Why Choose Our Probate and Estates Attorney?
Plan for the future and understand what happens to your assets after you die. Your lawyers for life.
Probate refers to the legal process that takes place to distribute a person's assets after he or she passes away. In order to make sure your assets are used to help the people you love and the organizations you care about, you need a family law attorney who understands the process.
At Hocker & Associates, LLC, we're happy to help with all of your probate and estate planning needs. Getting the process done properly with the aid of an experienced attorney will ensure that your wishes are followed and your loved ones are protected even after you are gone.
What is Probate?
Probate court is the branch of the judicial system that settles the financial affairs of deceased persons. The actions taken by a probate court depend on the size of the estate and the presence or absence of a last will and testament.
A probate court's first step is to examine the last will and testament to make sure it was properly prepared and executed; if so, the will is admitted to probate. Once the will has been admitted, the court appoints a personal representative to administer the estate; usually, this person is identified in the will. The administration is then handled in one of two ways:
- In supervised administration, the personal representative needs court approval before selling or distributing the property of the estate. This type of administration is most common when the estate is disputed, and it is required if the estate is bankrupt. Some wills may also specifically request supervised administration.
- In unsupervised administration, the court appoints the personal representative, who is then free to administer the estate without court approval on each individual action. Unsupervised administration is used when the will specifically requests it or when all of the beneficiaries agree to it. The estate also must be solvent.
Not all estates in Indiana need to pass through the probate process. By law, if the estate has less than $50,000 in assets, the estate need not go through probate. Rather, the lawful heir can collect the estate using a small estate affidavit.
Seasoned Probate Attorneys at Hocker & Associates
The probate process can seem difficult and confusing, especially in the aftermath of losing a loved one. However, with the help of an effective and experienced family law attorney, probate can actually be a reasonably smooth and effective way to administer an estate and move on after a death.
At Hocker & Associates, we're here to be your lawyers for life, and that includes helping to plan for what will happen after a loss. Our family law attorneys will guide you through every step of the probate process. Call us at (317) 578-1630 to schedule a free consultation.