Probate And Estate Administration
Upon the passing of your loved one, their will and estate must be assessed to determine whether they must go through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration. If the assets were held by trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration or probate will be necessary and will only require trust administration.
Each process has its specific rules or requirements and the length of time to complete the probate of an estate or trust administration depends on the size and complexity of the estate, the communication from creditors or institutions, and the cooperation of beneficiaries.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the court-managed process where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed per the court’s rules and instructions. In Indiana, our probate statutes determine when probate of an estate is required, as well as determine who may receive from an estate if the deceased person did not leave a will naming beneficiaries.
If probate is required, the process involves presenting a petition to the court asking for the appointment of the personal representative or executor who will then handle the payment of final affairs, gathering of assets, payment of any creditors, and distribution of a person’s estate or assets.
What Is Trust Administration?
When your loved one has established a trust and has funded the trust with their assets, a probate estate is likely not required. Trust administration allows for the named successor trustee of the trust to continue to administer the assets pursuant to the trust terms, identify the beneficiaries of the trust and distribute assets as the deceased person wished.
At Severns & Howard, P.C., we represent clients in the probate, estate administration and trust administration processes, which can include:
- Filing a probate estate with the court
- Naming the executor or estate administrator
- Naming a successor trustee
- Satisfying all creditors
- Determining beneficiaries
- Assisting with identifying, gathering and distributing assets to the beneficiaries
- Finalizing and submitting all court requirements to conclude the estate and close the probate estate with the court
- Terminating the trust or assisting with any continued trust terms for another beneficiary
Contact Our Team
There are numerous potential challenges and disputes that can happen along the way. Our lawyers have been through this process countless times, so we’ll be there with you every step of the way.