What is the “right time” to consider creating an estate plan and a will? Estate planning may elicit uncomfortable emotions. Contemplating your mortality is not an easy endeavor. However, providing a plan that clearly expresses your wishes after death is essential to your present peace of mind and your loved ones’ future well-being.
Familiarizing yourself with Indiana laws pertaining to wills, probate and trusts may enable you to assess your options for your estate planning.
Probate laws in Indiana
When an Indiana resident dies without a will or estate plan, the deceased resident’s assets automatically enter into probate.
Probate is a court proceeding that determines the transfer of the assets of a deceased person.
The probate court will allocate the decedent’s assets according to Indiana estate distribution laws. The laws specify a hierarchy of eligible beneficiaries and the amounts of the inheritance the beneficiaries may receive. Beneficiaries may challenge the asset distribution. Probate may be an expensive, time-consuming process.
Bypassing probate in Indiana with an estate plan
An estate plan can enable the division of your assets without probate. A plan which may not require the probate process can include:
- A will
- A living trust
- Joint tenancy arrangements
- Beneficiary designations
- transfer-on-death deeds
The immediate benefit of estate planning for you may be the comfort of ensuring that your family need not struggle with complex court proceedings while dealing with grief. Providing for the administration of your estate is one of the greatest gifts you can leave to your loved ones.