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Estate Planning Attorney

The death of a loved one is not something that anyone wants to deal with or is overly prepared for. That said, we all die eventually, and getting your estate planned and ready for the future before you pass is a great way to take some of the burdens off your loved ones.

Estate planning is a way for you to retain some control over the estate that you spent your life building, and it also helps with the easy dispersion of your estate and settling of your estate after you pass.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process by which the person who owns or generates the estate plans what will happen to it after they pass. This can be a will, naming beneficiaries, setting up trusts, and more.

This helps to keep your estate out of probate and helps ensure that if you have something special that you want a particular person to have, they can attain it after your death.

Estate planning can pertain to money, assets, homes, property, and even pets or animals. This is a crucial part of anyone’s life as it helps to ensure that when they pass, their estate will not be held up for six months as it goes through the probate office.

It also helps with keeping families from fighting over the estate since each asset is going to be named and directed to one person or another. This planning process can help you with your end-of-life wishes as well.

Say you have a debilitating illness that requires you to have a power of attorney toward the end of your life. You can name your power of attorney in your estate plan and your will. You can also plan your funeral and pay for it or state that it will be paid for out of your estate.

Estate planning is a great way to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your family does not have to struggle with what to do after you pass.

Why Is Estate Planning Important?

If you have ever dealt with the estate of a loved one after they passed who did not have a plan or a will in place, you know how important estate planning can be. Estate planning takes all the guesswork out of your death and what you want to happen to your things after you pass.

Each state has a probate law or a probate period in which an estate without a will must sit. For most states, this is six months. This period gives creditors, people that feel they are entitled to some of the estates, and anyone else concerned time to be notified of the death and to come forward to make their claim.

This period can be very difficult for families because they are likely going to have to keep paying for things like:

  • The electricity bill for the home to keep the water from freezing.
  • Storage fees if there is a storage unit
  • A mortgage, if applicable.

They can also take something from the home or bank accounts once the probate period is over. Not only does this put a financial strain on the family that is left behind, but it is also an emotional strain.

Even if your grandma told you she wanted you to have her antique furniture before she passed, you could not take it until the probate period is over and the estate is settled.

Estate planning allows you to retain as much control over the things you accumulated during your life and the estate you worked so hard to build.

Passing without an estate plan in place or a will in place makes it more difficult for the family you have left behind, and it makes it hard for those individuals to move on with their lives as they wait to settle your estate.

Though you may not be around anymore, with estate planning, you can make your wishes known, make your wishes legally binding, and help expedite the healing process for your family after your death.

Estate planning also helps keep families from fighting over your estate after you pass, as your wishes will be provided in a legally binding document that they must follow for the estate to be divided.

If you are having trouble figuring out what to do with your estate, our lawyers at CLLB Law can help. Contact us today at 812-725-8224!

What Can an Estate Lawyer Actually Do?

First and foremost, and perhaps most often, an estate lawyer can help you draft and file your will. They can help you learn the following aspects:

  • What can you leave to people?
  • How can you divide your estate?
  • What options do you have in terms of who you leave your possessions and money to?

Estate planning attorneys can even help you draft a will that has specific requirements for those who are going to be taking over your estate after you pass.

A great estate lawyer is going to have the ability to help you create a will that is going to be legal and binding. The people who are left behind are going to be able to follow this to help make their job of dispersing your estate easier and less stressful overall.

Having an estate plan in place can help you take some of the stress off your family when you pass to give them time to focus on healing rather than fighting about what to do with your estate.

Another thing that an estate lawyer can do is create a legal and binding power of attorney. Your power of attorney is a very powerful thing. It can help ensure that you are going to be taken care of if you are ever medically incapacitated.

A power of attorney can help with things like arranging nursing home care, making sure your bills are paid, and making sure that your finances are in order.

A power of attorney can also help you make any legal decisions that you might have, such as helping you sell your home if you wish to, selling your property, and even paying off large debts if you are wanting to pay them.

With a power of attorney, it is always best to determine who you want to be your power of attorney before you become medically or cognitively unable to do so. Your estate lawyer can also help with guardianship of your estate.

If you are unable to manage your estate, estate planning lawyers are going to be able to step in and take care of your estate for you. When properly drafted, an estate guardianship is going to be able to do anything you might need them to do.

Your estate planning lawyer is going to be able to do anything legal that pertains to your estate and manage it before and after you pass.

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Anyone with any type of estate, even a very small one, can benefit greatly from an estate plan being in place at the time of their death or before. We have already touched on probate, but this is the biggest thing that your family is going to have to contend with after your death.

When you pass without a will in place, it is legally required that the estate enter probate for the period that is defined by your estate where you lived. Probate is a period in which nothing can be done to the estate and nothing can be done to any account associated with the individual that has passed.

This means that if you have a bank account, a home, credit card accounts, or other lines of credit, your family can call and notify the company that you have passed and they can stop the payments, but those accounts cannot be closed until the six months has passed.

Your family can do nothing with any part of your estate until the six months have passed or until they retain a probate lawyer to break probate. A probate lawyer can help to break probate if there are no debts against the estate and it can be proven.

However, this is going to cost money and aggravation, and it is likely going to cause issues with the family as well and might even make it more difficult to divide the estate. Anyone, no matter the size or difficulty of their estate, can benefit from estate planning.

When you pass, there will be many legal hurdles that your family must pass to settle your estate and start to move on with their lives. With the help of an estate lawyer, you can imagine yourself growing older without worry and fear about what will happen to your estate or family.

You can rest assured that both your family and your estate will be taken care of and that your family will not have to struggle to dispense your estate.

What Does an Attorney for Estate Planning Do After You Pass?

The first thing that an estate lawyer will do after you pass is to get in touch with your family, contact your power of attorney if you have one, and help your family traverse those first few days after your passing.

Your family is going to be able to call on them, and they will help lay out the paperwork that they have worked with you on, such as your will, your funeral arrangements if you have already made them, and any other pertinent paperwork that will help with the settling of your estate.

They can also speak with others on your behalf and help ensure that the estate goes smoothly and does get settled without any trouble and with minimal effort on the part of your family. Your estate lawyer will be able to do so much for you, both while you are alive and after you have passed.

They can help your family stop worrying about what they are going to do with your estate. And they will be able to move forward in getting your estate settled and making sure that they will not have to try and figure it out alone.

Though it might seem like a trivial thing since you are gone, making sure that those you loved are taken care of and that they are not going to have to struggle to take care of your estate goes a long way.

You are going to be much more at peace, you will not have to worry, and you can make your wishes known before you pass. In addition, having an estate plan in place makes it far simpler for your family to take care of the estate you worked so hard to build when you were alive, and it makes it easier for you to stop worrying at the end of your life.

Anyone can benefit from estate planning. Our estate planning attorneys are here to help you, and we want to get your estate plan in place and ready to go.

Get in Touch with a Skilled Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Whether you’re planning for your own future or the future of a loved one, please consider allowing us to help you. Contact one of our estate planning attorneys today to start finding solutions at 812-725-8224.

Attorney Steve Langdon

Licensed to practice in both Indiana and Kentucky, Steve Langdon is an experienced elder law and trial attorney. In addition to his litigation and trial work, Steve’s practice includes wills, trusts, probate, Medicaid planning, guardianship, powers of attorney, and advanced directive planning, including living wills and health care surrogate designations. [ Attorney Bio ]

Attorney Gary Banet

Gary is licensed to practice law in both Indiana and Kentucky. He concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships, elder law and special-needs planning. Gary earned his J.D. from the University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, and formerly practiced law at Bingham Greenebaum Doll and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs. [ Attorney Bio ]

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