Indiana Probate | Inheritance Advances in Indiana

Probate Process In Indiana

The Indiana probate process serves a vital purpose. When a resident of Indiana dies, the Indiana probate courts oversee the distribution of all assets and belongings left behind. They first appoint a representative to be in charge of the estate, collect and itemize all assets and monetary accounts, pay all outstanding debts and determine the validity of any existing wills. Finally, after correctly completing all other steps, the court will authorize the distribution of inheritance funds to the rightful heirs.

Is Probate Required in Indiana?

Any estate worth more than $50,000 is subject to probate in Indiana. Estates worth less than $50,000 transfer ownership to heirs through the small estate administration with a written statement proving entitlement to the assets.

How Do You Avoid Probate in Indiana?

If your relative has a living revocable trust and you are a named beneficiary, you can avoid probate in Indiana.

An individual can also name a beneficiary for assets or establish a transfer on death (TOD) arrangement to ensure their heirs receive their inheritance without probate. Some examples of assets compatible with transfer on death designations include:

  • Insurance policies.
  • Retirement plans with a beneficiary.
  • Payable on death bank accounts.
  • Vehicles with a transfer on death form.

How Long Does Probate Take in Indiana?

The exact timeline for the Indiana probate process will vary depending on how large your estate is and the case’s complexity. Generally, your case will take at least six months to a year before closing and receiving your inheritance. If there are disputes, a claim against the estate or other delays, your probate case may take longer to close.

How Long Do You Have to File Probate After Death in Indiana?

Whoever has possession of the will at the time of the deceased’s death must present the will to the court before the probate process begins. The individual must submit the will within a reasonable time, or they may receive a court order to do so by a personal representative. Smaller estates must wait 45 days to file the affidavit or written statement authorizing a claim to assets, allowing the same amount of time for filing the will.

What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will in Indiana?

If an individual dies without a will in Indiana, their estate enters intestate succession. Intestate succession means that the state will split the property of the decedent, or the person who has died, into real and personal property. Real property includes homes and land, while personal property refers to items such as cars or jewelry. Since interstate heirs can be spouses, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins, relatives will inherit varying percentages of the decedent’s property.

Does Indiana Have an Inheritance or Estate Tax?

Indiana does not place a tax on inheritances or estates. However, it is essential to file the deceased’s final federal and state income tax returns and their federal estate and trust income tax return.

You will also need to complete and file a federal estate tax return for the deceased. Note that this requirement is separate from the federal estate income tax return. Estate tax returns are due nine months after the individual dies, but a six-month extension is available if you request it before the nine-month period is over.

Spouses in Indiana Inheritance Law

The amount of the intestate decedent’s estate a spouse will receive varies depending on who survives the decedent. For example, if the deceased and the spouse have a child or grandchild, they will receive half of the estate, and the spouse will receive the other half.

For decedents who had a child with an ex-partner, the current spouse will only receive half of the personal property assets and one-quarter of the real property assets while the child receives the remaining assets.

If the deceased had no children but living parents, the spouse will receive three-quarters of the estate, with the parents receiving the remaining quarter.

Spouses that have left the deceased or were engaged in infidelity at the time of the decedent’s death can lose all rights to the inheritance.

Delays to Your Inheritance in Indiana

The key problem with the Indiana probate process is that it takes an extremely long time from start to finish. During the Indiana probate process, heirs are not able to access the money their loved one wanted them to have. To make matters worse, the average estate in the US takes a full year and a half to finally distribute the inheritance money to the heirs. This fact is shocking to most heirs in Indiana and elsewhere who are understandably new to the process. Having a rightful inheritance blocked for years by a legal process can prove very frustrating.

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