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Probate and Estate Settlement

PictureExperienced Indiana trust and probate estate attorneys can draft your last will and testament and trust documents
A will or trust is essential at every stage of your life, providing you with the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes for what will happen upon your death. A will or trust is necessary if you intend to leave property to someone who is not your blood relative, e.g., a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will or trust, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your beloved pet — and the decisions the court makes might not reflect your desires.

The trust and probate estate attorneys at Mayfield and Brooks, LLC have 75 combined years of experience and can assist by drafting a valid will or trust to ensure your intentions are honored.

Changing your will or trust
As your life evolves, so may your estate plan. You may need to update your will or trust throughout your life. We draft valid codicils and amendments that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, parenthood status, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.

Appointing a guardian
Your will allows you to make decisions about the future care of your minor children. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or in the event that both parents die in a common incident. If you have not named a guardian for your children, the court appoints one, who may make parental decisions contrary to what you would have wanted. In your will, you can also make arrangements for the care of your pets, naming a guardian to take responsibility for them.

Creating an optimal estate plan
Drafting an effective estate plan requires more than filling in a form. If a court determines that your will is invalid, your desires will not be honored upon your death. The attorneys at Mayfield and Brooks, LLC meticulously draft your will and consider all aspects of your estate plan. We review your family arrangements, financial situation and philosophical goals to guide you in making the best estate planning decisions, and we draft your will accordingly.

Probate
Probate follows what is typically a painful emotional loss. The knowledgeable, meticulous probate attorneys at Mayfield and Brooks, LLC have 75 years of combined experience in probate law and know how to ease the stress of probate by guiding executors and beneficiaries through the complex process.

The process of probate
Most executors have rarely if ever probated a will and know little about the process. Mayfield and Brooks, LLC can guide you through all aspects of probate, including:

  • Filing the will with the Indiana probate court
  • Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously probating the estate
  • Finding and collecting assets
  • Closing and opening bank accounts
  • Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
  • Paying estate taxes
  • Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Hiring experts, when appropriate

Valuing and managing the estate
At Mayfield and Brooks, LLC, we assist executors and trustees with the arduous process of collecting, managing, valuing, protecting and liquidating the assets of the estate. We have a team of experts available to assist in every aspect of estate settlement. When appropriate, the firm calls upon accountants, financial advisors, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with executor duties. We can access expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectables for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.

Probate disputes
Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between beneficiaries. Our professional courtroom presence can calm the emotionally-charged process of probating a challenged will or disputed executor or judicial decision. When it is in the best interests of our client to preserve cordial familial relationships, we are adept at mediating these disputes. When necessary, we assertively defend our client’s beneficiary rights within the Indiana probate court.

Contact the thorough estate planning lawyers at Mayfield and Brooks, LLC
We proudly serve clients throughout Tippecanoe County. Call us at 765-423-5454 or contact us online.