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Indianapolis, Indiana Legal Blog

Getting divorced? Don't forget your estate plan

If you are in the process of getting a divorce in Indiana, you may feel overwhelmed at the number of things you must take care of. Certainly, a divorce touches every aspect of your life. One thing you should give some attention to during this process is your estate plan. Some elements of an estate plan may be able to be changed as soon as you separate but others may have to wait until your divorce is finalized.

Forbes explains that the pitfalls of not updating your estate plan include your former spouse inheriting all of your assets after you die. Another potential scenario is that your spouse could become responsible for making financial or health care decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so for yourself. This could happen even if you do not have a formalized estate plan if you become disabled and unable to communicate after an accident before you are legally divorced. 

What to include in an employment contract

As someone who makes important hiring decisions at your Indiana place of business, you may find it advantageous to create a carefully worded employment contract to protect you and your business’s interests anytime you hire someone for a senior position. While employment contracts can serve any number of different purposes, the main goal in crafting yours should be to protect your business in the event that the relationship between you and this new hire ultimately turns sour. At Dale & Eke, we understand that strong employment contracts can help you secure and retain prime talent, and we have helped many people with similar interests design and implement solutions that meet their needs.

According to Inc., while your employment contract needs will vary to some degree based on the specifics of your business, there are a number of critical elements that any strong employment contract should have. First, it should clearly outline what you and other senior executives expect out of this person in terms of job duties and performance, and it should also clearly dictate when and how he or she will receive compensation.

Types of commercial leases

There may be a number of retail spaces available for lease in the area of Indiana where an entrepreneur wants to open a business. A major factor in choosing the right one is what kind of commercial lease the landlord offers. 

Per FindLaw, a net lease typically has the tenant paying for some of the building's operating expenses as well as the monthly rent. These expenses reflect the actual amount rather than an estimate, so when the cost to the landlord goes up, that is passed on to the tenant. A double net lease usually includes taxes and insurance as well as utilities and other expenses. A triple net lease will probably require the tenant to pay for maintenance and repairs as well.

Before you name a guardian for your child in your will

You probably resist the thought of someone else raising your child. However, if you do not name someone to take over for you if the worst happens, a judge may decide where your child will live. We at the law office of Dale & Eke often counsel parents on how to choose the right guardian for their child.

Forbes suggests that you consider several factors before you begin making the list of candidates for guardianship. For example, is a religious upbringing one of your primary concerns? Will the person you choose encourage your child to pursue a higher education? What values and character qualities are important for the guardian to model for your child? Perhaps most importantly of all, you want to find someone who will love and cherish your child.

5 types of business structure

The type of business structure defines many things about a company in Indiana. The IRS lists five main business forms: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation and limited liability company.

One of the major factors determined by these structures is how the entity will pay taxes, and how much it will pay, but there are other significant differences, too. The U.S. Small Business Administration explains that these include paperwork, capital and liability, among others.

Is a special needs trust right for your family?

When you are considering your estate planning options, you may have a pretty good idea how you want to leave your assets to the next generation. If you have a disabled loved one, however, you might be wondering how you can show your care and support of that person without jeopardizing the government benefits they depend on. Luckily, there is an estate planning tool for that: the special needs trust.


What is included in a real estate purchase agreement?

When you buy a home in Indiana, you will sign a real estate purchase agreement. This legally binding contract will have several provisions in it.

According to, it is crucial for you to read and understand the terms of the purchase agreement to prevent any unwelcome surprises down the road.

Is the new tax law chilling charitable donations?

The hard, cold figures won’t be available until tax deadline day in April, but changes made by Republicans to the federal tax law will likely result in fewer donations to charities.

Donations from individuals make up about 75 percent of all the donations received by U.S. charities. Until this year, about 30 percent of tax filers itemized their deductions to include charitable donations.

Intestate succession explained

Having worked hard throughout their lives, Indianapolis residents no doubt hope that their loved one's will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. When the time comes for a person's accumulated assets to be distributed to their heirs, they no doubt hope to have a say in who might get what. That only comes through estate planning, which should include the preparation of detailed will and testament. Most want to able to one's to control their estate's dispersal, yet few have actually taken the steps needed to ensure it. Indeed, according to poll information shared by Gallup, just over 40 percent of American adults actually have a will. 

How is an estate handled when one dies with a will? State's have established their own processes for intestate succession ("intestate" is the legal term applied to a case where one dies without a will). Indiana's intestate succession guidelines can be found in Section 29-1-2-1 of the state's Probate Code. Here, it states that the surviving spouse of one who dies without a will receive their entire estate if they have no surviving issue (direct descendants) or parents. If the decedent does leave behind issue (that it also the issue of the surviving spouse), then the surviving spouse's share of the estate is reduced to 50 percent, while the remaining amount is distributed equally amongst the surviving issue. If the surviving issue of the decedent is not the issue of the surviving spouse, then the surviving spouse is entitled to 25 percent of the value of the decedent's property (minus any liens or encumbrances against it). 

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