The probate process in the State of Indiana can be exceptionally complicated. Still, it is also an important element of ensuring that your loved one’s wishes (or the person who put his or her trust in you) are carefully carried out. Better understanding how the probate process unfolds can help. One of the most important first steps regarding settling an estate in Indiana is working closely with an experienced Indiana probate attorney.
The first matter to take care of on the path toward settling an estate in Indiana is establishing yourself as the estate’s executor. In order to accomplish this important primary task, you’ll need to take the decedent’s Last Will and Testament to court with jurisdiction over the matter – in the county where the decedent lived prior to death. In addition to presenting the will, you’ll also need to file a Petition for Probate. Once the court officially recognizes you as the executor of the estate, you’ll be provided with Letters of Probate, which will allow you the legal authority to manage your loved one’s estate, including both assets and debts.
In some instances, the administration of an estate is supervised by the probate court. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to compile a comprehensive inventory of the assets and debts of the estate that will be used to make important determinations regarding which assets have been appropriately titled to afford transfer outside the boundaries of probate and which are subject to the probate process. When supervision isn’t required, filing this inventory isn’t necessary.
Determining the value of specific assets is often a good idea in estate settlements. If, for example, three beneficiaries are meant to share the estate equally, it is important to know the estate’s actual value. This can be more or less complicated, depending upon the complexity and the specific assets included in the estate. All of the following tend to require more careful valuation:
In these situations, it’s often necessary to obtain professional valuations to help ensure that accurate values are assigned.
The next step in the process involves notifying the beneficiaries named in the estate and providing each with his or her own copy of the asset inventory. Further, you’ll need to publish (in a local newspaper) a formal creditor notice to help ensure that any creditors who choose to do so have three months to levy claims against the estate. Finally, you’ll need to take care of any pending taxes.
If you are an estate’s executor, it can feel like a lot, but the accomplished Indiana probate attorneys at Arshad, Pangere & Warring can help you get the job done effectively and efficiently while respecting the wishes of your loved one. We are on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.
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