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Probate & Settling Estates

Probate & Settling Estates

Probate is a court-supervised legal process that may be required after someone dies. Probate gives someone--usually the surviving spouse or other close family member--authority to gather the deceased person’s assets, pay debts and taxes, and eventually transfer assets to the people who inherit them.

Conducting a probate in Indiana commonly takes six months to a year, depending on the situation. It can take longer if there is a court fight over the will (which is rare) or unusual assets or debts that complicate matters.

Only assets that the deceased person owned in his or her own name, alone, need to go through probate. All other assets pass to new owners without oversight from the probate court. Assets that go through probate make up what’s called the “probate estate.”

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