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Wills and Probate

Strategic Indiana Attorneys Draft Wills and Guide Executors Through Probate

Detail-oriented Merrillville lawyers advise clients on distribution of assets

In Indiana, there are several ways in which property can be passed to heirs after the death of the owner. At the Law Office of Weiss, Schmidgall and Hires, P.C., in Merrillville, our attorneys work with individuals to create wills that set clear directions for passing on their estates. We also advise estate executors —known as personal representatives in Indiana— during probate proceedings. With more than a decade of experience serving the community in and around Gary and throughout Lake and Porter counties, we will provide the guidance and counsel clients need to direct their assets and distribute them accordingly.

Thorough Lake County estate attorneys draw up comprehensive wills

Wills are an essential component of any estate plan — they convey your express wishes on who will inherit the property and assets you’ve amassed over a lifetime. If you die in Indiana without a will, the state will determine how your personal property is distributed, based on laws of intestate succession. That means it may go to a spouse, children, siblings or parents. By creating a will, you can also designate people or organizations outside your family as beneficiaries.

Your will can be as detailed as you wish and may include instructions regarding:

  • Real estate — A home is usually the most valuable piece of property a person owns. You can include your real estate in your will or create a transfer-on-death deed to pass property directly.
  • Other property — We will strive to ensure that everything important to you — from vehicles to art and sentimental items — is accounted for in your will.
  • Financial assets — You can opt to include bank accounts and certain other sources of wealth in a will, including stocks and bonds.
  • Guardianship — You can use your will to designate who you would like to take care of your dependent children in the event that both you and the child’s other parent pass away.
  • Personal representative — Choosing a trustworthy person to oversee the distribution of your assets during probate can provide peace of mind.

As long as an Indiana estate is valued at $100,000 or more, the property included in a will may have to go through probate before it can be distributed to beneficiaries. If you would prefer to transfer your property directly, we can advise you on other estate planning methods that may work for you.

Attentive lawyers advise personal representatives during probate

Probate is the court-ordered process of validating a will or settling an estate. Whether you are named in a will as the estate’s executor or appointed by the court to serve as the estate’s personal representative when no will exists, you are responsible for distributing the deceased’s assets and paying their debts through probate. We understand that this process can be difficult and are prepared to help.

In Indiana, the probate process generally takes six months to a year. Our firm can provide counsel as you file for unsupervised or supervised administration with the probate court, create an asset inventory, pay the estate’s debts, distribute assets and draft a closing statement. If inheritance disputes arise, we will work to find solutions in line with the deceased’s intentions.

Contact trusted Indiana will and probate attorneys for a free initial consultation

If you need assistance with drafting a will or handling probate, contact the attorneys at the Law Office of Weiss, Schmidgall and Hires, P.C., in Merrillville, Indiana. We work with individuals and families in Gary and throughout Lake County and Porter County. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 219-293-8988 or contact us online.

Victoria Bain Attorney Photo
Victoria Bain

About Victoria Bain joined Weiss, Schmidgall & Hires as an associate attorney in 2023. She is a graduate of The University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. Victoria received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Valparaiso University. During her time in college, she taught classes to incarcerated men at the Westville Correctional Facility,…

Christopher R. Schmidgall Attorney Photo
Christopher R. Schmidgall

For more than ten years, Christopher Schmidgall has protected the lives of people who find themselves caught in the tangled machinery of criminal prosecution. With the skill and determination he’s demonstrated throughout his life, Chris offers them the help they need to get their lives back in order. Not long after graduating from Valparaiso...

Amanda C. Hires Attorney Photo
Amanda C. Hires

Following a remarkably accomplished academic career, Amanda Hires applied her record of success to servicing good people facing difficult situations. She served as a volunteer at the New Orleans Public Defender’s Office and worked intensively with prosecutors and defense attorneys while under the guidance of Judge Sheila Moss at the Lake County Superior Court...

Jessica McPheeters Attorney Photo
Jessica McPheeters

Jessica McPheeters is an associate attorney with her primary focus being in Estate Planning, Probate, Business Formation and Planning, and other general practice matters. Jessica received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from Ball State University in 2014. Jessica then received her Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law...

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