Estate Planning Attorney in Fort Wayne, IN

You may have heard the horror story about a person who is estranged from a parent, sibling or spouse, only to end up having that person collect 100 percent of the inheritance. Is that you? If you don't take care of your Estate planning issues, Indiana law may determine what happens and this may be directly in conflict with what you actually wanted.

At Van Gilder & Trzynka, our Indiana wills and estates attorneys have helped individuals and families from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. We pride ourselves on being both affordable and effective in our approach to all legal issues, including wills and trust drafting. Andrew Simmons and David Van Gilder help individuals and families with their estate planning and probate administration needs.

Many people have a limited understanding of estate planning and administration. For your convenience, we offer the answers to some frequently asked questions.
An estate planing attorney in Fort Wayne, IN

Why Choose Our Indiana Wills and Trust Drafting Lawyers?

Our law firm excels in our hands-on approach to dealing with our clients. We explain each step as we go along. We listen to our clients' needs and concerns. We prepare and review all documents to protect our clients' best interests at all times. We act with honesty and integrity at all times.
Here are some estate planning and probate services that we provide:
  • Draft last wills and testaments, trusts, powers of attorney, child medical consent, health care directives and living wills;
  • Act as guardians for vulnerable adults, veterans, and for children or draft guardianship agreements for the same;
  • Draft succession agreements for family-owned businesses;
  • Litigation of disputed wills, trusts and other estate contests;
  • Act as probate administrator to settle an estate
We tailor estate plans to meet our clients' specific needs. When you come to our office, we will sit down with you to discuss your personal and financial situation. We will explain the estate planning options available and help you choose the type of document — will, trust, power of attorney, living will — that best fits your situation.

Call Our Toll-Free Number for Answers to Your Estate Planning Questions


Fort Wayne Indiana Estate Planning Attorneys - Protecting and Preserving Your Life's Work

Planning for your future is one of the most important things you can do. Although it may be impossible to predict what lies ahead, a well-constructed Estate Plan will give you certainty as to what may happen to you, and to your Estate.

Through the creation of a Will or Trust, you can assure that your property and assets are protected and preserved according to your exact specifications. At Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C., our Estate Planning attorneys have assisted individuals and families create affordable and effective plans that suit their unique circumstances.

Click here to print and complete our Estate Planning Questionnaire.

One of the most valuable gifts you can bestow upon your loved ones is a properly devised Estate Plan. To speak with one of our attorneys about how we can help you plan for your future, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Indiana Estate Planning Lawyer

We offer clients several estate planning tools to help develop a plan to best suit their needs and g
  • Wills
  • Living wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Directives
  • Guardianships
  • Succession agreements for family businesses.
It is crucial that you make arrangements for your health and medical decisions – do not leave these important decisions out of your control. By taking the time to thoroughly outline your wishes in a health care directive, you are providing your loved ones with a sense of security and peace of mind.

A recent change in Indiana law has important consequences for parents with minor children. In summary, even if you have chosen a Guardian for your children, it can take up to two months for your wishes to be put into action. For this reason, under the new law you must appoint an Interim Guardian to ensure your children are being cared for by whom you choose.

Please contact us so that we might explain your Estate Planning options, and help you develop a plan that works best for you. We'll work to explain your options as we work to ensure a future that is secure and protected. Call one of our Fort Wayne estate planning lawyers at 888-255-7910 to set up a consultation.
David Van Gilder has been practicing law since 1983. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and the College of Law, The American University.

Andrew Simmons has been practicing law since 2007. He is a graduate of Manchester College and Washington University in St.Louis School of Law.

If you have a question about creating an Estate using a Will or Trusts, or probating a Will of a loved one, please call our offices and ask for David, Andrew, or their assistant, Jessica.

Wills & Estates FAQs

Do I need a will?
A will is a written document expressing an individual's desire for controlling the transfer of their property after death. A will is recommended for several reasons. Besides providing for distribution of your property, a will allows for the following:
  • Choice of a personal representative to administer your estate.
  • Choice of a guardian for a minor in case of the death or disability of both parents.
  • Trust provisions to manage and provide income for survivors, typically minors.
  • Charitable provisions.
What happens if I die without a will?
If an individual dies without executing a will, the Indiana Intestacy statute is controlling. This statute provides surviving spouses, children, parents, and other family members with specific shares of your estate. Consult with a lawyer for the further explanation.
What happens if I die with a will?
A personal representative makes sure the wishes expressed in a will are properly carried out. Due to the nature of the duties listed below, the assistance of an attorney for a personal representative is generally required. The duties of a personal representative include the following:
  • Have the will probated with the court.
  • Marshal (gather together) the assets of the estate.
  • Establish the value of all assets as of the date of death and file an inventory with the court.
  • Handle claims against the estate.
  • File income tax returns for periods before and after death.
  • Prepare a final accounting covering the principal, income, and disbursements of the estate.
  • Distribute assets of the estate, including specific bequests.
What is a “living will”?
A living will, also known as advance directives, is a written document providing instructions for an individual's care in the event of a terminal illness or “persistent vegetative state”. It allows adults (ages 18 and over) to execute written instructions regarding whether to withhold or maintain life-prolonging procedures such as artificial nutrition or hydration. A copy of the living will is provided to the individual's primary physician and with a health care representative or family member who was given authority to make health care decisions.
How often do I need to update my will?
Once properly executed, a will does not expire. However, it is recommended that wills be updated after life-changing events such as marriage, divorce, having a child, or adoption.

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The materials and information on this web site are made available by Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of information on the web site do not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. This includes, but is not limited to, using the link on this web site to solicit information from Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C. Persons accessing the information on this web site should not act upon the information provided without seeking professional legal counsel.
Has a loved one died without a will? Are you facing end-of-life issues? Would you like to make sure your assets go where you would like them to go? If so, please give us a call to discuss your legal need with one of our Fort Wayne estate planning lawyers. We have offices in Fort Wayne and New Haven, Indiana. Call 888-255-7910 to speak to an estate planning attorney, or e-mail our law firm to schedule an initial consultation.

Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C., represents clients throughout Fort Wayne, Indiana, and in the cities of New Haven, Huntington, Bluffton, Auburn, Angola, Columbia City, Kendallville, Albion, Churubusco, Huntertown, Woodburn, Ossian, Butler and Ligonier, as well as individuals in the communities of Allen County, Whitley County, DeKalb County, Adams County, Wells County, Noble County, Huntington County, Steuben County and LaGrange County, Indiana.