Probate is defined as the official establishment of the validity of a will. It is a legal process where a court oversees tasks involved in dividing out the estate of someone who passed away. Probate isn’t necessarily desired, as the legal process of formal estate administration can be time consuming and a toll on families already suffering the loss of a loved one. That is why avoiding probate is advised and often pursued. Some of the ways of avoiding probate include gifting possessions when alive, deeding real estate appropriately, and making sure all financial accounts you own have a transfer on death designee. These circumstances are desired and should be implemented when it makes sense to do so.
However, ways to avoid probate do not come so easy with ordinary life circumstances. Some people near death do not want to part with their possessions prior to their death. Also, many of us die unexpectedly and do not have the time to even consider how to gift possessions to loved ones. In addition, probate is going to be required when an estate is worth a certain amount, and that amount is going to change in Indiana come July 1, 2022.
Currently, an estate worth less than $50,000 does not need to go through probate and could be dealt with via alternative methods. However, once Senate Bill 67 amends IC 29-1-8-1(b)(1)(B), an estate worth no less than $100,000 will not need to go through probate from July 1, 2022 on. To be clear, this means that if a decedent who passed away after June 30, 2022 has assets valued at less than $100,000, the heirs of the decedent can skip probate and use alternative methods to distribute the assets. Essentially, this new law allows the process of estate administration to be expedited and to be more efficient. In addition, this new law will help keep the costs down for small estates and result in the decedent’s heirs receiving more from the estate.
Figuring out the worth of a decedent’s estate and what to do next can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Contact the estate planning attorneys at McNeely Law LLP, as they are experienced in assisting with all of your estate planning needs.
This McNeely Law LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.