In the city of Indianapolis, your estate must be probated before the heirs will receive their inheritances (assuming the probate assets in question exceed $50,000 in value). Probate is a legal process, and it takes place under the supervision of the probate court.
During probate in Indianapolis IN, the executor or the personal representative will administer the estate. While this process is underway anyone who wanted to contest the will could present arguments before the probate court.
Assuming there were no challenges the executor or personal representative would go about conducting the business of the estate during probate. This would involve preparing the assets for distribution to the heirs.
Probate can be rather time-consuming, and once again, no inheritances will be distributed until this process has run its course. If the heirs to the estate do not really need the money this may be nothing more than a temporary inconvenience.
However, in some cases immediate liquidity is necessary, and under these circumstances probate could present a problem.
There are also considerable costs that can pile up during the probate process.
Can Probate in Indianapolis IN Be Avoided?
When you hear about these pitfalls that go along with the probate process you may wonder if probate can be avoided. The answer is yes, you can implement probate avoidance strategies. The logical way to go about it would be with the assistance of a licensed Indianapolis estate planning attorney.
One way that probate is often avoided is through the creation of a revocable living trust. Contrary to popular belief, these trusts are useful for people who aren’t necessarily wealthy.
The anatomy of the trust involves a grantor, a trustee, and a beneficiary or beneficiaries. The person who creates the trust is called the grantor. The individual or entity that administers the trust is called the trustee. The beneficiaries receive monetary distributions from the trust.
You name the trustee and the beneficiaries when you are creating the trust agreement. However, you can serve both of these roles while you are still alive and well. As a result, you are not surrendering control of the assets that you convey into the trust until you pass away.
There are other ways that probate can be avoided, but some of them are quite limited in scope. For example, you could avoid probate by opening payable on death or transfer on death accounts at a brokerage and/or a bank. With these accounts the beneficiary that you name on the account assumes ownership of the funds after you die.
This transfer of ownership would take place outside of probate. However, this is an incomplete solution because these accounts do not accomplish some things that revocable living trusts will in fact accomplish.
To learn more about probate avoidance strategies, don’t hesitate to contact our firm to request a free consultation.
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.