It’s tax time again! That time of year where we gather up all those income and health insurance forms bearing a strange combination of numbers and letters – W-2s, 1099-R, 1045A – and seek the advice of professionals to wade through the tax system and to take stock of your financial planning.  Having all that information handy makes it a great time of year to take stock of your legal planning too.

There are a variety of reasons why your family may want to do legal planning this time of year.  For instance, if you are caring for aging parents, you may need to eventually assist them with balancing their checkbook and/or paying their bills.  You may also need to talk with your parents’ doctors about their medications and treatment.  For these tasks, it is often necessary for your parents to have a signed Power-of-Attorney that designates you as someone that can work with their banks and medical care providers and make decisions about their financial and physical needs.  It may also be time to discuss your parents’ desires for end of life care.  We can help with a living will or even funeral planning documents, if that is something that they desire.

For you (and your spouse, if you are married), do you have an estate plan already in place?  If so, how long has it been since you reviewed and updated it?  If you are married, does your spouse have a Power of Attorney that would allow them to care for you and your finances in the event of an accident or unexpected illness?

Every estate plan is anchored by a Last Will and Testament.  If you die without a valid Will in Indiana, then the State of Indiana decides who inherits your estate, and this plan is often very different than what you would choose for yourself.  As you enter different stages in life, it is important to update your estate plan to one that provides for your spouse, your children, grandchildren, and even charities that are important to you.  Parents with young children may especially want a will that contains a designation of guardian and a testamentary trust.  This allows you to decide who will care for your children and how their financial needs will be met in the event of your death.

At HELFRICH & HARRELL LAW, we help families in craft individualized estate plans that accomplish your goals no matter your stage in life and ensure that your wishes are respected.  For more information on estate planning and the price of our flat-fee packages, please click hereContact us today at (317) 943-3980 to schedule a free face-to-face consultation at your convenience.