Areas of Practice
Have You Updated Your Will or Living Will Lately?
Recent events in Florida have cast a national spotlight on the importance of proper planning for unforeseen incapacitation or untimely death. Only with a properly executed living will can you express your wishes regarding life support in a legally binding way. Only with a properly drafted and executed Health Care Power of Attorney or Appointment of Health Care Representative can you legally grant authority to another to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. In addition, a properly drafted Last Will and Testament can ensure that your wishes are followed regarding who inherits your assets and who will be in charge of handling your matters in the event of your death. Many people do not realize the consequences of not having a properly drafted will.
For example, the probate assets of the Indiana resident who dies without a will do not necessarily go to that person's spouse as is commonly believed. If such a person dies leaving a spouse and children, the spouse will receive one half of their estate while the children divide the remaining half. If such a person dies leaving a spouse and no children, three-fourths of their estate passes to their surviving spouse and the remainder to their living parents.
Not only is proper planning important to ensure your assets are distributed pursuant to your wishes, but also to express your wishes regarding custody of any children, at what age any children might inherit assets, and who will manage any assets for your children. These are just a few of the issues one should address.
If you are an Indiana resident, it is strongly advised that you contact an Indiana attorney in order to properly plan for such unforeseen and tragic events.
© 2002, Stephen H. Rabe