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 those who inherit them.
Probate in Indiana is a court-supervised process by which estates get settled. The process prevents any type of fraud and ensures that your estate goes to the right people. As a result, assets are essentially "frozen" so that the court can assess the validity of the will, acknowledge the estate’s executor, and then move forward to settle your affairs.
This process mandates that both creditors and beneficiaries be notified. Assets are catalogued and appraised, debts are settled, and the court authorizes distribution of the assets in accordance with the directives in your will. Once this is accomplished and a final accounting is provided to the court, the judge officially closes the estate.
A Last Will and Testament ("will") is a document in which you can manage the distribution of your estate to beneficiaries and arrange for your minor children's guardianship should you have no surviving spouse to care for them.
You can use a will to specify which assets will be transferred to which beneficiaries upon your death. You can transfer assets to beneficiaries outside of your family using a will. If you were to leave assets out of your will and their distribution isn't governed by other means, they would be inherited as intestate assets by your family.
Specific assets of your estate may not be included in your will. You can only will away assets that you solely own, meaning you can't will away jointly owned, marital or community property. You cannot will away assets that are: