Indiana law requires that all estates with probate assets exceeding $100,000 go through formal court administration, called probate. There are many ways to avoid probate, such as establishing a revocable living trust, using beneficiary and transfer on death designations, and joint ownership. Every plan has its pros and cons, but what can be done to keep things simple for smaller estates without substantial assets?
Under Indiana Law, estates with assets under $100,000 can use small estate procedures. Rather than the nominated Personal Representative submitting the Will to a Court, being appointed, publishing notice in the newspaper, sending letters to creditors, etc., small estate procedures allow the nominated Personal Representative to prepare an affidavit, collect up the decedent’s assets, pay any final bills, and then distribute the assets under the terms of the Will. The downside to small estate proceedings is that the Personal Representative must wait 45 days before getting started on administration.