Estate Planning & Administration

Estate PlanningEstate planning sets your future. It involves the distribution of your assets after death but also provides for your health care preferences, delegation of decision making powers, and asset protection during your life. If there are minor children in your care, estate planning also appoints their guardians and provides for their future financial security. Estate planning is recommended regardless of your age.  While estate planning seems to more frequently be on the minds of our older clients, these services are recommended for people of all ages, especially families with small children.

It is important to plan now rather than leave your loved ones without guidance. At Hess Hess & Donnelson LLP, we help Central Indiana residents assess their estate planning needs and draft the best plan to meet their wishes. Wills and trusts are frequent requests but so are durable powers of attorney, living wills, and health care powers of attorney.

When you  pass away, having prepared an estate plan means fewer difficult decisions for your loved ones.  A thorough estate plan places fewer burdens on people as they grieve while honoring the wishes of the deceased.

Estate Planning

People see estate planning as managing property. If assets and income are not immense, then the assumption arises that estate planning is not needed. However, nothing is further from the truth. While every estate plan is different, they normally contain common elements. A will, health care power of attorney, and durable power of attorney are all standard. In addition to this, some people may elect to implement a trust to protect assets or assure the long-term support of a dependent. Medicaid trusts are also common when you need the assistance of a Medicaid program to cover your medical expenses but do not wish to exhaust your assets to do so.

At every estate planning consultation, our attorneys review your unique situation and suggest estate planning tools to meet your needs.  We will take our time to assure your questions are answered so you can make informed decisions when creating your estate plan.

Estate Administration

An estate plan in place makes life easier for loved ones once the decedent passes away. At that point, estate administration is required.  Estate administration is the process of ascertaining and distributing assets, paying debts, and truly handling the last affairs of the decedent by moving the estate through the probate process. Proper estate administration ensures that the wishes of the decedent in the estate plan are honored, including distribution of assets.

You may experience having a loved one die without a will. While this complicates matters, it is usually a manageable situation. In that case, our attorneys are prepared to guide you through the intestate estate administration process so property is distributed to family members in a timely matter.

Estate planning and administration are frequently uncomfortable topics to discuss.  Planning for your own death or coping with the loss of a loved one while trying to take care of the business of estate administration can often be overwhelming which is why you need an attorney with empathy and respect as well as the necessary legal knowledge and experience. You will find that assistance at Hess Hess & Donnelson, LLPContact us today to schedule a consultation.

Posted by: mprictor on September 30, 2016