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indiana probate lawyers

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If you have had a loved one pass away recently, you may be wondering what happens next. Although probate may be the furthest thing from your mind now, it is a process that you will eventually have to undertake.

Indiana law makes provision for what happens to the property that a decedent leaves behind after their death. This property, also known as the decedent’s estate, is expected to be disposed of in accordance with the Indiana probate laws.

This probate process can be time-consuming though. In Indiana, the process takes between 6 months to 1 year, depending on the size of the estate. However, there may also be instances where it will not be necessary to go through the probate process. Your Indiana Probate Lawyer will be able to advise you of these instances. We’ll look at some of these instances as well as what constitutes the probate process below.


What Is Probate?

Probate refers to the process through which the assets of a decedent are gathered, their debts paid and the residue transferred to their survivors. The process is usually court-supervised and is generally overseen by the decedent’s personal representative.

The probate process is designed to ensure two things. First, it is meant to ensure that the wishes of the decedent are complied with. If the decedent has specified who they would like to inherit their assets, these wishes will be carried out through the process.

Second, the probate laws ensure that the decedent’s assets can pass in an orderly manner. It is not unheard of for families to engage in long-drawn battles over an inheritance. The probate process makes sure the inheritance process is civil and orderly.

Probate may proceed differently depending on whether the decedent leaves a will or not. If the decedent leaves a will, it will first have to be certified valid by the Indiana courts. To be found valid, it must be handwritten or printed and should be signed by the decedent along with two witnesses. Once it is found valid, the wishes of the decedent can then be followed.

If the decedent did not leave a will, the estate will be subject to the administration laws. This means that the estate will be inherited based on the percentages and rules provided under the law.

When Is Probate Unnecessary?

Certain types of assets do not have to go through the Indiana probate process. For instance, the following assets are exempt:

  • Payable-on-death bank and brokerage accounts
  • Community property with a right of survivorship
  • Property owned in joint tenancy
  • Property held in a living trust
  • Life insurance proceeds that specify a beneficiary
  • Retirement accounts that designate a beneficiary

Meet Our Attorneys

For over 27 years, our attorneys have proudly served communities throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Rosalyn A. Carothers

Attorney

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Scott Tripplet

Esquire

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“Roz and her team were a pleasure to work with. They did a great job explaining legal jargon in a way I could understand. I felt that they worked efficiently all the while taking the time necessary to answer all my questions. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for quality service at an excellent value.”

Leslie

“For the past 17 years, Roz has handled the estate planning for our extended family. Her expertise, thoughtfulness and guidance has been most appreciated. I recommend her to all my friends and other family members.”

Sharon

“Estate planning with Triplett & Carothers was a great experience. I looked at using some of the online legal services, but after speaking with Ms. Carothers about my situation, I realized a professional attorney was the right route to go versus standardized online legal forms. Ms. Carothers was very flexible and professional...”

Scott

“Thank you, Rosalyn, for making this a simple and efficient experience. You were extremely thorough, and answered every question and scenario we presented to you. We will highly recommend you to friends and family.”

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we simplify the complexities of indiana probate

The death of a loved one can be overwhelming. People often wonder what the next step is, and the one after that, as well. Our Indiana probate lawyers can guide you through the probate process.

Who is a Personal Representative?

By law, somebody must be in charge of gathering the decedent’s estate, settling debts and transferring the property to those that should inherit. This person is usually referred to as the personal representative of the decedent.

This personal representative may be further referred to as an executor or administrator depending on whether the decedent left a will. Where a will exists, the person named in the will as executor will perform the role of the personal representative. This role consists of carrying out the wishes of the decedent and settling debts.

If the decedent died without a will, one of their survivors may apply to be appointed as administrator of the decedent’s estate. The person appointed will ensure that those legally entitled to inherit the decedent do so and that all debts are settled.

The Probate Process in Indiana

The Indiana probate process may take any one of three forms. It may be supervised, unsupervised or administered as a small estate.

  • Supervised administration: When this process is opted for, the court would ordinarily weigh in heavily on the probate process. The personal representative will be required to file an inventory of estate assets with the court and obtain permission before dealing with the assets. A detailed accounting must also be provided and this must show the estate’s income and expenditure. Due to the stress involved, this process is only ever a good option when the will is not clear, beneficiaries are fighting or the estate contains difficult assets.
  • Unsupervised administration: This process will be allowed where the estate has more assets than debts and there are no disputes over the validity of the will. The process is much simpler, as the personal representative will only have to prepare an inventory of the assets within 60 days of being appointed. This does not have to be filed with the court although they must file a closing statement of the estate.
  • Small estates: If the total assets of the estate are worth no more than $50,000, the estate may be administered as a small estate. This could be by virtue of the simplified probate process or an affidavit process. By the affidavit process, the property may be distributed without the involvement of the court so long as each inheritor prepares an affidavit. This shows why they are entitled to certain assets.

“The death of a loved one can be a very difficult & overwhelming. Our experienced Indiana probate lawyers are here to help you through the often complex probate process.”

We Can Help You Through the Probate Process

Although the Indiana probate process is often complicated, it becomes much easier when you have reliable probate lawyers working with you. At Rozlaw, our Indiana probate lawyers have decades of experience advising clients like you on how to go about the probate process. Contact us today for a full understanding of how we can help.