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Estate Planning

Estate Planning

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.

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.

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 invested years, sometimes decades, as well as substantial amounts of capital to develop a successful business and want to ensure that success will continue after passing it on to the next generation.

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.

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 attorneys 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.

Guardianship Administration and Medical Care Preparation

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

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
  • A Living Will or Life Prolonging Procedures Declaration to properly document one’s wishes with regard to life support issues

Estate and Probate Litigation

The lawyers at Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn know that losing a loved one is hard. It becomes even more difficult when the remaining family disputes the testamentary wishes of the deceased. However, with the aging baby boom generation and the ever-growing distance between relatives, this type of dispute seems to be on the rise.

Our attorneys have litigated these cases with a keen eye toward resolution and the special issues concerning familial relationships. However, our attorneys are also cognizant that there are times when a hard-nosed litigator must stand firm to protect our client’s best interest.