Wills and Trusts

Indianapolis Will, Trust, and Estate Planning Lawyer

Advantage of Wills

A will is a written document that direct the disposition of a person's property upon his or her death. A will can also nominate a person to serve as guardian of minor children and of a minor child's estate.

If you die without a will, you have no control over these issues. The State of Indiana will dispose of your property according to law. The court will appoint a person to serve as guardian for your children and will appoint a personal representative to handle the affairs of probating your estate.

A properly drafted will can reduce the costs of probating your estate.  For example, a will can waive the requirement of a bond for the personal representative of the estate, thereby saving the bond premium expense. Well-drafted wills can sometimes reduce taxes and administrative expenses. A will can also request that the estate be probated under unsupervised administration, limiting the involvement of the probate court in the estate proceedings. An experienced lawyer can properly draft a will to ensure your wishes are handled as you intend.

Lawyer Consultation

To discuss wills, guardianships, and estate plans, contact an experienced Indianapolis attorney, R.J. Schoettle at (317) 374-7918 or complete the attorney contact form. The cost of preparing a will, with the help from R.J. Schoettle, is a modest fixed fee.

Free Evaluation of Existing Will or Estate Plan

Do you already have a will or estate plan? Life changing events such as having children, marriage, or divorce could warrant a change in your will or estate plan. Contact an experienced Indianapolis lawyer, R.J. Schoettle, for a free evaluation of your existing will or estate plan; if needed, he will suggest estate planning options to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.


A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person or company manages property for the benefit of another. A trust may be set up within a will to take effect only after death, or it can be effective during a person's lifetime, often know as a "living trust".

A living trust can be funded or unfunded during the creator's lifetime. If it is funded, the assets of the person creating the trust are transferred by retitling them into the name of the trust. As new assets are acquired, they should be acquired in the name of the trust. Funding is necessary for those who want to obtain the benefit of avoiding probate at death. A trust can be complex, but it can provide a flexible and valuable estate planning tool.

For those who do not want to fund the trust at the time it is created, the trust will be a standby vehicle that can be activated later when needed, either by the creator, by an agent acting under a power of attorney, or by the trustee when it is funded at death.

Advantages of Trusts

  • A trusts can avoid the cost and delay of probate
  • A trust administration can be a private proceeding, as opposed to the public nature of a probate
  • A trust provides continuity of estate asset management
  • Estate taxes can be avoided or limited
  • A trust can allow for flexibility in the use of your property during your lifetime as well as control of the use of your property after your death
  • A trust can manage the payment of income and principal for your benefit in the event of a mental or physical incapacity, thereby avoiding the need for a court-supervised guardian (especially when used in conjunction with a durable power of attorney)
  • A trust can provide assured support for a disabled, disadvantaged, or impaired child, spouse, or parent
  • A trust can sometimes provide income tax savings during your lifetime
  • A trust provides a measure of protection for family assets from creditors and/or lawsuits.
  • A trust can provide for a married child or grandchild without exposing family assets to the claims, misappropriation, or mismanagement of the child/grandchild's spouse.

    Attorney consultation: wills, trusts and estate planning options.

    For a lawyer consultation regarding a will, a trust, power of attorney and estate plan options, contact Indianapolis attorney, R.J. Schoettle at (317) 374-7918 or complete the attorney contact form. By working from his home office on the southside of Indianapolis, R.J. Schoettle charges inexpensive attorney rates to draft estate planning documents including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Assistance in funding trusts, including preparation of deeds and other instruments are provided at reasonable attorney rates.

    R.J. Schoettle is certified in Indiana as an Estate Planning and Administration Specialist by the Estate Planning and Administration Specialty Certification Board.

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