Charles N. Doberneck

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A Few Good Reasons For Using Trusts

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Trusts have been an important tool in estate planners' toolbox for a long time.  And they have gotten the attention of the general public in recent decades for their ability to avoid probate (although creating a trust is not the only way to avoid probate, and avoiding "probate" in Indiana is not the big deal it might be in other states due to the availability in Indiana of unsupervised administration).  So, sure---trusts can avoid probate, but there are many other good reasons to co...

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Minimizing Delays In Distributing Assets Following Death

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 12:55 AM

Most people put minimizing delays in distributing assets following death as a fairly high priority goal. The question is: what are some practical and cost effective ways of achieving that goal? Titling accounts and other property in joint ownership with right of survivorship is a well known and effective method of passing property upon death. Another well publicized method is the creation of a revocable living trust—provided that most or all of ...

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Are Living Trusts The Right Tool For Everyone?

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 12:45 AM
A great deal of interest has been focused in recent years on revocable living trusts as the solution to all estate planning goals. Numerous books (including do-it-yourself form books) geared to the general public have been written on living trusts–especially in relation to avoiding probate. Ads in newspapers and magazines seek to attract potential clients to free seminars about living trusts that are put on by atto...
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Is Creating A Living Trust The Only Way To Avoid Probate?

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 3:20 PM

As discussed in an earlier post (“What Is Probate”, April 13, 2014), a will has to be “probated” in order to have legal force and effect.  But  that aspect of “probate” is not onerous or costly.  It is “probate” in the second meaning of that term–i.e, court supervision of the administration of an estate–that most people want to avoid.  Besides creating a living trust to avoid “probate” (a ...

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Protecting Medicaid Eligibility For A Disabled Relative By Creating A Special Needs Trust

Posted on April 19, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Spouses or parents typically create estate plans that leave property to the surviving spouse or a surviving child with no strings attached.  That is reasonable and works fine in most cases.  However, doing so when a spouse or child is disabled or in a nursing home, or when it is probable that a spouse or child will require nursing home care, could render the spouse or child ineligible for Medicaid assistance to cover the substantial cost of nursing home ca...

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Making Gifts Or Bequests To Minors Via Indiana's Uniform Transfers To Minors Act

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

A person can make a lifetime gift of property to a minor, or make a bequest to a minor under a will or trust upon death, by means of a custodial account under Indiana’s Uniform Transfers To Minors Act (“UTMA”).  A custodial account is similar to a trust. Both place property under the control of a person who does not own the account (a “custodian”, in the case of a custodial account, and a “trustee”, in the case of a trust), who manage...

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What Is A Trust?

Posted on April 12, 2014 at 9:10 AM

A trust is a legal entity to which a person (called a “grantor,” “settlor,” or “trustor”) transfers property to be administered by a trustee for someone’s (a beneficiary’s) benefit.  The term “living trust” (sometimes also called an “inter vivos” trust) means that the trust was created during the grantor’s life. This is in contrast to a testamentary trust—a trust created in a will.  Because...

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