Do I need to pay estate or inheritance tax in Indiana?

Indiana repealed its inheritance tax effective January 1, 2013. Any inheritance tax liabilities stemming from deaths that occurred before that date are still enforceable but any deaths after this date are not subject to inheritance tax. As for federal estate tax, it only applies if your estate exceeds a specific exemption amount set by federal law, which changes periodically.

How can I avoid probate in Indiana?

Several methods can help avoid or minimize probate in Indiana, including setting up payable-on-death accounts, establishing joint ownership of property, using a living trust, and gifting assets while you’re alive. It’s essential to consult with an estate planning attorney to determine the best strategies for your specific situation.

Can I establish a living will or healthcare directive in Indiana?

Yes, Indiana allows individuals to create a living will or healthcare directive, which provides instructions about medical treatment preferences should you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes. This document can specify treatments you do or do not want and can also appoint a health care representative to make decisions on your behalf.

What happens if I die without a will in Indiana?

If you die intestate (without a will) in Indiana, your assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws. Typically, your closest relatives, like your spouse and children, will inherit first. If you have no immediate family, extended relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins might inherit your assets.

Do I need a will in Indiana?

While it’s not legally required to have a will in Indiana, having one ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes upon your death. Without a will, your assets will be distributed based on Indiana’s intestacy laws, which might not align with your preferences.

Will I receive or have to pay alimony or spousal support?

In Indiana, what’s often referred to as “alimony” in other states is called “spousal maintenance.” Indiana courts may award spousal maintenance under certain conditions, such as if one spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated or if one spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for their needs. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance depend on several factors, including the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, the time necessary to acquire adequate education or training, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

How is child custody determined in Indiana?

Child custody decisions in Indiana are based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider several factors, including the age and sex of the child, the wishes of the child’s parent(s), the child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community, and the mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

How is property divided during a divorce in Indiana?

Indiana follows an “equitable distribution” approach, which doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Instead, the court divides marital assets in a manner that it considers fair and equitable, considering various factors, including each spouse’s contribution to the marital property, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and the conduct of the parties during the marriage.

Is Indiana a no-fault divorce state?

Yes, Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither party needs to prove wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse to get a divorce. The most common ground for divorce is an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage, meaning the couple can’t get along, and there’s no reasonable hope for reconciliation.

How long does a criminal conviction stay on my record in Indiana?

Convictions can remain on your record indefinitely. However, under certain conditions, you might be eligible for expungement, which can seal or remove the conviction from your record. It’s best to consult with an attorney about this process.