Wednesday, January 11, 2017

There's No Place Like Domicile

Domicile in Indiana is defined as ‘the place where a person has his true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment, and to which place he has, whenever he is absent, the intention of returning,” an information bulletin from the State of Indiana explains. “Domicile is not determined by the location of the person's body,” the bulletin adds, and “once established, a person's domicile is presumed to continue until the person's actions provide adequate evidence that, along with moving to another jurisdiction, the person intends to establish a domicile in the new residence.”

Each state has its own estate planning and eldercare laws, and each state has its own system of taxation. Indiana, for example, repealed its inheritance tax effective January 1, 2013. However, if you inherit assets from someone who lived in a state that does have an inheritance tax, you could be facing a tax bill from that state.

Probate in Indiana
Marion County has its own probate court, while other Indiana counties handle probate matters at the local county district or superior court.

What kinds of assets avoid probate and go directly to the co-owner or designated beneficiary?
  1. Bank or credit union accounts set up as POD (Payable on Death)
  2. Assets owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship
  3. Life insurance policies with designated beneficiaries
  4. Retirement plan accounts with named beneficiaries
  5. Property in revocable trusts

What kinds of assets DO have to go through probate in Indiana?
  1. Bank, credit union, and investment accounts held in the single name of the person who died
  2. Tangible assets such as clothes, jewelry, furniture and vehicles registered in single name of the person who has died
It’s become more and more common for people to cross state lines because of their work or family situations, and it’s quite common for people to own property in more than one state. Your domicile, however, is the state where you maintain your permanent residence and where you intend to return for prolonged periods.

When it comes to estate planning in Indiana, there’s no place like domicile!


- by Ronnie of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates

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