Indiana Intestate Succession: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Sarah J. Randall

Author: Sarah J. Randall

POST DATE: 11.14.22
Ccha  Estate Planning

What happens to someone’s property if they die without a will? Indiana intestate succession is the law that determines who inherits property after someone dies if there is no will. Under Indiana estate laws, who inherits what and when depends on the property type and the relationship between the individual and the person who passed away.

If your loved one dies without a will, the legal team at Church Church Hittle + Antrim can help you understand what happens next. We realize that this is a difficult time for you, and we will do everything we can to simplify the process so you can move forward.

If you do not have a will, we can meet with you to discuss your situation and tailor a Last Will and Testament that fits your wishes. We will help you protect your legacy and pass on your property as you see fit.

CCHA intestate succession

Do You Need a Will?

Technically, you do not need a will, but without one, Indiana’s intestacy laws determine what happens to your property after you pass away. In some cases, this may incidentally align with your wishes. In other cases, Indiana’s default laws may mean that your spouse and children do not get what you would like them to have.

For example, your spouse does not automatically get everything if you pass away without a will. If you have children, your spouse may receive one-half of your estate, and the children and grandchildren receive the remaining half.

Suppose your surviving spouse is from a second marriage, and you don’t have children together. In that case, your spouse would only receive 25% of the fair market value of your real property minus any outstanding liens or mortgages on it.

So, while no law requires you to have a will, drafting a will that reflects your wishes helps ensure that your loved ones receive what you would like them to have after you pass. Further, having a will can limit the stress involved in not knowing what will happen to your property when you pass away.

Amid the grieving process, your loved ones will wonder what happens to your property when you pass away if you don’t have a will. Having one in place helps to clear the air and gives your family peace of mind in knowing who will inherit. In short, it’s one less thing for your loved ones to worry about during their grief.

What Is Intestate Succession?

Intestate succession is the process by which property is passed on after someone dies if they do not have a will. Rather than having the property distributed according to the will, the Indiana intestate succession laws determine who receives the property and when.

The Indiana legislature recognizes that not everyone has a will when they pass away. People may not plan their estate for various reasons, such as not having the time or the money to put one together before they die. Intestate succession laws provide default rules for who inherits when there is no will.

Contact CCHA with your Estate Planning Questions

Estate planning can be a charged topic. After all, it is stressful to think about your life ending. Or, it may feel like too remote of an occurrence to worry about now. But planning out what happens to your estate when you pass away is important and empowering. Rather than leaving it up to the default laws, take control of your estate planning by crafting a will that reflects your wishes. CCHA's experienced and compassionate legal team has helped hundreds of clients like you navigate the unfamiliar realm of estate planning. We will listen to your preferences and help you create a plan that fits your budget and intentions.

We understand that every family and individual is different. When we meet with our estate clients, we first listen to your situation and seek to understand your priorities. We acknowledge that estate planning often involves complicated and emotionally charged conversations. We strive to ease your nerves and address your concerns during the process. The end result is an estate plan that identifies and protects your legacy, providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

If you have questions about Indiana’s intestate succession laws or need help drafting a will, call us at 317-773-2190 or contact us online today.