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Indiana Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: What can be done when a father takes his daughter’s inheritance?

My granddaughter was left 75% of her paternal grandmother’s 401k for college. This was specified in a hand written will in California. The will was witnessed by 2 people.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 11, 2019

This is an example of do-it-yourself estate planning gone wrong. Grandmother should have had her estate plan prepared by an attorney, and clearly she did not. You see, the problem is that the distribution of a 401k at the plan participant's death is governed by beneficiary designation, not by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Does a small estate affidavit cover real estate in Indiana? Total assets-including real estate- is under $30,000.

Mother passed away without a will. No surviving spouse. Three adult children. All heirs agree to keep house in all three names. There are no significant debts and no mortgage. Would a small estate affidavit suffice to get the deed transferred?

William J Webster
William J Webster answered on Sep 3, 2019

Yes, if the house is only worth $30K, then you can transfer via Small Estate Affidavit. I recommend verifying the value by a 3rd party such as the assessed value provided by the County for property tax purposes or hire an appraiser.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: in indiana, is a likely beneficiary entitled to see a testator's will before the testator dies?

testator is wife, named executor is second husband. wife's children from first marriage want to see the will BEFORE the wife dies; named executor refuses. do the children have any recourse if the wife was of sound mind when the will was made, OTHER THAN asking her?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 19, 2019

No. Wills are private and amendable until the testator dies. I know that is frustrating, but there is nothing you can do to FORCE anyone to show you the will before the testator dies.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Indiana on
Q: My father recently passed away. His 2nd wife is selling their house. Do any of dad's kids have any rights.

Dad and 2nd wife bought a house in Indiana and it is in both names. There was a will. She was named as executor with my sister and her daughter named as seconds. The will stated that she could stay in the house until she dies and then it was to be divided between my father's and her kids. She... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 14, 2019

You need to hire an attorney right away to review the will and the final order of distribution in the probate and possibly the order permitting the sale. It is possible she is doing wrong, but it is also possible she has decided not to stay in the house and is selling it now and the proceeds will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: I know an executor can change locks on a house--but can they keep other family members (beneficiaries) out?

Dad just passed 2 mo's ago...house is empty--maybe a few things of hers are there. I just wanted to be in his house one last time...

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 13, 2019

Actually, yes, the executor can keep other family members, including beneficiaries, out. It is the executor's DUTY to marshall and safeguard estate assets. When the executor fails in this duty, assets tend to grow legs and disappear.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My sister is executor of our fathers estate, and after all is settled, wants to buy us out of our share of his home.

Which she's in no rush to do, though she is wealthy. As beneficiaries, can we insist on the house being sold?--

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 13, 2019

In a way you can, yes, but it is not easy. It would entail hiring an attorney to file an action for "partition", which usually ends up as a court-ordered sale of the home with the proceeds split among the co-owner/heirs. If one of the heirs wants to be the buyer, she is welcome to submit a bid.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Mother and stepfather owned a home mom died in 2013 he took her name off title now wants to sell

This is in pennsylvania...They had no kids together but Mom has 4 children surviving. He is selling the property are we etitled to a portion as there was no will left.

John Mario Acosta Jr.
John Mario Acosta Jr. answered on Jul 9, 2019

I do not have a license to practice law in PA only in IN, so with that said this may not apply to the laws in PA, but based on your question and situation if she did not leave a will then he is the one entitled to the property as her surviving spouse.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: My grandmother left in her will, her house to her son and disabled daughter. There was no stipulation for survivorship.

My dad passed first, then my aunt a few years later. They never transfered the deed after probate and neither had a will. She had no children or spouse. My dad was divorced with 4 children. We are at a loss as to how to deed the house in one or all of our names. We are in Indiana.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 19, 2019

This is likely a 'multistep' process -- was Grandmother's estate probated? But the deed was never given during the probate? You will need to reopen the estate and get the deed from Grandmother's name to the appropriate parties. Likely that deed will need to be 'tenants in common' which means that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My husband passed with no will. All assists are in both our names. Do I need to probate anything?
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Apr 30, 2019

If all of your assets are in both of your names, you most likely do not have to probate anything. If there are other assets that were not jointly titled and left over you may want to look to probate alternatives like a small estate affidavit to transfer them into your name. Consult with a local... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My mother didn't leave a will has to property has no debt what kind of lawyer do I need? There are four of us agreement.
William J Webster
William J Webster answered on Feb 16, 2019

Even though everyone is in agreement, in order to transfer property from your mother to you and your siblings you will need to hire a probate attorney to open and assist in administering your mother's estate.

When the estate is opened a personal representative is appointed who has the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My husband passed away with no assets. He accumulated a lot of medical bills over the last 6 months. Am I responsible?
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jan 21, 2019

Yes. In Indiana, spouses are responsible for the costs of necessities that their partners incur. This includes medical bills.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: Power of attorney

My father is not mentally incompetent but I need to be able to pay his bills and etc since he is totally physically disabled to talk or move. He is on a form of life support.

Kelli Y Allen
Kelli Y Allen answered on Jan 13, 2019

As long as he is mentally competent, he can execute a power of attorney by instructing someone to sign on his behalf. If he is not mentally competent, someone will need to file for guardianship.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: Power of attorney

Need to know what the best way to get a power of attorney for my father who is incapacitated in the hospital and cannot speak or move. Need to pay his bills and etc.

Kelli Y Allen
Kelli Y Allen answered on Jan 13, 2019

If he is mentally competent to execute a power of attorney, check with the hospital. Sometimes they are able to assist with a basic POA. You could also contact an estate planning or elder law attorney. Some are willing to go to hospitals or nursing facilities to have the documents executed. If... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Probate for Indiana on
Q: I'm trying to find a Mr. Mark E. Harbin. He took a case involving my now wife Niki Davis in a shooting incident 2014.

She is in NEED of his services ASAP DUE to get treatment in an Indiana facility. She is being treated very poorly and not being gave medical attention. PLEASE HELP US.

Chase T Wilson
Chase T Wilson answered on Jan 10, 2019

Call the Indiana Bar Association. They should be able to track Mr. Harbin down for you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Family Law for Indiana on
Q: Do I have to probate a will that contains only personal items, such as clothing, furniture, dishes ect. Value 500.
Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Jan 8, 2019

As a matter of law you have a duty to 'spread the will of record' or 'file the will without administration.' What this means is that you go to the court and file the will with the court but do NOT probate the will. No administration is put in place, no executor is appointed, no estate is opened.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My grandfather passed in April and I am the only surviving grandchild. No will has been filed with probate.

My grandfather was survived by a spouse, three children and I am the only surviving grandchild. Although my grandfather and I were close, I am estranged from his new spouse. I am also estranged from my father. I have checked with both Lake County and Porter County Courthouses (both where he lived... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 2, 2019

There are several possible explanations for why you haven't been contacted about an inheritance. Here are some examples: Granddad left a Will but made no specific provision for you; Granddad left a will but had no property requiring probate (e.g. he owned all of his real estate as a joint tenant... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Indiana on
Q: What happens when you get violated on probation while currently incarcerated?

My fiancé has been on probation (in Cass County) for almost three years for a statutory rape charge. Due to this he is a registered sex offender. In late November he was arrested on a Failure to Register charge from Grant County and subsequently violated on his probation in Cass. We really... Read more »

Paul Stanko
Paul Stanko answered on Dec 30, 2018

The judge can impose a number of sanctions on a PTR, including imposing the entire suspended sentence. That is up to the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property and Probate for Indiana on
Q: What happens when my mother passes away with a bank account and a house but no will but also has one of her son's on the

What happens when my mother passes away with a bank account and a house but no will but also has one of her son's on the bank account and the house what will the other 2 sons get or how do we go about getting something and not all go to one son because his name is also on it

Oh and the... Read more »

William J Webster
William J Webster answered on Nov 10, 2018

In regards to the bank account, if your brother was on the account as a joint account holder, then the monies in the account will become his sole property.

In regards to the house, it depends how ownership of the house was titled. If your mother owned the property as tenants in common w/...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: I was awarded a monetary sum by my friends will.

The will instructed another to send the money to the individual caring for her cats, that's me. I did not receive the money. How do I proceed?

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Nov 7, 2018

If there is a probate estate opened and still open, you contact the personal representative of the estate asking for your distribution. If the personal representative does not respond or denies you, you retain counsel and have him or her petition the court to force the personal representative to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Indiana on
Q: My wife's grandmother passed away about a year ago. She had left her grandkids money but grandpa and mother won't give

Is it legal for grandpa and kids mother to keep and not give the money there grandmother left in will for grandkids and great grandkids

Alexander Florian Steciuch
Alexander Florian Steciuch answered on Oct 8, 2018

No, it is not legal for them to do that. You should consult with a probate attorney in your area to look into setting up an estate for your late grandmother and probate the will if you believe that the grandchildren are owed under the will.

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