Sara and Stasia Demos Mills (www.demosmillslaw.com) sit down once again for our fourth and final video in our estate planning series. In this video we discuss what to do with an estate plan if you have one. We give suggestions on where to keep it (safe deposit box, lock box, or, the freezer?! - maybe not that last one) and who to share it with. Finally, we discuss the importance of reviewing and updating beneficiary designations on things such as life insurance policies and retirement benefits.
Thanks for watching and as always, let us know if you have questions!
Stasia Demos Mills (www.demosmillslaw.com) and I are back for the third installment in our video series: Why can't I just download a will from the internet? In this video we discuss why we advise people not to just download a will from the internet. We explain that the value you get coming to an attorney is not just a stack of documents, but it's the relationship you build with us. We want to get to know you and understand your unique situation so we can custom-tailor an estate plan to match your exact situation. We also want to create a long-term relationship with you and your family so that if you have a question in one, three, or five years, you can call us and we can easily step in to help. Another huge advantage of having an attorney is the fact that we are held accountable to you through our professional liability. Non-law firms that provide estate planning documents have no accountability and really, no incentive to do a good job.
Estate planning is probably more affordable than you think! Visit our estate planning page to learn more about our services.
Stasia (www.demosmillslaw.com) and Sara are back for our second video episode! We find that most of our clients come to us when they have young children because they want to do their best to protect and provide for them. In this video we try to answer parents' most frequently asked questions: how does a guardianship work for my client? What is a trust and why is it important? What document do I need in place?
As always, remember that we are not giving legal advice! If you want to ask specific questions about YOUR unique situation please contact us to set up an appointment!
Sara is currently offering free 30-minute consultations and you can schedule them yourself right here: https://calendly.com/onlineestateplanning/30min
Sara recently spoke to CBS4 reporter Jill Glaven about estate planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the interview, Jill and Sara talk about why you should have an estate plan and how it can help if you get sick. They also talk about the recent estate planning rules that make it possible to prepare an execute estate planning documents remotely. You can watch the news segment below.
Sara sat down with veteran estate planning attorney Stasia Demos Mills to discuss estate planning basics. We will be publishing a series of videos and the first one is now available. In this video we discuss what the phrase "estate plan" actually means, the documents a basic estate plan includes, and how these documents are important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Bennett & McClammer continues to be open. We are all working from home but are still answering our phones and emails!
Our Modern Estate Plans allows our clients to prepare their estate plans without leaving their homes: our initial consultation is done through a telephonic or video conference and we provide your drafts through our secure online client portal. However, Indiana law still requires the execution of documents to be in person.
To that end, we have created estate plan execution protocols in order to accommodate clients who want to execute their estate plans during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor's Stay-At-Home Order. Note that legal services are deemed essential under the Governor's Order, but we still encourage you to consider waiting until the pandemic is over to execute your estate plan.e
Note that recommendations change daily. We are staying on top of all updates and will adjust our protocols accordingly.
Here are our current procedures for our estate plan execution meetings:
As always, contact us if you have any questions.
Administrative Assistant Position (Full Time)
Bennett & McClammer is seeking a full-time administrative assistant. Bennett & McClammer is a two-attorney law firm in downtown Indianapolis with a focus on estate planning and adult guardianship matters. Bennett & McClammer is seeking a full-time administrative assistant to directly support the attorneys and paralegal in answering the phone, organizing client files, data entry, e-filing, and other administrative duties.
The ideal candidate will be able to work in a team environment, work independently, have a desire to serve the elder population, and have an entrepreneurial spirit. The administrative assistant will work with two attorneys and one paralegal in a small, collegial environment.
The general duties of the administrative assistant include:
The candidate must possess the following skills:
Please send your resume, cover letter, and references to Sara McClammer at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will conduct interviews on a rolling basis. Every applicant will receive a response from us.
Thank you for applying.
Bennett & McClammer LLP
120 E Market Street, Suite 1150
Indianapolis, IN 46204
This article from the Indiana Lawyer, while a bit pessimistic, also makes an excellent point: good lawyers should always advise their clients on all options. It is true that some guardianships could be avoided if lesser restrictive options were presented. However, these less restrictive measures - such as a power of attorney or limited guardianship - are not always practical. Institutions such as banks and health care providers might not speak with a guardian who only has very limited powers. And what if an emergency arises and the protected person needs assistance but that emergency was not contemplated in the limited guardianship and the guardian is powerless to act? Unfortunately, these limitations are systematic and cannot be fixed overnight.
So yes, a client should be given a variety of options when a family member or loved one needs additional assistance. But attorneys also need to explain the pros and cons of each option.
Additionally, if a plenary guardianship is established, the attorney should act as a support system for their client by providing advice and guidance on how to properly carry out the duties of a guardianship. For example, the attorney can counsel the guardian on how to allow the protected person to make their own decisions to the extent that they are able. Attorneys should also give guidance on how to manage assets and communicate with other family members.
In short, a guardianship can be a valuable tool to assist an incapacitated adult, but guardians need training and support in order to carry out their duties in an effective manner.
Researchers have been studying the genes of individuals who stay healthy as they age. While they have yet to find the silver bullet gene, their findings suggest that individuals who do not experience cognitive decline stay healthier, longer. You can read more about the results here.
Join Ken Bennett and Sara McClammer for the Center For At-Risk Elder's Advanced Guardianship Law and Practice on May 6, 2015. Topics include the legal and ethical concepts of surrogate decision-making, the legal mechanics of guardianship, and guiding the guardian in the performance of their duties. The program is eligible for 6 CLE credits, including 1.5 ethics credits (ethics credits pending). You can learn more and register here.
Helping busy families plan for their future through our Modern Estate Plan.
Bennett & McClammer LLP
5366 Winthrop Ave.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46220
Copyright 2014 Bennett & McClammer LLP.
All rights reserved. The photos, images, and service marks on this website are protected under the copyright laws of the United States and may not be copied or reproduced without the express written permission of Bennett & McClammer LLP. Nothing contained in this website should be considered legal advice. Every case is different and you should consult with an attorney before relying upon any information contained on this website.