What Parts of an Estate Are Subject to Probate?


When it comes to the death of a loved one or the death of someone close to you, it is difficult to determine what is going on and to really know what can be subject to probate. Indiana probate attorneys can help you determine what is subject to probate and what can be taken by those left behind immediately. 

What is Probate?

Probate is a period in which an estate of someone that has passed is essentially frozen before anything can be done with it if there was no will or no designation that states what is to happen with the estate after their passing. In most states the duration of probate is about 6 months and can be decreased if the family moves into action and designates a probate officer that can then help negotiate the estate and take care of how it is going to be dispensed. 

Probate serves as a chance for the estate to be settled in cases where there is no will. This type of waiting period is there to help make sure that if there are any outstanding debts that are held by the person that passed, the debt collectors are able to collect that debt. It also allows the people that were left behind and that feel they are entitled to the estate have a chance to come and get a claim on the estate. 

Probate is often court appointed unless the family gets an attorney that they can all agree on to manage the probate process. This is a legal process that helps to ensure that the estate is fairly dispersed and that it is not given to one person that is not supposed to be getting the estate or to help make sure that there are no fights or issues that end up causing the estate to be hung up further or held up further. 

What Property is Subject to Probate?

Put quite simply, pretty much anything is up for grabs when it comes to the probate process. Unless you are dealing with an item that was already promised to another person or that was legally stated as going to a particular person after the death of an individual. Say you have a payable on death or a transfer on death certificate drawn up for a bank account or drawn up for a home or piece of property. That means that if you have an agreement with the person that passed that something will transfer to you on death and that it is written down, that item or property is not going to be subject to probate. 

Things like 401K and Bank accounts that have an appointed trustee or a beneficiary named are going to be able to be paid out at the time of death rather than going into probate. Things like the home, the property within the home, the land that the home sits on, personal bank accounts and any large sums of money are all subject to probate. If you have a loved one that has passed and you have a claim on something and you can prove that they were going to leave it to you, you are going to be able to collect that item or that property prior to the estate going into probate. 

Probate is something that every estate that does not have a will has to go into in order to be dispensed properly and in order to be managed and taken care of. Probate can take just about any property that the person owns or owned before they passed. This is to help make sure that the estate is managed properly after the death of the individual and that there is no unfair dispensation of the property after death. Basically, anything that did not have a prior earmark or that was given to someone before death is going to be subject to probate and is going to go into the probate hearing. 

Why Do You need A Lawyer?

If you are part of a probate hearing, there will be a probate lawyer that has been assigned to oversee the case. Their main objective is to settle the case and to get the estate doled out. They are not going to be taking care of the individual interests of any one person that is involved in the probate. If you have your own lawyer, you can help ensure that your interests are protected, that you are going to get the best outcome possible, and that you are going to get a fair chance at your part of the estate. 

Your personal lawyer can help you make sure you are not getting left out, that you are getting a fair portion of the estate, and that you are also not going to have to worry about getting into the law offices or the probate office to sign papers. You can designate that your lawyer works on your behalf and that they can help to negotiate your part of the estate and your part of the proceedings overall. A great probate lawyer can also help to explain what is going on, to help you figure out what is happening, and to help you make sure your part of the estate is protected, legal and that you are not going to get any of your property taken back after the proceedings have concluded.

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