Dale & Eke is taking the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously.  So, for the purpose of maintaining social distancing under CDC guidelines and to promote the health and safety of our clients, visitors and staff and reduce the spread of COVID-19, our physical office will be closed until further notice.

For the time being we are limiting all in-office meetings to those clients and potential clients who are not feeling ill or who have not shown signs of illness.  However, we are recommending that, unless you make other arrangements with your attorney, all client and potential client meetings occur via telephone or video conferencing.  If you have any paperwork for us that you need to drop off, please use the mail slot outside of the front door to our office.

We can still be reached at our office telephone number (317-844-7400). Your call will be answered by our office phone system and you may leave a voicemail in the general mailbox or with a specific attorney. All voicemails left in the general mailbox will be routed to the requested attorney or staff.

You may also email the firm through its website at  www.daleeke.com.

We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and adjust procedures as necessary.  Your health and safety, and the health and safety of our attorneys and staff, is our highest priority.  We thank you for your patience and understanding during these uncertain and unprecedented times.

A Professional Corporation of Attorneys at Law

Were you recently nominated as an executor of a will?

The role of executor is an honor and a heavy responsibility. As an executor, you will be responsible for handling all the deceased’s remaining financial concerns. It is understandable that you are stressed and concerned about how to do this faithfully and accurately.

How is an executor nominated in Indiana?

In Indiana, only a probate court may appoint an executor of an estate. This court must be in the county where the person lived. At a court hearing, you must present the following documents:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Petition for Probate

These documents must state that you are the intended executor of the estate. If the person died without a will, someone must nominate themselves for the position. If no one does this, the court will nominate someone (usually a spouse, a parent or an adult child) until someone accepts the role.

After the executor is nominated and approved, the court will send you home with Letters of Probate. These letters give you the legal authority to handle the person’s finances.

What are an executor’s duties?

If the estate needs to be handled in court, an executor must assemble an inventory of all debts and assets which the court will sue to determine what is subject to probate. If the estate is not under court supervision, this inventory is irrelevant.

An executor must keep careful record of expenses and provide transparency in their duties. Beneficiaries can challenge an executor’s performance if you fail in your duties or they suspect you are siphoning money from the estate. Unethical behavior could result in jail time.

Typical duties of an executor include:

  • Hiring an appraiser for high-value assets (homes, land/property, equine assets, etc.)
  • Notifying beneficiaries of the person’s death and their inheritance
  • Publish creditor notice in local newspapers
  • Locating creditors
  • Paying medical bills
  • Paying funerary expenses
  • Paying their final taxes

It will also be your duty to control the spread of information. For tax and creditor purposes, a legal advisor may recommend following a specific timeline for paying off debt and distributing expenses. Publishing this information at will might rob the estate of those legal advantages.

If you are concerned about performing these duties or find you need guidance in this area, you have legal options and advice to explore. In your grief, it is important to be realistic about what you do and do not have the capacity to handle.