To do our part in collectively slowing the spread of COVID-19, we are prioritizing the health and wellness of our staff, clients and community. We will remain OPEN, however, we are keeping our doors locked to limit the amount of people in our Office. If you have an appointment, please call our Office at 219-865-2285 when you arrive and we will let you in. If you need to drop something off, please call our Office when you arrive and we will send someone out to your car to retrieve the document. … [Read more...] about COVID-19 Update
Mortality is a subject that people generally try to avoid, and it may not seem very relevant to you when you are still young or relatively young. At the same time, people of all ages contract catastrophic illnesses every day, and there are thousands of accidents. Sometimes a highly publicized event will serve as an eye-opener, and the tragic Kobe Bryant helicopter crash would fit into this category. The people that passed away were young and healthy, so it really demonstrated the way … [Read more...] about Pandemic Illustrates the Importance of Advance Planning
In our last post, we looked at three different reasons why you may want to use a trust instead of a will. We promised a second installment, and this is the conclusion of the two part series. Streamlined and Efficient Estate Administration A lot of people assume that the estate administration process is very simple and straightforward if you use a will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer. In reality, there are some rather burdensome steps that must be taken before the assets can be … [Read more...] about When Is a Trust Better Than a Will (Part 2)?
Contrary to popular belief, a will is not a one-size-fits-all estate planning solution. There are many different scenarios that would call for the use of a trust. We are going to look at three of them in this post, and our follow-up entry will add to the list. Nursing Home Asset Protection Most seniors will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. This program will provide a strong health insurance safety net, but there are out-of-pocket expenses, including premiums, deductibles, … [Read more...] about When a Trust Is Better Than a Will (Part 1)
Our Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys are deeply committed to the well-being of our clients and their families. Estate planning can be confusing and overwhelming, not to mention there are many different types of trusts that exist. There are reasons why you may want to use one trust rather than another trust. Each situation is different, and this is why personalized attention is so very important. This is exactly what you will get when you choose our firm as your estate planning … [Read more...] about A Look at Two Commonly Used Trusts
We get a lot of questions about the taxes that can impact inheritances, and people are usually surprised when they hear the answers. Believe it or not, you do not have to report an inheritance as taxable income on your federal or state tax returns. Another positive element to the rules for taxation on bequests is the step-up in basis. The best way to explain this is through the use of a simple example. Let’s say that your grandfather passes away, and he leaves you 1000 shares of stock that … [Read more...] about Is There an Indiana Estate Tax?
If you take the right steps in advance to feather your nest, you can put your working years behind you at some point and enjoy your golden years to the fullest. For many people, an individual retirement account will be part of the plan. This will provide an underpinning that you can draw from when you are a senior citizen, but what happens if you don’t need the money? At some point, you may recognize that you will be in this position. The account will then be part of your estate plan. With … [Read more...] about Key Facts About IRAs and Estate Planning
Elder law attorneys assist clients that are concerned about legal and financial matters that senior citizens often face. There are a number of different issues that we deal with, but the matter of long-term care is definitely at the top of the list. You may assume that the Medicare program will pay for a stay in a nursing home if you ever need this level of assistance with your day-to-day needs. This makes sense, but in reality, Medicare will not pay for the custodial care that nursing homes … [Read more...] about Nursing Home Costs Can Be Devastating
As estate planning and elder law attorneys, we help clients prepare for all stages of their senior years, because one thing leads to another. Looking ahead toward your active retirement period can be exciting, and if you take the right steps, you can enjoy your spare time to the fullest. The “right steps” part is key, because it is not easy for most people to have the resources that they need to enjoy their golden years in comfort. For most, Social Security will be an important piece to the … [Read more...] about When Should You Apply for Social Security?
When people first hear about the concept of Medicaid being relevant to elders, they are sometimes confused. If you are going to qualify for Medicare as a source of health insurance, why would you need Medicaid? Plus, people with resources cannot qualify for Medicaid because it is a need-based program. This line of thinking makes total sense on the surface, but when you scratch beneath it, you see a different picture. Long-Term Care Costs Medicaid should be on your radar when you are … [Read more...] about Can Medicaid Take Your Home?
In all too many instances, people come to us seeking damage control solutions. They find themselves in difficult situations because of estate planning mistakes that were made by loved ones. We do what we can, but it is frustrating when you know that negative outcomes could have been avoided. With this in mind, let’s look at a few common estate planning mistakes that you should definitely avoid. Embracing DIY Solutions There are websites that sell template, boilerplate legal documents, … [Read more...] about Steer Clear of These Common Estate Planning Mistakes