Indianapolis probate lawyers can provide invaluable help with the probate process. Many people know that probate is necessary after someone passes away, but are not certain exactly what this process entails or how it will work in their situation. Coping with the legalities and technicalities of the probate process after a death can be difficult during a time of grief, so all those who are involved with the probate process should make certain they are represented by an experienced attorney who can provide assistance.
Frank & Kraft represents individuals who have been named executor of an estate, as executors have the most responsibility during the probate process. We also provide representation to heirs or beneficiaries who stand to inherit money or property during probate, and to individuals who wish to contest a will. To find out more about the way in which our firm can help you when you are going through probate, give us a call today. You can also check out these five key facts about the probate process so you’ll be more prepared for what to expect if someone you care about has died.
Probate Can Last a Long Time
According to Investopedia, the probate process can take around a year or two to complete. The specific length of time that the probate process takes will vary depending upon factors including the complexity of the estate and whether or not anyone comes forward to contest a will. However, it is a long process in almost all circumstances, simply because of the requirement to provide notice to interested parties and the fact that the process must work its way through the probate court system. Because the process takes so long, many people opt to work with an estate planning lawyer to transfer at least some of their assets outside probate so their loved ones won’t need to wait such a long time to inherit.
Probate Can be a Costly Process
Investopedia indicates that the cost of probate can reach around three to seven percent of the value of the estate. This can be a substantial amount of money, especially if an estate is a larger one. Making an estate plan transfer assets outside of probate can reduce these costs. An experienced attorney can also provide advice on streamlining the process and keeping costs reasonable.
The Executor is in Charge of Managing Assets During Probate
Typically, the deceased person (the decedent) will name someone in the last will and testament to serve as executor of an estate. However, the court actually must appoint an executor… which is usually the person who the decedent named. The executor of an estate has a fiduciary duty to manage the assets of the estate in an appropriate manner during the probate process.
Outside of managing assets, the executor of an estate also has many additional responsibilities during the probate process, including filing paperwork with the probate court. Anyone who is considering serving as an executor should talk with an experienced attorney to understand what is involved and to get help fulfilling his duty.
Creditors can Make Claims During Probate
Creditors have the opportunity to make claims on the estate during the probate process. This can reduce the amount of assets that are left behind for heirs or beneficiaries to inherit. In some cases, the state will try to recover Medicaid funds spent on nursing home care or spent on providing care at the end of a person’s life. The state will essentially act as a creditor if this happens.
A Will Can be Contested During Probate
There are circumstances where a will was created under conditions of fraud or duress or where there were other problems with a last will and testament, such as the will being created when the decedent was no longer of sound mind. If there is reason to believe there is a problem with the will and it’s not a true reflection of the wishes of the deceased, a successful will contest could result in the court deciding a will should not be probated.
Getting Help from Indianapolis Probate Lawyers
Frank & Kraft will provide guidance to all interested parties throughout the entirety of the probate process. Whatever your role, we can help you to understand your rights, fulfill your obligations and make the most compelling possible legal arguments. To find out more about the ways in which Indianapolis probate lawyers can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online to get personalized help with the probate process.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.