Column: Three tips for protecting your estate in an economic downturn


Commentary by Lisa Dillman

The current economic landscape has rattled the confidence of all of us. Though the future can seem uncertain, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success and protect your estate from long-term consequences.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few tips for protecting your estate in times of uncertainty:

Prioritize a thorough estate and asset protection plan: People often think of estate planning as a luxury, not a necessity, during economic downturns, but the opposite couldn’t be truer. Investing in an estate plan ensures you, your beneficiaries and your assets are safeguarded during turbulent times and is a small price to pay to protect your nest egg.

Review your investment strategy: Now is a good time to sit down with your financial advisor and review your portfolio. How do you hold your wealth? Whether it is in cash, real estate, stocks or bonds – evaluate your assets and determine if any tweaks or changes need to be made.

Consider tax liability: During periods of inflation, real estate often sees a price increase. If you own real estate, this increase in value could expose your beneficiaries to future tax liability. There are ways to avoid this liability with vehicles like irrevocable trusts and charitable trusts. For example, assets held in an irrevocable trust generally become exempt from the grantor’s taxable estate. If real estate is part of your portfolio, consider these tools for reducing tax liability.

If you’re overwhelmed or feeling unsure, we encourage you to turn to your key advisors, such as your attorney, financial planner, and accountant, to review and discuss your estate plan.By planning in advance, you and your family have more options, control and peace of mind.

Lisa Dillman is an attorney at Applegate & Dillman Elder Law. The firm has offices in Indianapolis, Carmel and Zionsville. Find out more and schedule your free consultation at or call 317-492-9569.