Indiana Last Will and Testament Lawyers

“All You Need Is A Will.”

We have heard that mantra for years. While it is true that a Last Will is part of most Estate Plans, it is often only a part. So, what is a Last Will and Testament? A Last Will, sometimes called a Last Will and Testament, guides the Probate Court (or Magistrate in some Indiana counties) overseeing the probate of an estate (for more information about probate). It nominates a person to be appointed by the court as the personal representative to supervise the probate estate

Call Rice & Rice today at (219) 240-0450 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our last Will and testament attorneys in Indiana!

What is an Executor of a Will?

One of the most common terms when discussing managing affairs after someone dies is “Executor.” Unfortunately, it is often overused or improperly used. The executor of an estate is a person nominated in a Last Will and appointed by the court. Sometimes, people with trust or who go through probate without a will refer to the person in charge as executor. Legally, that is not the case. 

As a side note, a person who is not officially appointed executor should be careful about using the term. An Executor has a level of responsibility to the estate, which includes beneficiaries AND CREDITORS! Unless you have authority and responsibility to creditors, you do not want them to think you do. They tend to hold a person to that to try to be paid for outstanding balances. 

How Your Last Will Determines Asset Distribution

A Last Will also gives the court guidance on who you want to be an heir of a portion or specific item(s) in your estate. A properly prepared Will provides a staggered plan of distributing assets to specific people – My Son, John – or groups of people – My Then Living Nieces. The Will provides “What if…” directions if one of those named people is not living or disclaims a distribution. 

Ultimately, the Will provides a plan for the “residue” of the estate. The residue is any asset(s) not covered in the prior distribution plans or that slip through for several reasons. Wills are a very old (think Old England) method of a person controlling the transfer of assets at his/her death. Because of that, they are a very formal document. There are specific components, particular order, and execution required to be found valid. 

Essentials of Valid Wills in Indiana 

Legally, the signing of a Will is a ceremony. Lacking an essential piece might invalidate a Will. A Will must be found valid to be accepted by the court. An invalid Will may cause an intestate probate estate. An intestate probate uses Indiana state law to dictate who your heirs Will be. 

In some situations, probate may not be necessary, so the Will is not used. In Indiana, an estate valued at less than $50,000, including a reduction by some specific expenses, qualifies as a small estate. A small estate does not necessitate the formality of probate. It is possible to have a very large estate avoid probate and leverage a small estate claim to clean up loose ends. Planning is key. 

A specific plan designed to meet your needs is critical. We invite you to schedule a time to chat with us about your thoughts and concerns about how you can take care of those you love and the things you own. 

Contact Our Indiana Last Will and Testament Attorneys Today

When you need help creating a Last Will and Testament in Indiana, turn to our team of estate planning experts at Rice & Rice. Our lawyers have the experience you need to protect your best interests and family. Call today to speak with a will lawyer near you.

When you are looking for an attorney to help you create a Last Will and Testament in Indiana, call Rice & Rice at 219-240-0450 for a will lawyer near you.

Contact Rice & Rice today to schedule a meeting with our last will and testament lawyers in Indiana! Serving clients across the state from our offices in Lafayette, Valparaiso, and Granger! 

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What sets Us Apart
  • Focused On Elder Law

    At Rice & Rice Attorneys, our primary focus is on caring for your family. Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law are all we do, and we offer reasonable rates.

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  • 50 Years of Experience

    Since 1972, Rice & Rice Attorneys have been serving this area and we are deeply rooted in our community.

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