February 2, 2023

What is Probate and How Does it Work?

By : John Pins

Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. Probate aims to ensure that the deceased person's debts are paid, and their assets are distributed to their heirs according to their will or, if they died without a will, according to Indiana's intestacy laws.

The probate process in Indiana begins with filing a petition for probate with the court. If the deceased person had a will, the court would appoint an executor or personal representative to administer the estate. If the deceased person dies without a will, the court will appoint an administrator to handle the estate.

The executor or administrator is responsible for identifying and collecting the estate assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs according to the will or intestacy laws.

How Does Probate Work in Indiana?

The probate process in Indiana typically involves the following steps:

  1. Filing a petition for probate: The estate executor or an interested party files a petition with the court to open probate.
  2. Appointing an executor: The court will appoint an executor if one is named in the will, or if there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator.
  3. Notifying heirs and creditors: The executor must notify all known heirs and creditors of the probate proceedings.
  4. Inventory and appraisals: The executor must compile a complete inventory of the deceased person's assets and have them appraised.
  5. Paying debts and taxes: The executor must pay any debts and taxes the estate owes.
  6. Distributing assets: The remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs according to the terms of the will or, if there is no will, according to Indiana's probate laws.

The exact duration of the probate process in Indiana can vary, but it typically takes several months to a year or more.

Do I Have to Pay Leftover Debts or Taxes During Probate?

As the executor or administrator of an estate in Indiana, you are responsible for paying any taxes and debts owed by the deceased person during the probate process. The estate's assets will be used to pay these debts and taxes before any assets are distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs. If the estate does not have enough assets to cover all of the debts and taxes, the debts and taxes will go unpaid.

The executor or administrator has a legal obligation to pay the debts and taxes of the estate, and they may be personally liable if they fail to do so. To avoid this risk, the executor or administrator should consult with an attorney to understand their responsibilities and obligations during the probate process.

Can I Sell My House During Probate?

Yes, it is possible to sell your inherited house during probate in Indiana. However, the process of selling a house during probate is typically more complicated than selling a house outside of probate, and it requires the approval of the probate court.

As the executor or administrator of an estate, you will need to get permission from the court to sell any real estate property that is part of the estate. To do this, you will need to file a petition with the court and provide details about the sale, such as the reason for the sale and the proposed sales price.

Once the court approves the sale, you will be able to list the property for sale and complete the sale in accordance with Indiana law. 

Sell My Inherited House in Northern Indiana

If you need to sell your inherited property fast, contact HouseMart. We buy houses as-is in Indiana. We can appraise your property and make a cash offer that is fair and workable. Call 219-230-8735 to get a fast cash offer on your house.

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