Family, Trusts, Wills, and More Near Indianapolis
Thinking about the end of our time here on earth with our loved ones can be a very difficult thing to think of, let alone plan for. But, ultimately, the work that we do now can make the grieving and recovery process of our loved ones easier to bear in the event of our passing both personally and legally. That is just one of the reasons why setting up your estate, trusts, and will now is so important. Yes, your wishes do come into play, and these are the tools by which you can ensure that they are carried out. If you have ever considered starting this process, or are just considering it for the first time, getting in touch with legal counsel is the best way to start off on the right foot. If you live near Indianapolis, you need the experienced team at Cogswell and Associates to make the process one that you can be confident of moving forward. No, we can’t know when we will leave this earth, but we can know that we took the right steps to take care of our family and loved ones when we do. Let us help you along the way. Cogswell and Associates, your home for counsel and service for trusts, wills, and estate planning near Indianapolis.
What Is A Trust Anyway?
When it comes to understanding a trust, the best way to go about it is thinking of it in terms of a guardianship by one person for either a monetary sum or a particular object that you want to go to a different person when they reach a certain age. Say for example, you would like your life savings or that special car or item to go to a treasured grandchild whom is only a couple years old when they reach a certain age. This can be done legally through a trust. In establishing a trust, a person (Settlor) temporarily transfers that item or property to a guardian (trustee) to be given to a final party (beneficiary) at a certain age. In Indiana, law dictates that a person establishing a trust must be 18 years of age and possess a sound mind. This process is done through a written document that states all parties involved and the stipulations that you place upon each. This process can be done swiftly, and ensures that your desired endstate is carried out without going through probate in the court system as well. So, if you are looking to avoid youthful carelessness and transfer property or finances at a time you see fit, a trust may be the answer you are looking for. Ask us how at Cogswell and Associates in Indianapolis.
Where There is a Will, There Is A Way
If a trust doesn’t sound like what you are looking for, a will is a great way to have your wishes carried out upon your passing. A will is a written document that is legally drawn up and filed that tells who you are leaving what property to upon your death. In the state of Indiana, not having a will means that your possessions are left to the state to determine how they will be distributed; which is not what most of us would like to have happen. In the event that you do have a will, your wishes will be carried out to the T. If you don’t happen to have a will, that is another matter and may be subject to whether or not you have children, are married now, or have a previous marriage. While there are general guidelines in how this is handled in the state of Indiana, there are exceptions. So, take the necessary steps and let us help you along the way to getting a living will drawn up. Or, if you have a family member that passed without a will, let us help guide you toward your next steps at Cogswell and Associates.
The Repeal of the Indiana Inheritance Tax
When it comes to estate planning and the dispersion of our property, or the property of a loved one upon death, one of the first things that often comes to mind is the inheritance tax. For many people, that used to mean a considerable portion of money due to the state for taking ownership of these goods, but not any more. This is because Indiana’s inheritance tax was repealed for those individuals dying after Dec. 31, 2012. No inheritance tax returns (Form IH-6 for Indiana residents and Form IH-12 for nonresidents) have to be prepared or filed. No tax has to be paid. In addition, no Consents to Transfer (Form IH-14) personal property or Notice of Intended Transfer of Checking Account (Form IH-19) are required for those dying after Dec. 31, 2012. If you had paid inheritance tax you may be eligible for a refund, but be aware that a Claim for a Refund must be filed with the Department of Revenue within the last of three years from the date the tax was paid or one year from the date the tax is finally determined. We hope that this clears the air when it comes to your worry about paying into inheritance tax in the state of Indiana. If you have any more questions, please give the office of Cogswell and Associates a call today.
The Probate Law and Process
If your loved one left a will, it is subject to the probate law in the state of Indiana. This means upon the death of a loved one, there will be an executor of the will named by the Indiana Probate Court. This is done by bringing the original copy of the deceased’s Last Will and Testament along with the Petition For Probate to the appropriate court. Upon the completion of this process and your naming as probate, you will be then given Letters of Probate that will give you legal authority to manage the estate’s debts and assets. There are several responsibilities and the task can seem overwhelming. Some of the tasks that will fall to you is to notify all of the beneficiaries named in the will, provide those individuals with a copy of the inventory of assets left to them, and publish a formal creditor notice in the local newspaper. While this task can seem overwhelming, the best step that you can take is getting a knowledgeable, dedicated team on your side like the one at Cogswell and Associates. Give us a call, and set up your consultation today.