Estate Plans Must Clarify “Right Things”

Posted on October 2, 2018 by Hawkins Elder Law.

When an estate plan depends on someone to “do the right thing,” someone will inevitably dispute

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Spendthrift, Special Needs, “Miller” & Other Protective Trusts

Posted on January 12, 2018 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] Trusts are tools that estate planning lawyers use to solve or avoid money management and property management problems for clients. Protective trusts protect assets from problems plaguing the trusts’ beneficiaries. Protective trusts are increasingly common as lawyers and clients focus on solving problems that do not necessarily […]

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“Choose” to Replace “Should” and “Supposed to” in Big Decisions

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Hawkins Elder Law.

  [See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] Is it possible for senses of duty, obligation, and responsibility to be harmful for people? Trust and estate lawyers working with multiple generations of people often see sharp generational differences in people’s expectations of themselves and people of other generations. This article considers when traditional senses […]

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Avoiding Probate is Easy – But Not Always Wise

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] We have heard people tell us for decades that they want to “avoid probate.” They say it as if they want to avoid cancer. Most people have no idea what it is that they think they should avoid. Fewer people know that the “probate” concept […]

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Costly Delay: Importance of Mental Capacity in Estate Planning

Posted on April 8, 2017 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] Too people say about estate planning, “I’m not ready for that yet.” A person must be able to think clearly enough to make a will, trust, power of attorney, deed, health care directive or other estate plan document. As we wrote in our blog article, […]

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Estate Planning Is More Than Forms

Posted on April 2, 2017 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] Several years ago, our daughter’s kindergarten teacher shared with us a simplistic job description that our daughter gave to the class about her lawyer parents. When asked what her parents did for a living, our daughter said, “They type and click.” Many people have a […]

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Signing Documents Is a Big Deal

Posted on March 12, 2017 by Hawkins Elder Law.

Indiana is on the front line of a legal services technological revolution. LegalZoom is pushing a bill to allow electronic signatures of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents, while the Indiana Secretary of State driving an electronic notarization bill. Indiana State Bar Association members are working to fix serious defects in […]

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Trust Protector to the Rescue

Posted on January 14, 2017 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] The basic purpose for estate planning is to prepare for future situations by empowering people to solve problems or adapt changing circumstances. Unfortunately, this old planning truism still applies: The finest plans of mice and men often fall apart and leave us with only grief […]

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Don’t Short-Circuit Your Estate Plan

Posted on October 4, 2016 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] If a person has made a will, a power of attorney, an advance health care directive, or a trust, the person may think that those documents create a dependable estate plan. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that an estate plan includes every kind of […]

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Family Property – When Blessings Become Curses

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Hawkins Elder Law.

[See our Disclaimers page about relying on this website’s contents.] God told the Israelites in the 25th chapter of the biblical book of Leviticus that in every 50th year, a family would regain ownership of land that the family’s ancestors had sold during the past 50 years. The Mosaic Law ensured the blessings of property […]

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