Indiana Last Will & Testament Information
Before a will is accepted, it must be proven in probate court in Indiana. This is the court-supervised process of distributing the estate. When the will is proven valid the executor can pay off any debts and taxes owed by the estate and then distribute the testator’s property according to the will.
For small valued estates (less than $50,000), Indiana has two probate processes:
- Representative distributes assets according to the will then files a closing statement.
- Those inheriting property, aside from the real estate, presents an affidavit explaining entitlement to the institution that possesses the property. This is then turned over to the beneficiary.
Otherwise, the executor must file a “petition for probate” with the probate court to request letters testamentary.
An Indiana Last Will & Testament includes the following requirements:
- The testator must be eighteen years old or older.
- They must also be of ‘sound mind’.
- The Will must be signed by the testator or by someone else in their name (provided it is done under the testator’s direction and in their presence).
- The signing of the Will requires at least two witnesses in order to make it valid.
- Another requirement to make the Will valid is that it must be in written format.
- An Indiana resident may bequeath their assets to any beneficiaries.
If you die before creating a will in Indiana, you are ‘intestate’. If there are surviving descendants shared by the spouse and the decedent, the spouse is entitled to 1/2 of the intestate property and 1/4 of the fair market value of real estate; the children inherit the rest. If the decedent is survived by both a spouse and parents (but no children), the spouse receives 3/4 of the decedent’s intestate property, and the parents inherit the remainder. If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, Indiana laws of intestacy grant shares of the decedent’s estates to siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles; the closer the relative, the higher the priority to inherit.
Click here if you have any questions about creating a last will in Indiana.