Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning & Guardianship Lawyers
Helping Indiana and Illinois families plan for the future
Strategizing an estate plan provides security to your loved ones and financial benefits to you. The estate planning attorneys at Rubino, Ruman, Crosmer & Polen have more than a century and a half of combined experience helping families plan for the future. We strive to do so promptly and with sensitivity to your needs. We can assist you with all of your estate issues, including:
- Estate planning
- Powers of attorney to handle healthcare, disability and end-of-life issues
Dying without a last will
If you die intestate — meaning without a last will — the state does not get your property. Certain estate planning tools may render a last will unnecessary by directing distribution of your property through those instruments. A last will does not determine who receives property that is jointly owned or that has a designated beneficiary, for example.
Governed by state intestate laws, the probate court usually decides what happens to the property of a person who dies intestate and you risk that the court will act in a manner that is inconsistent with your objectives and desires if you fail to draft a valid last will.
Creating an estate plan through wills and trusts
A well-devised estate plan empowers you to care for your family after you die. Certain estate planning techniques — including some trusts — can also provide you with effective investment opportunities and tax advantages during your lifetime. We analyze your individual circumstances and estate planning goals to tailor an effective strategy. Every person’s situation is different and requires a unique approach to:
- Distributing assets to your heirs
- Providing financial support for family
- Arranging guardianship for minors
- Donating to charities
- Caring for pets
- Bequeathing gifts to friends and partners
- Minimizing estate taxes
- Maximizing tax benefits during your lifetime
The court appoints a person or institution to take responsibility for persons who are incapable of handling their own affairs. The court-appointed guardian assists special needs persons, minor children and senior adults with their physical care, medical decisions or maintenance of property if they are unable to do so themselves. Parents face the crucial decision of deciding who should care for their children if they die. Likewise, if you care for other dependents – such as elderly parents or a disabled sibling – their financial and physical support is an important aspect of your estate plan.
Although the probate courts are professional and dedicated, the process is time consuming and costly. It can usually be avoided with some simple estate planning. We advise you when it is in your best interest to avoid probate and the proper tools for doing so.
Contact a Northwest Indiana estate planning law firm
Rubino Ruman, Crosmer & Polen has offices in Dyer and serves clients throughout Indiana and Illinois, including Lake, Porter and Tippecanoe counties in Northwest Indiana.