When your Will is submitted for probate, any interested party has the right to contest the validity of the Will. Contrary to what many people believe, a Will cannot be contested simply because the contestant is unhappy with the inheritance left to them (or lack thereof). To be successful, a contestant must prove one of a select few legal reasons why a Will can be declared invalid in Indiana. The Executor of the Will is responsible for defending the Will during the litigation. If the contestant … [Read more...] about What does it mean if someone contests my Will?
When he/she learns of you death, the individual you appointed as your Executor should begin the probate process. This requires him/her to submit your original Will along with a certified copy of your death certificate and a petition to the appropriate court for probate. Eventually, the terms of your Will dictate how any remaining estate assets are distributed at the end of the probate process. … [Read more...] about What happens to my Will after my death?
People frequently make the mistake of thinking they can save time and money by using a “DIY” Will form they found on the internet. Unfortunately, you are more likely to cost your loved ones unnecessary time and money when it comes time to probate your estate by using these forms. DIY Will forms are notorious for having mistakes, errors, and omissions that lead to protracted litigation during the probate of an estate. That litigation delays the distribution of estate assets and diminishes the … [Read more...] about Can I just use a DIY Will form I found on the internet?
If you die without a valid Will in place you will be said to have died “intestate.” In that case, the State of Indiana decides how your estate assets are distributed using the Indiana intestate succession laws. Typically, this means that only close relatives will inherit from your estate. Close friends, a favorite niece or nephew, or a charity/church that is near to your heart won’t receive anything. … [Read more...] about What happens if die without a Will?
The value of your estate does not determine the need for a Will. While your overall estate plan may grow as your estate grows, you do not need to own valuable assets to benefit from executing a Will. After all, you undoubtedly care what happens to the assets you do own right now even if they are not extremely valuable. Likewise, you probably care who handles the probate of your estate and you certainly have an opinion with regard to who should be appointed as your children’s guardian, if … [Read more...] about Do I really need a Will if I only have a modest estate?
No – you are not too young. The truth is that every adult, regardless of age, should have a Will. You can always update your Will and add to your estate plan when you are older and have a family and/or a larger estate; however, you are never too young to have a basic Will in place. … [Read more...] about I’m too young to worry about a Will aren’t I?
It is tempting to appoint a spouse, friend, or family member as the Executor of your Will because you undoubtedly trust them to have your best interests at heart. While that may be true, you should take the time to consider if that individual is really the best person for the job. The Executor of a Will has a number of duties and responsibilities, many of which are best carried out by someone with a legal and/or financial background. In addition, someone extremely close to you will be grieving … [Read more...] about Who should I appoint as my Executor?
Most people are at least familiar with the concept of a Last Will and Testament. A Will is a legal document that is used to express the Testator’s (creator’s) wishes with regard to his/her estate assets and what should be done with them upon the Testator’s death. Gifts made in a Will may be general or specific. An example of a general gift would be gifting “half of my estate to my daughter.” Gifting “my toy car collection to my daughter” is an example of a specific bequest. Along with making … [Read more...] about What is a Last Will and Testament?