People sometimes harbor misconceptions about last wills. It can seem as though the executor or personal representative that you name in the will can distribute inheritances quickly and easily after your passing when you state your final wishes in a last will.
In reality, this is not the way that it works. The executor would be forced to admit the last will to probate, and the court would oversee the administration of the estate.
We should point out the fact that a very small estate could potentially be administered free of the full probate process. If the property that comprises the estate does not exceed $50,000 in value, the property could potentially be transferred through the utilization of a simple affidavit.
There is also a simplified probate process that could potentially be utilized if the estate is valued at $50,000 or less. If the value of the estate exceeds this amount, the full probate process would be necessary.
During probate the court would determine the validity of the last will. Arguments could be presented during probate if anyone wanted to contest the will.
Creditors must be notified so that final debts can be paid, and this would include final taxes. The executor will handle these tasks, and ultimately, the assets will be prepared for distribution to the heirs that are named in the will. This can involve property appraisals and liquidation.
Ultimately, the executor will distribute assets to the heirs after the court closes the estate. If things go smoothly and there are no particular complications, the process will generally run its course in around nine months to a year.
This can be a relatively long time to wait for an inheritance. If you want to facilitate more timely asset transfers, you could use a revocable living trust as a vehicle of asset transfer instead of a will. The trustee that you name in the document would be empowered to distribute assets in the trust to the beneficiaries after your passing outside of probate.
A revocable living trust can be an option if you want to facilitate asset transfers outside of probate, but there are other probate avoidance strategies that can be implemented.
Free Report on Estate Administration
We have prepared an in-depth report on estate administration that you should definitely read if you want to leave behind a turnkey situation for your loved ones after you are gone. This report is free, and you can visit this page to access your copy: Estate Administration Report.
Take Direct Action
If you have questions about last wills, probate, trusts, and estate administration, we can provide you with answers. Our firm offers free consultations, and you can send us a message through our contact page to set up an appointment: Indianapolis IN Estate Planning Attorneys.
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.