Estate administration tasks are often conducted under the supervision of the probate court. However, there are certain circumstances under which the probate process will not be required.
In the state of Indiana, small estates can sometimes avoid the full probate process through the execution of a simple affidavit, and there is also a simplified probate process. To be eligible for either of these shortcuts, the estate in question cannot be valued in excess of $50,000.
If the estate is valued at more than $50,000, the full probate process will be required if the property is probate property. It is possible to arrange for the transfer of assets outside of probate through the creation of a revocable living trust. Assets that have been conveyed into this type of trust would not be probate property.
When you create a revocable living trust, you name a trustee when you create the trust agreement, and you name a beneficiary or beneficiaries. The trustee will follow the terms of the trust agreement to distribute monetary resources to the beneficiaries according to your wishes.
These distributions will not be subject to the process of probate.
Revocable living trusts are very popular among those who would like to facilitate the transfer of their assets outside of the probate process. However, there are other ways to avoid probate.
There are different types of trusts that facilitate probate avoidance that address additional concerns, such as asset protection and estate tax efficiency. These would be irrevocable trusts rather than revocable trusts.
The best way to avoid probate is going to vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances. You should discuss the matter with a licensed estate planning attorney to be sure that you are taking the right steps given your unique personal situation.
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We have answered one relatively simple question about probate in this post, but you probably have further questions. If you would like to learn about the probate process in detail, we have a valuable resource available to you.
Our firm is offering a free special report on the legal process of probate. This report is delivered electronically through this website, and it is available to you on a complimentary basis at the present time.
To download your copy of the report, click the following link: Free Indianapolis Probate Report.
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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.