When a loved one dies, their estate may need to enter probate. This is especially true if they did not have a trust or will in place before their death. As a beneficiary, it is critical that you understand the probate process and everything it entails. There are specific Indiana probate laws that may affect the estate. Fortunately, an experienced Indiana estate planning attorney can help you through this difficult time and the probate process.
Indiana Probate Laws
Going through probate in Indiana is not a guarantee. An estate worth less than $50,000 will not need to go through probate. Likewise, if your loved one planned ahead and had a living revocable trust in place, all the assets will transfer to named beneficiaries without the need to go through lengthy probate.
When a loved one passes away in Indiana without a trust, the estate must go through one of three administration processes:
- Supervised. This process requires court approval before administrators distribute or sell the property. This is typically used when the estate is bankrupt or when there are will disputes.
- Unsupervised. This process works well when beneficiaries agree and the will doesn’t require supervision. This is a simpler and cheaper option.
- Small Estates. Estates worth less than $50,000 will go through this process. This requires the family to produce a court affidavit before transferring assets.
In Indiana, most assets will go through the probate process. This includes homes, property, investments, and tangible items. However, some items are exempt from probate entirely. These items include:
- Bank and credit union accounts with a beneficiary
- Homes or land jointly owned
- Life insurance policies with named beneficiaries
- Property in a revocable trust
Will I Have to Pay Taxes After Probate?
Indiana’s beneficiaries often ask this question when they receive an inheritance. Fortunately, Indiana probate laws no longer include an inheritance tax. The state abolished this tax in 2013. However, there are some taxes you need to pay if you are the personal representative of the estate. This includes the following:
- The deceased’s final tax return
- Estate income tax
- Property taxes owed
How Long Does Probate Take in Indiana?
Every estate is different, and every probate process is unique. However, in general, most estates in Indiana take between six and twelve months to close. If beneficiaries dispute the estate or if there are claims against the estate, it can take even longer to process.
An experienced and skilled Indiana probate attorney can help you through the process, no matter how long it takes.
Speak With an Indiana Probate Lawyer at Rice & Rice
If you have questions about the probate process or estate planning, it is important to speak to one of our lawyers immediately. With more than 75 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Rice & Rice know what it takes to administer an estate and fight disputes. We know the probate laws in Indiana, and we use this knowledge to help our clients at every step.