Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Creating a Will is the only way to make your wishes known. Many people never get around to signing a Will or think that they don’t own enough to worry about estate planning. Unfortunately, if you die without a Will, Indiana law requires a certain disposition of your assets depending on who survives you, and the Court will decide who serves as the Personal Representative of your estate.
It is rare that the law and the Court will accurately reflect your wishes, unless you make them known in your estate plan. A Will is an essential component of every estate plan and includes provisions regarding how your estate is to be divided, how debts and taxes are to be paid, who should be appointed guardian for your children, and who will serve as the Personal Representative of your estate.
If you die without a Will, then your property and assets will be distributed according to the Indiana laws of intestacy. Intestate means that you die without a Will whereas testate means you die with a Will. The law of intestacy is the state’s predetermined plan for what happens to your assets. For Indiana, your estate will be distributed as follows:
“Per Stirpes,” under Indiana law, means that the share of a deceased person will pass to the descendants of the deceased person, in shares determined by the origin of the relationship of the survivors, by right of representation, and not “per capita.” By example, if a deceased heir left three children, each would inherit 1/3 of that share.