Estate Planning

Serving South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka, Osceola & The Counties of St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall & LaPorte

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What will happen to your property or dependent loved ones if you become incapacitated or should die unexpectedly? Having an estate plan not only protects your assets for your beneficiaries, it also provides concrete direction should you suffer a serious personal injury or other calamity.  Proper estate planning can protect your family and preserve your assets. Your estate plan should be tailored to your individual goals. The Cole Law Firm LLC, we will assist with all your estate planning and probate needs.

Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers

Many people think of estate planning as merely creating a will or a trust. However, there are other necessary provisions involved in planning your estate, and not all of them are aimed at what happens to your property once you pass on. We can help you with the following:

  • Design an appropriate durable power of attorney
  • Appoint a health care representative
  • Draft a living will to give direction as to your end-of-life preferences
  • Create a special needs trust to provide for disabled children or adults in your care
  • Establish a guardianship for minors or disabled adults
  • Assist you with your goals to contribute to charities

At the Cole Law Firm LLC, we take time to identify your concerns about providing for minor children or making end-of-life decisions. We then seek to prepare an individualized estate plan that effectively accomplishes your goals.

Benefits of Estate Planning

Estate planning is not just for wealthy families. If you own a home or have children, you need to have a will. A will and other estate planning documents will ensure that your children are taken care of and may prevent major fights between your loved ones if something happens to you.

Your estate plan can include many documents. We will help you evaluate your needs to create the best estate plan for you. Documents to include:

  • A will and trust
  • An advance directive
  • Powers of attorney
  • Guardianship documents
  • Conservatorship documents

Estate Planning FAQ’s

Question:  Do I need a Will?

Yes. Every person benefits from having a will, especially if you own property or have children. Wills are not just for wealthy families. They will document how your estate will be distributed upon your death and who will care for your minor children.

Question:  What if I die with a Will?

Your property will be distributed according to Indiana law if you die without a valid will.

Question:  What is a living Will?

A living will is a legal document that states your wish to not use extraordinary life support or medical procedures if you are terminally ill. This document is effective only if you are mentally incapacitated.

Question:  What is an advance directive?

This document states what type of health care treatment you want if you become incapacitated. You can also name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Question:  What is probate?

Probate is a legal process that recognizes a will and appoints a personal representative or executor to administer the estate and distribute assets in the estate to beneficiaries.

Question:  Do I need an attorney?

Yes. Trying to create your estate plan on your own can lead to serious mistakes that can negatively impact your future and your legacy. A lawyer can ensure that all factors are considered and that your estate plan is up to date and drafted according to state laws.

Do not try to plan your own estate using online documents.

We represent individuals and families in South Bend and throughout Indiana. We provide personal attention and we will get to know you, your family situation, your business and your goals. Our discussions will include reviewing all of your options and explaining how each decision could impact your future.

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