Greenfield, IN Probate Lawyers: Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White
The probate process is required to prove a will exists and is valid, identify the assets of the decedent, appraise all of the assets and distribute property in accordance with the terms of the will or as outlined in state law.
The probate process in Indiana can be greatly simplified if there is a will in place or in the event the decedent’s property is held jointly or in TOD (transfer on death) accounts.
There are some specific assets which need not go through the probate process including:
- Assets that are jointly owned
- Assets that have a TOD (transfer on death) designation
- Retirement accounts and life insurance policies with named beneficiaries
- Assets held in a trust where a successor trustee is named
THE ROLE OF THE ESTATE ADMINISTRATOR
Whether an estate executor is appointed by the courts because a decedent is considered “intestate” (e.g. had no will) or when an executor is appointed by the decedent in a will, there are specific responsibilities which the executor or administrator must carry out:
- Cataloging all belongings and assets
- Compile all debts and obligations of decedent
- Obtain an appraisal of assets
- Pay all debts and obligations
- Notifying beneficiaries of a reading of the will
- Distributing assets in accordance with the decedent’s wishes
- Filing final tax returns and closing estate
Being administrator or executor involves a fiduciary responsibility and there are time frames under which certain steps must be taken. Whether you need assistance with understanding your role as an executor, filing estate tax returns or understanding Indiana’s probate process, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We help clients in Greenfield, Fortville, New Palestine, McCordsville, Hancock County, Indianapolis, Shelbyville, Morristown, Knightstown, Anderson, Pendleton, New Castle, Connersville, Rushville, Fishers, Geist, Carmel, Shelby County, Henry County, Hamilton County, Madison County, Marion County and central Indiana areas.