Small Estate Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Small Estate?

In Indiana, a small estate is an estate that has a value of $100,000 or less after liens, encumbrances, and reasonable funeral expenses are subtracted.  All joint assets and beneficiary designations are not included in the $100,000 estate amount. Beneficiary designations include life insurance and joint assets.

Joint assets are things like joint bank accounts and property that the deceased and someone else owned together.

    If someone has died and they do have a Will, that Will must be admitted to probate.   You have to probate a Will through the court and this form will not help you to do that. 

    Who Might Use This Form?

    If someone has died you might have rights to part of their estate, even if they do not have a will.  For example, if your deceased spouse had a bank account in only their name, and their entire estate is worth less than $100,000, you might use this form to get the money out of that account.  Or, if someone has died and the estate is worth less than $100,000, you might complete the form in order to get paid for a debt the deceased owed you. 

    If you use the form to collect, you are responsible for sharing the money with anyone else that might have a right to it.  


    Do I File This Form In Court?

    No. This form should not be filed in court. This form should be filled out and given to the person or company that has the property that you have a right to.  For example, if you are trying to get the funds out of your deceased spouse’s bank account, you would give the form to the bank.

      What If Both I And Someone Else Have A Legal Right To The Property?

      If someone other than you also has a claim to the property you collect, that person can collect their part of the property from you.  If you spend or give their part away, they may sue you for their share.  Also, you have to tell the truth.  If you lie on the form, the court may punish you for perjury.

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