Probate and Trust Administration

Indianapolis Probate Administration Attorney

Probate Administration Process

Probate administration is the legal process in which the court determines the validity of a decedent's will, or determines who the decedent's legal heirs are if there is no will. The beneficiaries of the estate are designated by the deceased in a will; if there is no will, the heirs are designated by Indiana law. Probate proceedings are governed by the law of the state where the deceased person maintained legal residence at the time of death as well as by the probate law of any other state where the deceased owned property at the time of death.

Probate Administration Proceedings

The probate administration proceeding is handled by the probate court in the county of the deceased's residence. It involves the appointment of a personal representative, who, after payment of the deceased's debts, taxes and administrative expenses, distributes the deceased's property to the heirs or beneficiaries. Since probate is a court proceeding, it is always public.

Probate in Indiana

In Indiana, probate is a straightforward proceeding which takes six to nine months to complete, assuming no problems arise, such as an audit of a federal estate tax return. Probate is only necessary if a person dies with property titled in his or her name that exceeds $50,000 in equity value.

When Probate is Needed

Not all estates need to be probated. The need for probate is not determined by whether or not the decedent had a will. It is determined by the type of property the decedent owned at the time of death and how that property was held. Probate is not necessary for assets held as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship" or assets governed by a contractual designation of beneficiary such as a life insurance policy or a 401(k) plan. Small estates may be handled by means of a special affidavit.

Attorney Assistance during the Probate and Estate Administration Process

Understanding the probate and estate administration process can be a daunting task during the difficult time of losing a loved one. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through the probate process and ensure the estate is administered properly. Indianapolis attorney, R.J. Schoettle has the probate and estate administration experience necessary to assist you during this difficult time.

Probate and Estate Administration Attorney Consultation

For a lawyer consultation regarding the probate and estate administration process, contact Indianapolis attorney, R.J. Schoettle at (317) 374-7918 or complete the attorney contact form. By working from his home office on the southside of Indianapolis, lawyer R.J. Schoettle maintains affordable attorney rates and flexible appointments.

R.J. Schoettle is certified in Indiana as an Estate Planning and Administration Specialist by the Estate Planning and Administration Specialty Certification Board.

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