Persons entitled to petition; notice to creditors
Sec. 1. (a) Upon the filing of a petition under IC 29-1-7-5, the following persons may at any time petition the court for authority to have a decedent's estate administered without court supervision:
(1) The decedent's heirs at law if the decedent dies intestate.
(2) The legatees and devisees under the decedent's will.
(3) The personal representative.
(b) The clerk of the court shall give notice of the filing of a petition for unsupervised administration to creditors of the decedent as provided in IC 29-1-7-7(c) and IC 29-1-7-7(d).
(Formerly: Acts 1975, P.L.288, SEC.11.) As amended by P.L.154-1990, SEC.6.
Notice to distributees
Sec. 1.5. (a) As soon as letters testamentary or letters of administration have been issued, the clerk of the court shall serve by mail notice of the petition on each of the decedent's heirs at law, if the decedent died intestate, or the devisees and legatees under the decedent's will. The mailing of notice under this subsection may not be waived.
(b) The notice required under subsection (a) shall read substantially as follows:
Personal representative's bond
Sec. 2.5. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), a personal representative is not required to execute and file a bond relating to the duties of the personal representative's office under this chapter unless:
(1) the will provides for the execution and filing of a bond; or
(2) the court finds, on the court's own motion or on motion by an interested person, that a bond is necessary to protect creditors, heirs, devisees, and legatees.
Powers of personal representative to act without order of court
Sec. 3. (a) Subject to section 2(d) of this chapter, a personal representative who administers an estate under this chapter may do the following without order of the court:
(1) Retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper for trust investment.
(2) Receive assets from fiduciaries or other sources.
(3) Perform, compromise, or refuse performance of the decedent's contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as the personal representative may determine under the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may:
(A) execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining due or the purchaser's note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the land; or
(B) deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds, when paid in accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as designated in the escrow agreement.
(4) Satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted the pledges completed under the circumstances.
(5) If funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including moneys received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts, readily marketable secured loan arrangements, or other prudent investments which would be reasonable for use by trustees generally.
(6) Acquire or dispose of an asset, including land in this or another state, for cash or on credit, at public or private sale; and manage, develop, improve, exchange, partition, change the
character of, or abandon an estate asset.
(7) Make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations in buildings or other structures, demolish any improvements, raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings.
(8) Subdivide, develop, or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of plats and adjust boundaries; or adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration.
(9) Enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term within or extending beyond the period of administration.
(10) Enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement.
(11) Abandon property when, in the opinion of the personal representatives, it is valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate.
(12) Vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy.
(13) Pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims.
(14) Hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee in connection with the security so held.
(15) Hold, manage, safeguard, and control the estate's real and personal property, insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss, and liability, and insure the personal representative personally against liability as to third persons.
(16) Borrow money with or without security to be repaid from the estate assets or otherwise and advance money for the protection of the estate.
(17) Effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend, renew, or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. If the personal representative holds a mortgage, pledge, or other lien upon property of another person, the personal representative may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by lien.
(18) Pay taxes, assessments, compensation of the personal representative, and other expenses incident to the administration of the estate.
(19) Hold an interest in a proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, business trust, corporation, or another domestic or foreign form of business or enterprise.
(20) Continue a business.
(21) Take any action that may be taken by shareholders,
partners, members, or property owners, including contributing
additional capital to or merging, consolidating, reorganizing,
recapitalizing, dissolving, or otherwise changing the form of the
(22) Allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as permitted or provided by IC 30-2-14.
(23) Employ persons, including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents, even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal representative in the performance of the personal representative's administrative duties; act without independent investigation upon their recommendations; and instead of acting personally, employ one (1) or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary.
(24) Do any of the following concerning a claim or demand made in favor of or against the estate for the protection of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of the personal representative's duties:
(A) Release, assign, settle, compromise, or contest the claim or demand.
(B) Participate in mediation or submit to arbitration to resolve any dispute concerning the claim or demand.
(C) Extend the time for payment of the claim or demand.
(D) Abandon the claim or demand.
(25) Sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate or any interest therein for cash, credit, or for part cash and part credit, and with or without security for unpaid balances.
(26) Select a settlement option under any qualified or nonqualified benefit or retirement plan, annuity, or life insurance payable to the estate, and take appropriate action to collect the proceeds.
(27) Inspect and investigate property held, directly or indirectly, by the personal representative for the purpose of:
(A) determining the application of environmental law with respect to the property; and
(B) doing the following:
(i) Take action to prevent, abate, or remedy an actual or a potential violation of an environmental law affecting the property, whether taken before or after the assertion of a claim or the initiation of governmental enforcement by federal, state, or local authorities.
(ii) Compromise claims against the estate that may be asserted for an alleged violation of environmental law.
(iii) Pay the expense of inspection, review, abatement, or remedial action to comply with the environmental law.
(28) Distribute assets of the estate upon such terms as the personal representative may impose. To the extent practicable, taking into account the decedent's probable intention, the power to distribute assets includes the power to:
Sec. 3.2. (a) Not more than two (2) months after the appointment of a personal representative under this chapter, the personal representative shall prepare a verified inventory of the decedent's probate estate. The inventory may consist of at least one (1) written instrument.
(b) The inventory required under subsection (a) must indicate the fair market value of each item of property belonging to the probate estate, including a statement of all known liens and other charges on any item. The property must be classified in the inventory as follows:
(1) Real property, with plat or survey description, and if a homestead, designated as a homestead.
Distribution of real property
Sec. 3.4. (a) This section applies to the distribution of real property by a personal representative to a devisee or heir under this chapter.
(b) The conveyance subscribed by the personal representative under this section is sufficient to distribute all title in the real property to the devisee or heir if the conveyance includes substantially the following language:
"A.B. is the personal representative of the estate of C.D., deceased. This estate is pending as Cause Number ___________ in __________ County, Indiana. The personal representative, by virtue of the power given a personal representative under Indiana law, hereby distributes to E.F. the following described real estate: (insert description)."
As added by P.L.130-1992, SEC.4.
Prompt closing of estates
Sec. 3.8. (a) A personal representative shall close an estate administered under this chapter as promptly as possible.
(b) If a personal representative does not file a closing statement under section 4 of this chapter within one (1) year after the appointment of the personal representative, the personal representative shall file a statement with the court indicating why the estate has not been closed.
As added by P.L.130-1992, SEC.6. Amended by P.L.118-1997, SEC.15.
Closing estate; procedures; termination of appointment of personal representative
Sec. 4. (a) Unless prohibited by order of the court and except for estates being administered in supervised administration proceedings, a personal representative may close an estate by filing with the court no earlier than three (3) months after the date of the first published notice to creditors under IC 29-1-7-7(b), a verified statement stating that the personal representative, or a prior personal representative, has done the following:
(1) Published notice to creditors as provided in IC 29-1-7-7(b), and that the first publication occurred more than three (3) months prior to the date of the statement.
(2) Provided notice to creditors as required under IC 29-1-7-7(c) and IC 29-1-7-7(d).
(3) Fully administered the estate of the decedent by making payment, settlement, or other disposition of all claims which were presented, expenses of administration and estate, inheritance, and other death taxes, except as specified in the statement. If any claims remain undischarged, the statement shall:
(A) state whether the personal representative has distributed the estate, subject to possible liability, with the agreement of
the distributees; or
(B) detail other arrangements which have been made to accommodate outstanding liabilities.
(4) Executed and recorded a personal representative's deed for any real estate owned by the decedent.
(5) Distributed all the assets of the estate to the persons entitled to receive the assets.
(6) Sent a copy of the statement to all distributees of the estate and to all creditors or other claimants of whom the personal representative has actual knowledge whose claims are neither paid nor barred and has furnished a full account in writing of the personal representative's administration to the distributees whose interests are affected.
(7) Provided the court with the names and addresses of all distributees, creditors, and claimants to whom the personal representative has sent a copy of the statement under subdivision (6).
(b) If no proceedings involving the personal representative are pending in the court three (3) months after the closing statement is filed, the appointment of the personal representative terminates and the estate is closed by operation of law.
(Formerly: Acts 1975, P.L.288, SEC.11.) As amended by P.L.154-1990, SEC.7; P.L.130-1992, SEC.7; P.L.252-2001, SEC.15.
Uncontested closing statements; audits and inquiries
Sec. 4.5. If, after three (3) months following the date that the closing statement required under section 4 of this chapter is filed, an objection to the closing statement has not been filed, the court does not have a duty to audit or make an inquiry.
As added by P.L.130-1992, SEC.8.
Undischarged claims; actions against distributees; contribution
Sec. 5. After assets of an estate have been distributed, and subject to section 7 of this chapter, an undischarged claim not barred may be prosecuted in a proceeding against one (1) or more distributees. No distributee is liable to claimants for amounts in excess of the value of his distribution as of the time of distribution. As between distributees, each shall bear the cost of satisfaction of unbarred claims as if the claim had been satisfied in the course of administration. Any distributee who fails to notify other distributees of the demand made upon him by the claimant in sufficient time to permit them to join in any proceeding in which the claim was asserted against him loses his right of contribution against other distributees.
(Formerly: Acts 1975, P.L.288, SEC.11.) As amended by P.L.1-1993, SEC.213.
Claims against distributees; limitation
Sec. 7. Unless otherwise barred, the claim of any claimant, including a claimant under a disability, to recover from a distributee who is liable to pay the claim, and the right of any heir or devisee, including an heir or devisee under a disability, or of a successor personal representative acting in their behalf, to recover property improperly distributed or the value thereof from any distributee is forever barred at the later of (a) three (3) years after the decedent's death, or (b) one (1) year after the closing statement is filed.
(Formerly: Acts 1975, P.L.288, SEC.11.) As amended by Acts 1978, P.L.132, SEC.5.
Subsequently discovered estate; appointment of personal representative
Sec. 8. If other property of the estate is discovered after the estate has been settled and the personal representative discharged or three (3) months after a closing statement has been filed, the court upon petition of any interested person and upon notice as it directs may appoint the same or a successor personal representative to administer the subsequently discovered estate. If a new appointment is made, unless the court orders otherwise, the provisions of this title apply as appropriate; but no claim previously barred may be asserted in the subsequent administration.
(Formerly: Acts 1975, P.L.288, SEC.11.)