Estate Planning & Probate Administration

A Secure Plan for the Future

Making long term plans for your future involves complicated decision-making. It requires the identification and implementation of your individual desires, while considering family, financial and tax issues. No matter your age or financial position, it is important to begin the process early and seek professional advice.

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Our estate planning attorneys are well-versed in the planning techniques, law, and other resources you need to address your goals and establish an appropriate and secure plan for the long term.  We work closely with investment advisors, accountants, pension consultants, life underwriters and banking representatives to develop comprehensive estate plans and provide responsive, integrated legal services in a range of areas affecting individuals and families, including:

Estate and Disability Planning

Our estate planning services are designed for the orderly and successful transfer of wealth, taking into consideration each client’s individual goals and circumstances.

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We stay current with ever-changing income, estate and gift tax laws, as well as Indiana statutes, insurance products and health care options that can affect the techniques used to best accomplish a client’s objectives.To take advantage of estate tax credits and tax credit transfers that skip a generation, our estate planning attorneys are skilled and efficient in the preparation of various will and trust documents to direct the organization, administration and disposition of clients’ estates, including wills with disability trusts, trusts for minors, and revocable and irrevocable trusts.

Business Succession Planning

Many of our clients have devoted years, sometimes decades, as well as substantial capital investments to developing a successful business and want to ensure that success will continue after passing it on to the next generation.

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Yet, family-owned and closely-held businesses face many legal, operational, and tax concerns when managing or transferring wealth or company control. Our estate planning team advises small business owners regarding the transfer of their business upon sale or the owner’s retirement, incapacitation or death, utilizing corporate restructuring, buy-sell arrangements and other planning techniques that ensure a smooth transition and minimal tax impact.

Federal Income, Estate and Gift Tax Planning

How to efficiently transfer wealth to the next generation to maximize the benefits to the recipient is an important, but challenging decision and one that requires consideration of both legal and familial issues.

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Whether you wish to pass your assets on to a trusted family member or to a charitable organization with which you have a personal connection, our experienced estate planning attorneys can assist in structuring lifetime and testamentary gifts to accomplish your charitable intentions, provide income tax benefits and maximize deductions. Some of the tools we use to accomplish these goals are:

  • Charitable lead trusts
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Foundations
  • Conservation easements
  • Family limited partnerships
  • Limited liability companies
  • Creation of voting and non-voting classes of stock
  • Outright gifts of securities and other property

Whatever your goals may be, our estate planning team recommends strategies for transferring wealth with minimal tax consequences to ensure that successors receive the majority of clients’ estates.  Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn welcome the involvement of our clients’ accountants, financial planners and trust officers in this process and work closely with them to help design effective, individualized estate plans to be responsive to each clients’ unique needs and circumstances.

Probate and Trust Administration

Our estate planning team represents both individual and corporate fiduciaries in their role as executor of an estate or as trustee of a trust in collecting, valuing, accounting for and distributing the decedent’s assets, including paying debts and claims and preparing and filing the applicable state and federal tax returns.

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Our estate planning teams also represents executors and trustees in the audit of these required tax returns, as well as filing the necessary inventories and accountings with the probate court and distributing assets to beneficiaries or trusts.  We also counsel executors and trustees on the variety of tax planning issues to consider during settlement of an estate or administration of a trust. In addition, in the event a probate proceeding is contested, our skillful attorneys provide knowledgeable, cost-effective representation in the contested probate proceeding and in the administration of out-of-state assets.

Guardianship Administration and Medical Care Preparation

Regardless of age, when a loved one is unable to care for themselves, it falls to family and close friends to ensure they are cared for and protected.

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The creation of a guardianship empowers a guardian to make decisions regarding everyday living arrangements, health care and legal matters on behalf of another person.In cases where a client has not prepared an estate plan and/or guardianship arrangements and later becomes incapacitated, Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn attorneys are prepared to provide support for their family and provide counsel as they work through the process of appointing a guardian and administering and reporting of the guardian’s affairs to the court.As people’s life spans continue to grow longer due to rapid scientific and technological innovation, it has become a necessity to plan for the possibility of becoming incapacitated so that if the unthinkable should happen, family members or caregivers are not forced into lengthy court proceedings which can result in the court’s decision to supervise the management of your personal affairs.

To prepare for the possibility of becoming incapacitated, we generally recommend to our clients:

  • A durable power of attorney for the management of financial affairs
  • The designation of a health care proxy to make medical decisions
  • Living Wills or Life Prolonging Procedures Declarations to properly document one’s wishes with regard to life support issues.
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Common Questions about Estate Planning and Wills

If we can assist you with any of these services, please contact one of the attorneys in our estate planning group listed below.

Meet the Attorneys of this Practice Team