What does an Estate Plan include?
Generally speaking, a comprehensive estate plan typically includes either a will or a living trust, Indiana Healthcare Representative, Durable Power-of-Attorney and a Living Will.
What is a Living Trust and why would I need one over a Will?
Having a properly written Living Trust avoids the unwanted and unnecessary expense of Probate. If you have a Will, after you pass away your family will have to go to probate in order to gain access to the assets and money you leave them in your Last Will and Testament. The average probate estate costs more than $5,000.00 and lasts more than a year. Additionally, Probate Court proceedings are public record and the trial rules require that your Last Will and Testament is published with the Court when opening a Probate case. This means that anyone that has internet access can see your will provisions.
When your estate plan consists of a Living Trust, a Trust Agreement is created, and all of your assets are transferred during your lifetime in the name of your Trust. Usually, a client and their spouse, if applicable, will be named pursuant to the terms of the trust agreement as co-trustees. You continue to conduct your financial affairs as you did previously, but your assets are titled in the name of your newly established trust. It is then, your trustee would name the person or persons you want your estate to go to as successor trustee(s), and upon your passing, your loved ones will seamlessly be able to access the assets you left to them. You would also have the option to limit their access to the entirety of your estate in order to provide income to them for a specified period of time.
I have a Living Trust, so I should be all set, right?
Not necessarily! Creating a Living Trust and executing it does not mean that your assets will pass pursuant to the terms. It is critical that your Living Trust is properly funded. The process of properly funding your living trust consists of confirming that your assets are titled in the name of your newly formed living trust. At Calhoun Law, we provide each client with instructions to each of their financial institutions informing them of the client’s newly formed trust along with instructions to re-title the asset accordingly. Additionally, we prepare and file new Deeds with the County Recorder’s office in order to properly fund your new trust with your Indiana Real-Estate. If you already have a Living Trust and are not sure whether your trust has been properly funded, contact us and setup an appointment.
What does it cost to have an attorney do my Estate Plan?
While we cannot quote an exact price for an estate plan without knowing your specific needs, most comprehensive estate plans range from $1,000.00 – $2,500.00 depending on the complexity of your assets. If you have several different investment accounts, own numerous properties, or have an ownership interest in a business, this can cause additional expense. A comprehensive estate-plan based around a Last Will and Testament tends to fall in the lower end of the range, whereas an estate-plan based around a Living Trust falls closer to the top-end of the range.