Making a will is generally a simple, straightforward process in Indiana. There are only a few requirements to follow in every state. There are several, basic facts to know about creating, managing and carrying out a will.
The state’s requirements
Every state has requirements for how wills are created and executed. The testator, or creator of the will, has to put the terms in writing. The document is made valid by the testator’s signature and the signatures of two witnesses.
The executor’s rights and duties
Nearly every will is assigned an executor, who is a person of high trust, to carry out its terms. Many testators misunderstand the full extent of the executor’s rights and responsibilities. The executor has to inventory the estate owner’s belongings, pay off debts, contact beneficiaries and creditors, locate witnesses and many other tasks.
Probate court procedures
Many will owners do not understand how the probate process works. The procedure begins in a probate court where a judge oversees the distribution of a person’s property after his or her death. Probate is the work of proving that the will is legal and the assets can be distributed based on the terms of the will. In court is where the beneficiaries challenge any instruction that’s presented in the document.
Even during the hardest times in society, less than half of the adult population has a will. Some people have wills that are written but not valid. Not having a will means taking the risk that personal assets will be misused and placed in the wrong hands. Most people start by understanding the basic elements of a will.