The word “probate” is familiar to many people, but often incorrectly defined. It’s a term with Latin roots meaning “something proved,” and while probate can involve a determination of whether a will is valid, it can occur even when there isn’t a will. On a more general scale, it refers to the way an estate is administered and processed through the legal system. The average time to complete probate in Indiana is 6 to 12 months, though it can take longer if the estate is very large, the estate continues to earn large amounts of income, or if there is a court challenge over the will.
When you have just lost a loved one, thinking about administering the estate can seem impossible. At Gasparis & Zembillas, Attorneys At Law, we will walk you through the probate process. Probate, sometimes referred to as estate administration, includes:
- Opening the estate
- Transferring authority of the estate to an executor
- Paying the estate’s debts, taxes and other fees
- Confirming that the decedent’s will is legally sound
- Distributing the remaining assets among beneficiaries
- Closing the estate
This responsibility can involve a great deal of work, especially for an estate with significant assets.
Responsibilities of the Executor
The executor is in charge of completing and filing all the paperwork, managing expenses on behalf of the estate, and distributing the property to heirs. Our probate law firm ensures that you have all the information you need to proceed, including how to meet Indiana’s deadlines and how to file your documents.
Probate Litigation & Will Disputes
Gasparis & Zembillas, Attorneys At Law, is ready and willing to represent clients in probate litigation. This arises when one of the beneficiaries disputes the legality of the will and the measures taken during probate.
There are many grounds upon which to contest a will during probate, including:
- Decedent was not of sound mind when signing the will
- Undue influence was exerted when drafting or amending terms of the will
- Will in probate is not most updated version
- Executor breached his or her fiduciary duty
- Claims exist against the estate
In order to file a claim, you must be a beneficiary in the will or a close living relative who might receive an inheritance but was excluded from the will. This is an emotional time for your family. Contesting a will may seem to some as acting out of sorrow or causing trouble for the family.
For experienced probate & probate litigation lawyers in Crown Point & Valparaiso Indiana, then call Gasparis & Zembillas, Attorneys At Law today for an appointment.
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