trust Agreement.
worksheet is a listing of the basic information needed to
prepare a simple Last Will and Testament, including provisions for
guardians and trustees for young children.