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Clarksville Probate Attorney

Probate is the process that your estate will go through after you die. A skilled Clarksville probate attorney can help make this process as easy as possible for your loved ones.  Depending on how well you plan, probate can be either simple or terribly complicated.

At its best, probate is a well-ordered, efficient, and relatively easy process that is over within a few months. At its worst, it can be an expensive, drawn-out, frustrating process that causes a lot of stress and confusion for your surviving family members.

During probate, a court determines whether a will is valid and authentic and then administers it. A will in Indiana must be probated, but the process becomes an orderly and effortless distribution of assets to heirs when a well-crafted will exists. Legal paperwork and filings after death are significantly less burdensome with a will than when there is no will at all.

Our Clarksville, IN, probate attorney at CLLB Law is ready to serve your needs. Contact us today at 812-725-8224 for a discussion of your situation.

Choosing a Clarksville Probate Lawyer

Needing to go through probate can be a daunting feeling. You and your family members are already dealing with the grief and uncertainty of losing a loved one, and now you may be facing legal complications in probate court. Our Clarksville probate attorney at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law knows the challenges that this process involves, and we work tirelessly to put our clients’ minds at ease.

We also can help you with estate planning and elder law issues, so you can create a plan that helps you prepare your assets and estate for the time when your loved ones will inherit them. With our help, you can make the plans required for any potential end-of-life situations, making the process less confusing for everyone. We know that talking about these situations is difficult, but our experienced team can give you some help with making things go smoother.

Not all Clarksville probate attorneys are the same. At CLLB Law, our team delivers top-notch legal advice and compassionate representation. We know our methods work, thanks to the numerous favorable testimonials that our satisfied past clients have given us. You can trust that we will give you the same level of care and attention to detail.

When you are ready to meet with us, Attorneys Steven Langdon or Gary Banet lead our Clarksville probate lawyer team, dealing with all aspects of elder law, including living wills, general wills, and trusts. Our team can handle every aspect of estate planning.

Our Clarksville Probate Attorney Is Ready to Help With Complex Situations

The goal is to avoid probate as much as possible. Only assets solely owned by a deceased individual must go through the probate process. These often include personal items, furniture, cash, and the like. Assets that are jointly owned, placed in a trust, have named beneficiaries, have transfer-on-death status, or are in payable-on-death accounts can avoid the probate process altogether and go directly to heirs. With good planning in advance, you can ensure that many, if not most, of your assets do not have to get bogged down in probate.

The first thing you can do to ensure that the probate process is smooth is to take the time yourself, or encourage your loved one, to create a last will and testament as part of a larger estate plan. Without a will, a person is said to have died “intestate.” When this happens, Indiana Probate Code and a probate judge will determine how your assets are distributed, which may or may not reflect your personal wishes. So, first things first – create a will.

In addition, you may want to create a revokable or irrevocable trust; confirm that pensions, IRAs, bank accounts, and other financial accounts have named beneficiaries and/or payable-on-death status; and ensure that all retirement and life insurance policies have named beneficiaries. By doing this, these assets can be shielded from going through probate.

At CLLB Law, Trust Our Clarksville Probate Attorney to Take the Time To Listen to Your Needs

Our probate attorneys in Clarksville, IN, know that the key to successfully delivering help with matters involving probate court is listening to our clients. Where another firm may try to speed you through the process and dictate to you how you should set everything up, our Clarksville probate attorney at CLLB Law chooses to listen to you instead. We want to know everything you would like to see happen with your estate plan, and we want to take the time to understand your family situation. By learning as much as we can about your situation, we have a better chance of helping you and your family avoid problems with probate down the road.

Only after we spend time with you will we make some suggestions about how we should proceed. We will then discuss the options and come to the best solution together. Call our Clarksville, IN, probate attorney as soon as possible at 812-725-8224 to start the process.

Small Estates

A Clarksville, IN, probate attorney explains the definition of “small estates.”

There are several states in the country, including Indiana, that have a special, simplified process for what are considered “small estates.” An Indiana small estate is one that has a value of $50,000 or less after debts, liens, encumbrances, and funeral and burial expenses are deducted. Joint assets (co-owned with a spouse or another person) and beneficiary designations are not included in the $50,000 estate maximum required to qualify for the “small estate” designation. Joint assets can include things such as a house co-owned by a married couple, jointly owned property, shared bank accounts, and other co-owned items. If an estate’s assets are below the $50,000 level, you can take advantage of an abbreviated, simplified probate process that takes less time and costs significantly less money. To find out if you qualify for the “small estate” process, contact our Clarksville probate attorney today.

Documents in an Estate Plan

Our Clarksville probate attorney can draft these documents for you and your family.

There are many documents that make up a comprehensive estate plan, and these can help you avoid a lengthy probate experience. Which documents you may need depends on the size of your family, amount of assets, and other issues unique to your situation. Documents can include:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Revokable Living Trust
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Advance Healthcare Directive
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Specialty Trusts (pets, special needs relative, digital assets, etc.)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Proof of Identity Documents
  • Guardianship Designation for Minors
  • Named Executor of Estate
  • Titles and Property Deeds
  • Insurance Policies
  • Financial Accounts Info
  • Digital Log-Ins and Passwords
  • Funeral Instructions.

You may have some of these documents already. Others may need to be drafted by our Clarksville probate lawyers. It’s important to keep all documents in a centralized and safe location and let your spouse or trusted advisor know where they are kept.

What Kind of Legacy Do You Want to Leave?

Our Clarksville probate attorney walks you through all your options.

When you come to us for help with estate planning, we want to make sure we explore every possibility. Probate and estate planning can involve going in many different directions. That’s why we start with an overview of the various options you have. Some people want to leave all of their financial assets to family members. Others may want to split the inheritance among family members and favorite charities, such as a special university program, a non-profit animal shelter, or another entity that is important to them.

By exploring your many options, we can help you figure out the best way to leave a legacy that you are proud of and that reflects your beliefs. Trust our Clarksville probate attorney to provide the information you need to make the best choice for your particular situation. We know that a cookie-cutter solution to your estate planning is not what you are seeking. We go the extra mile to make sure that the plan we create fits you and your family. Should you need to adjust your estate plan later to reflect recent changes in your life, we are ready to help with this process, too.

Estate Planning Checklist from Our Clarksville Probate Lawyers

As a way to get a jump start on probate, here’s an estate planning checklist that will help keep your estate organized. Start with a to-do list:

  1. Itemize your asset inventory.
  2. Create a list of debts.
  3. Make a list of professional and social memberships.
  4. Review retirement accounts and update your insurance.
  5. Assign transfer-on-death designations.
  6. Choose a person to be your estate administrator.
  7. Simplify your finances when appropriate.

Creating and maintaining lists can be a great way to stay on top of end-of-life issues and avoid a lengthy and difficult probate process.

Contact Our Skilled Probate Attorneys in Clarksville, IN, Today

If you have questions about probate, CLLB Law is ready to help. Or if you want help drafting a will or an entire estate plan, the probate attorneys in Clarksville, IN, at Church Langdon Lopp Banet would be happy to meet with you. We enjoy getting to know our clients and finding out about their unique family needs. Whether you have many children and grandchildren or are just starting out in life, a Clarksville probate attorney can help you plan for the future.

On the other hand, if a loved one has died intestate and you’re knee-deep in Indiana’s confusing probate process, we can help with that, too. Whatever your legal needs, we are here to serve. You don’t have to go through the probate process alone. To make an appointment, call us at 812-725-8224.

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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