What is estate planning?

An estate plan is a legally enforceable plan that controls how property should be held, administered, and/or distributed. It also provides instructions for any financial or medical decisions that you deem necessary. Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also minimize expenses and eliminate frustrations associated with managing your affairs if you become disabled, or in the event of your passing.

When someone passes away, his or her property must somehow pass to another person. In the Indiana, any competent adult has the right to choose the manner in which his or her assets are distributed after his or her passing. A proper estate plan also involves strategies to minimize potential estate taxes & settlement costs as well as to coordinate what would happen with your home, your investments, your business, your life insurance, your employee benefits (such as a 401K plan), and other property in the event of death or disability. On the personal side, a good estate plan should include directions to carry out your wishes regarding health care matters, so that if you ever are unable to give the directions yourself, someone you know and trust can do that for you.