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Indiana Estate Planning
If you die without a last will and testament in Indiana, your estate—that is, your money, possessions, home and other valuables—will be distributed according to Indiana intestacy laws. These distribution rules don't take into account your personal wishes, verbal promises or special needs of your heirs. An estate planning attorney can help you draft a last will and testament that meets your specifications, allowing you to control what your heirs inherit.
When Do You Need a Last Will & Testament?
Many people are under the mistaken impression that they don't need to think about estate planning because they're not rich enough or old enough.
Estate planning includes a variety of legal, financial and medical planning, but the last will and testament is probably the best known and most common of these tools.
You should have a last will and testament if you're at least 18 years old (a legal adult, in the eyes of the law) and of sound mind, meaning you're mentally competent.
With a last will and testament, you can:
- Explain how you'd like your estate to be distributed to your heirs after you die
- Name a legal guardian for your minor child in the event you and your child's other parent die while he or she is under the age of 18
- Give money or property to charities after your death
Once you've created your last will and testament, don't simply forget about it. You'll want to talk to an estate planning lawyer about whether your will should be updated if you have a major life-changing event, such as a marriage, divorce or new child. You may also need to update your will if any of your beneficiaries die, if you want to name a new executor, if any of the witnesses to your original will can't be located, if you have a major change in net worth or if there are changes to the federal estate tax or Indiana inheritance tax that would affect your estate.
Find & Hire Local Indiana Estate Planning Attorneys
If you live in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville or elsewhere in Indiana, Attorneys.com can quickly connect you with estate planning lawyers in your area. To use our free lawyer referral service, complete the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222. We'll ask you a few basic questions, then quickly match you with a local lawyer.