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John E. Hegeman

John E. Hegeman

Of Counsel
John has more than 30 years of experience as an attorney practicing probate and trust law, estate planning, business and tax law, and private adoption. His work includes counseling individuals about estate planning/death tax issues, guiding executors through the maze of decedents’ estates, advising trustees, and successfully representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service and Indiana Department of Revenue. John’s “probate” practice often requires him to be in court representing executors, trustees, guardians (over adults or minors), health care surrogates (for incapacitated adults), as well as advising clients about the multifaceted and escalating practice area commonly known as “elder law.” He assists prospective adoptive parents and birth parents with sensitivity as they effect mutual plans of private adoption.


  • 1972: Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., A.B.
  • 1985: Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Ind., J.D.


  • Wills and Trusts: Assists individuals, married couples and same-sex partners to achieve their estate planning objectives through well-crafted wills/trusts, as recommended.
  • Advance Directives: Advises clients on sensitive and important issues of what are commonly known as “advance directives” such as general durable powers of attorney (financial matters), healthcare representative appointments (surrogate medical treatment decisions), and life-prolonging procedures/living will declarations (acceptance or rejection of life-prolonging procedures or artificially-supplied nutrition/hydration in the terminal illness environment).
  • Probate Administration/Small Estate Transfers: Advises executors in the resolution of decedents’ estates and the transfer of assets in the post-death environment through the Courts of Vanderburgh and surrounding counties, including access to assets, preparation of federal estate/Indiana inheritance tax returns and transfers of the net estates to designated beneficiaries. Advised individuals to efficiently, economically and quickly obtain the assets of decedents’ estate where probate administration is not required due to the small amount of assets to be accessed and transferred.
  • Guardianships/Health Care Representatives: Represents individual and institutional petitioners seeking guardianship or appointment of medical treatment decision-makers for fragile individuals incapacitated by illness & incapable of providing informed self-consent to medical treatment or living situations.
  • Private Adoptions: Assists in the successful legal adoptions of infants, toddlers, “tweens,” and adolescents, guiding clients through the maze of private adoption statutes to a successful completion of adoption plans.


  • Healthcare

Publications and Presentations

  • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (ICLEF): “Will & Trust Drafting,” “General Drafting Considerations,” “Ethical Issues In Representing Multiple Constituents In Family & Closely-Held Businesses,” and “Ethical Problems In Estate & Guardianship Administration”
  • National Business Institute: “The Probate Process from Start to Finish In Indiana,” “Key Issues In Estate Planning & Probate In Indiana,” and “Drafting Effective Wills & Trusts”
  • KDDK Newsletters: “Federal Estate Taxes: Five States Pay More Than Half” and “Adopting A Child: Family Leave Rights”
  • Panelist on medical ethics programs at St. Mary’s Medical Center addressing “To Treat Or Not To Treat: A Question of Good Stewardship” and Deaconess Hospital: “Complementary Medicine: Offering A Balance of Body, Mind & Spirit – An Ethical Perspective”
  • Lecturer on “Informed Consent & Advance Directives,” “Legal Dimensions Of Life,” “Ethical Issues In Behavioral Care” at Deaconess Health Systems’ annual Ethics Committee Retreats

Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Indiana Trust and Estate Lawyer* (2008-present)
    • Certified by the Indiana Trust and Estate Specialty Board
  • Evansville Bar Association: Board of Directors (1993 – 1995); Probate Section, Chairman (1994 – 1995)
  • Indiana State Bar Association: Member (1985 – present)
  • American Bar Association: Member (1985 – present)

Civic Affiliations

  • Evansville Bar Foundation: Board of Directors (2002 – 2007); Treasurer (2005 – 2007)
  • Evansville Estate and Financial Planning Council: Past President
  • Daughters of Charity Foundation Advisory Committee: Member (1995 – 1999)
  • Evansville Zoological Society, Inc. (d/b/a Friends of Mesker Park Zoo): Board of Directors, Executive Council(1987 – 2005)
  • Catholic Charities Bureau, Evansville Diocese: Board of Directors (1990 – 1996/1998-2004); President (2002 – 2003)
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church: Former Parish Council and School Board Member
  • Tales & Scales, Inc.: Board of Directors (1993 – 2007)
  • Deaconess Hospital Ethics Committee: Member
  • Women’s Hospital: Perinatal/Women’s Health Ethics Committee
  • Evansville Police Merit Commission: Commissioner (2004 – present)

Bar Admissions

  • State of Indiana

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana


  • Rated, BV Distinguished®, Martindale-Hubbell®