Estate Planning Attorneys Carmel, IN
Helping Transfer Your Legacy to Your Loved Ones
What will happen with your assets when you pass? Most people don’t want to think about their death. However, we view this from a different perspective – what can I do now to take care of my loved ones in the future? The Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Roberts Means Roncevic Kapela are sensitive to your concerns and experts in the vast area of estate planning. We first obtain a snapshot of your assets and desired beneficiaries, then discuss the options for transfer based on personal and tax issues.
Our estate planning documents include the following:
- Family Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills
- Healthcare Representatives
- Assignments of Business Interests
- Deed Transfers
- Special Needs Trusts
Reasons You Should Have an Estate Plan
1. Avoiding Intestacy
The main reason you should have an estate plan is ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes. If no plan exists when you die, your assets are distributed by the rules of intestacy. These rules can cause unwelcomed surprises for beneficiaries expecting an inheritance, and result in distributions contrary to your wishes. Many people intend for everything to go to their spouse, however, intestacy rules may result in the spouse receiving considerably less. If there are surviving children of the marriage, the spouse will be entitled to only 50% of the net estate.
Even worse, if there are surviving children from the deceased spouse’s preceding marriage and no children from the current marriage, that surviving spouse is only entitled to 25% of the estate’s real estate value. Additionally, cohabitants have no rights under intestacy. Intestacy also does not discriminate between descendants. Regardless of their involvement in your life or your wishes, your children will receive the same amount from your estate under intestacy. The final thing to note is if no surviving family can be found, then your property will go to the state, rather than a preferred charity or friend. To avoid intestacy, a will, trust, or combination of both can be utilized.
11. Income and Estate Tax Planning
The last reason for estate planning is tax considerations, while important consideration, should generally be the last consideration. Because of the tax code, very little Americans ever incur any estate tax. Additionally, income tax consequences are also minimal. Most commonly, tax consequences arise upon the receipt and subsequent sale of bequeathed property. The taxable income from such a sale is the amount realized minus the basis in the property. The basis can vary depending on how the property was transferred. If transferred as a gift, the basis remains the same; however, if it is an estate gift, the basis in the property is increased to the fair market value of the property. This results in a lower amount of taxable income. Additionally, there may be other tax consequences and you should always consult with your estate planner as to what those may be and what options are available.