An estate can enter probate regardless of whether or not the decedent had a valid will in place at the time of their death. When the person dies without a will, Indiana statutes covering intestate laws direct the process. So, writing a will might be preferable for those who wish preferred beneficiaries receive specific assets. During probate, the executor named i the will serves as the estate’s representative and will and follow specific steps to complete the proceedings.
Vital steps in probate
During probate, the court oversees the administration of asset transfers of a deceased person’s estate. Other duties include filing tax returns, closing accounts and settling debts with creditors. The executor’s first steps include procuring an original copy of the will and opening the estate in probate court.
Another crucial step involves taking an inventory of all assets and liabilities. The executor must determine what assets the deceased held – including real estate and financial accounts – along with which creditors require payments.
A valuation process becomes necessary. For example, determining how much the home is worth might allow the executor to put the appropriate sale price on the property if the will stipulates selling the home and dividing the assets among beneficiaries.
Closing probate and the estate
Before closing probate, the executor must settle debts with assets from the estate. Estates without sufficient assets are insolvent. Creditors might receive nothing if the estate has no funds.
When the executor pays all debts and expenses during probate administration, they could take action to distribute the assets to beneficiaries. Afterward, the executor may end the probate in court.
Executors tasks with various responsibilities have a duty to perform their tasks timely and ethically. If an executor proves incompetent or dishonest, those with standing may take action with the court to remove them.