Execute Documents Remotely

We will soon be able to assist clients in executing their estate planning documents without meeting in person through use of remote notary, which will soon be available by the Indiana Secretary of State. Our attorneys and paralegals will take steps to have this service available to our clients as soon as it is available from the Indiana Secretary of State. Remote notary will allow us to serve as remote notary witnesses, and notarize documents virtually, without an in-person meeting. Although a Last Will and Testament must be executed with in-person witnesses, the remote notary will allow for other documents to be notary witnessed.

Please contact my office with any questions. We’re excited to be able to offer this service to clients at this time of public health crisis and social distancing.

Estate Administration During Coronavirus & Social Distancing

Loss of a loved one is always difficult, but losing a family member at this time of pandemic is made harder by the social distancing and other restrictions being put in place. Funeral homes are limiting who can attend a funeral.

At this time, when it may not be possible to meet with an attorney face to face, my estate law practice is ready to serve families through use of technology. We can assist with estate administration without an in person meeting. We have a long-established practice of utilizing technology to provide efficient and reliable service for our clients. We are experienced using videoconference or teleconference to meet with clients. Our technology is easy and accessible to use, and will allow us to meet with you from the comfort and safety of your home.

We regularly represent out-of-state or remote clients, many of whom are unable to meet face-to-face. We are ready to apply this experience to serving more families during this time of social distancing, when we may not be able have an in-person meeting.

Our Indiana estate practice has utilized technology for many years, and we are an entirely electronic law practice. Indiana Courts now all use electronic filing of estate administrations. We can meet with you and open estate administrations all without meeting in-person. We are ready to help you through this difficult time of loss, and we understand that it is made all the more difficult and challenging by the current global public health crisis. We will do everything we can to ease the complications created by current restrictions and social distancing, and help you through the administration of your loved one’s estate.

Estate Planning Considerations for Mothers

How should a mother provide for her children in her will?  A recent article asks this question, pointing out that many women live alone and need to make decisions on their own, and not with a spouse or partner, regarding their estate planning, finances, and inheritance for their children.

“There are 26.7 million women who are aged 65 or older, according to the 2016 profile of older Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly half (46%) of women who are aged 75 or older live alone. These women have homes, financial resources and children, requiring them to make these decisions on their own.”

The author points out that a mother’s desire to treat her children “equally” in her estate planning, may not match the realities faced by her children.  “For many, dividing the inheritance equally among their offspring is a deeply held value. But it isn’t always easy: What if one child is a successful professional with a good pension plan, and the other is a struggling artist who may never have adequate health coverage? Or perhaps one daughter has a special-needs child, and the other has chosen not to have children? What then is the process of balancing their value of equal distribution and the contradictory need to make financially realistically decisions?”

 

IRS 2015 Gift and Estate Tax Exemption Amounts

The IRS announced the 2015 Gift and Estate Tax Exemption Amounts, along with other tax changes, here.  For persons dying in 2015, the Federal Estate Tax exemption amount has increased to to $5,430,000, up from the 2014 exclusion amount of $5,340,000.  This means that, collectively,  in 2015 a married couple can exclude $10,860,000 from Federal Estate Tax.  The gift tax annual exclusion amount remains $14,000 in 2015.  This means that in 2015, as in 2014, you can transfer up to $14,000 per individual without the necessity of filing a Gift Tax Return.