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Why Do You Need An Estate Plan?

A broad misconception exists that estate planning is only for the wealthy. The fact of the matter is that everyone should have an estate plan. Estate planning simply means the process of arranging your financial and legal affairs, focused on the primary goals of:

  • Selecting decision-makers who will handle your financial affairs and medical decisions in the event of your disability
  • Ensuring that, after your death, your assets are distributed not only according to your wishes, but also in the most prudent, efficient and tax-advantageous manner possible
  • Assuring the financial security of minor or dependent children, where applicable
  • Minimizing the inconvenience and burden that your death could otherwise have on family and friends

At Cross Glazier Reed Burroughs, PC, our experienced estate planning attorney, Mike Kohlhaas, is ready to help you prepare, review or update your estate plan to make sure that it protects your future, as well as the future of your family.

Creating A Plan That Meets Your Needs

Each client situation is unique. That is why you should design your estate plan specifically for you, based on your life circumstances, family situation, financial situation and goals. There are certain documents we recommend everyone have, and others that only apply in certain circumstances. Basic estate planning documents may include:

  • Wills – Your last will and testament describes how you would like your named executor to distribute your assets after your death.
  • Trusts – There are many types of trusts that you can use for a variety of purposes, and they generally allow assets to pass to beneficiaries without going through the probate process.
  • Durable power of attorney – This document allows you to appoint a trusted person to manage your assets on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
  • Advanced health care directives, living wills and medical powers of attorney – These documents work together to direct the type and extent of health care you receive if you become incapacitated, as well as naming an agent to speak on your behalf.

Our office will work with you to review all your assets to make sure they will pass as efficiently as possible and in a way that meets your goals. As you can see, however, planning also includes preparing for a time when you are unable to express your wishes.

When Plans Change

While we prepare estate plans for clients who are in all different life situations, certain life events may affect your estate planning goals. We recommend you consider updating your estate plan when you experience a change to your marital status, the birth or death of a family member, a major health change or a move to another state. We can help you reevaluate your plan to make any necessary adjustments.

In addition, Mike Kohlhaas is licensed in both Indiana and Florida. Florida has many estate planning law quirks, including those related to Florida’s unusual homestead provisions and Florida’s enhanced requirements for powers of attorney. Since many Indiana residents own real estate in Florida, or one day hope to retire to Florida, Mike can ensure that your estate plan is “Florida friendly” and well-situated for any possible relocation to the Sunshine State.

Discuss Your Plan With A Professional

Attorney Mike Kohlhaas is ready to assist you in preparing an estate plan that meets your needs and looks out for you and your family’s future. Contact our office in Carmel to schedule your appointment by calling 317-669-9134 or reaching out online.