Many people in Indiana probably have had little to no exposure to probate court in their lives. As a result, the entire concept of “probate” can seem a bit mysterious. So, what is “probate” and why should you be concerned about it?
In short, “probate” is the process by which a deceased person’s will is established as a legally effective and valid document. Many counties in Indiana have specialized probate courts that will address these types of cases and the process by which this important estate planning document is validated, assets marshaled, taxes and other fees paid and then, finally, assets are distributed. Furthermore, if there are any challenges to the validity of a will, such as challenges due to allegations of undue influence, fraud or improper execution of the will, for example, those challenges will be heard in probate court too.
Why worry about probate?
If you find yourself dealing with a probate court and the various processes and procedures that come with that territory, chances are you might be an executor of an estate who, quite simply, needs help. To someone with no experience with probate court and the applicable procedures, it is easy to become bogged down fast.
Getting the right help with your probate needs can go a long way toward making sure that the process is handled quickly and efficiently. There is no harm in planning ahead if you know that you are going to be the executor of an estate, and it can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the basics of probate before the need to engage that court comes around.