Making a will, online or not, is similar in every state—but each state has its own legal requirements for a will to be valid. It is important to know what these requirements are so that your will is recognized as valid. To make an online will in Indiana, be sure to follow the specific statutes and use an online will that is customized for the state.
Can I Make a Will Online in Indiana?
Yes, you can make a will online in Indiana. To do so, use an online will making service. We recommend USLegalWills to make an online will in Indiana.
The following legal requirements must be met for a will to be valid in Indiana:
- The Testator (or the person making the will) must be at least 18 years old. An underaged person can make a will if they are a member of the armed forces or a merchant marine of the United State or its allies.
- The will must be signed in front of two witnesses, who must then sign in front of each other and the Testator.
These witnesses must know that they are signing your will. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries in the will. Witnesses risk forfeiting their inheritance if they are beneficiaries in the will.
Indiana is one of few states that currently accepts electronic wills. Electronic wills are those that are made, signed, and witnessed all digitally. There are certain other requirements that must be met for an electronic will to be valid in Indiana. To read the state laws for electronic wills in Indiana, you can go here.
Does Indiana Require a Notarized Will?
No, Indiana does not require a will to be notarized for it to be legally binding. But any will, when presented to the probate court, must be validated. Indiana, like many states, allows your will to be “self-proving.” A “self-proving” will can help speed up the probate process because the court can accept the will without calling the witnesses who signed it to testify.
In order for your will to be “self-proving” in Indiana, you and your witnesses sign a document that says the following:
- You met the legal requirements for a valid will.
- You signed the will voluntarily.
- Your witnesses signed the will voluntarily.
- You appeared to be of sound mind.
- To the best of the knowledge of your witnesses, you are at least 18 years old or are in the armed forces.
You can include this language in the will itself, or you can make a separate document that you attach to your will. Many other states that allow a will to be “self-proved” require this to be done in front of a notary public, but Indiana does not require you to do so.
Can I Name an Executor in Indiana?
Yes, you can name an executor in your will in Indiana. The executor is the person designated to settle the estate and ensure that the will is followed after the Testator’s death. You want to choose someone who you know and trust to act as the executor. If you do not name someone as the executor, the court will appoint someone.
Here are the requirements for an executor in Indiana:
- The person must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
- The person must be a U.S. resident.
- The person must not have been judged incapacitated by a court.
- The person must not have been convicted of a felony under any federal or state law.
To name an executor who lives out-of-state, there are some specific guidelines in Indiana:
- You can select an out-of-state executor if you also select an in-state co-executor and the nonresident posts bond.
- A nonresident can serve alone if they file a written notice accepting the appointment, naming an in-state agent to accept legal papers.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Indiana?
No, an attorney is not required to make a will in Indiana. If your estate is simple and your will is straightforward, online will making is a good option. However, if your estate is very large and complex, it is best to consult an estate planning attorney. When you make an online will in Indiana, you want to make sure that the will meets all the legal requirements to be recognized as valid. Use an online will making service that has state-specific templates.
What Types of Wills Are Valid in Indiana?
If you make your will online or not, any type of will which meets the federal and state-specific requirements is valid in Indiana.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Indiana?
A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament signed with no witnesses. In Indiana, holographic wills are not considered legally binding. This is because Indiana requires the Testator to sign the will in the actual presence of two witnesses and for the witnesses to sign the will in the actual presence of each other and the Testator.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Indiana?
A nuncupative will is an oral will. Some individuals wish to leave oral wills on video. In any state, a nuncupative will is considered an emergency or last resort type of will. If the person is facing imminent death and cannot execute a written will, a nuncupative will is better than nothing at all.
Nuncupative wills are also sometimes known as deathbed wills, as they are often made right before death. If time and health allow, a written, witnessed, and legally binding will is much better for avoiding legal delays when settling the estate. While nuncupative wills are not ideal, they are allowed in Indiana under certain conditions.
In order for a nuncupative will to be valid in Indiana, it must be executed in the following ways:
- It must be declared in front of two eligible witnesses.
- It must be reduced to writing within 30 days of its declaration.
- It must then be submitted to be probated within 6 months of the Testator’s death.
Remember: witnesses of a will (nuncupative or otherwise) in Indiana may risk forfeiting their inheritance if they are beneficiaries in the will. Other things to consider regarding nuncupative wills in Indiana:
- Only valid to dispose of property up to a certain dollar limit.
- Only valid if made while in imminent peril and died as a result of the imminent peril.
- Does not fully replace a previous valid will, only changing to the extent necessary to give effect to the nuncupative will.
How Is a Living Will Different from An Online Will in Indiana?
A living will is a legal document containing medical directives and end-of-life care. This is different from a last will and testament—which an online will is. A last will and testament contains how someone wishes to settle their estate.
A living will and a last will and testament are two separate documents. You can make both a last will and testament and a living will online. You can find information on living wills for Indiana here.
In Indiana, these are the requirements for a living will:
- You must sign it in front of two adult witnesses.
- Your witnesses must sign it in front of you and each other.
- Your witnesses cannot be: your parent, spouse, or child; entitled to any portion of your estate; or directly financially responsible for your medical care.
Why Do I Need to Make a Will Online in Indiana?
When someone dies without a will, there are laws that determine what happens to their property. Indiana, like every state, has its own intestacy distribution laws. It is a complicated distribution succession, which can become a lengthy legal process. If someone dies without a will in Indiana, the state will also appoint guardians for minor children and an executor for their estate. Property held by the individual who died will often be held up in the probate court process for months at a time.
When you have children or if you own property, it is important to make a will. Otherwise, the probate process to settle your estate becomes complicated and can take months or years.
What Can I Include in An Online Will in Indiana?
You can include the following when you make an online will in Indiana:
- You can name the executor for your estate.
- You can appoint guardians for any minor children.
- You can appoint someone to oversee any property left to minor children.
- You can leave property or gifts to family, friends, charities, or other organizations.
- You can choose someone to care for any remaining pets.
- You can distribute family heirlooms.
- You can distribute personal or sentimental items.
What Should Not Be Included in A Will in Indiana?
You should not include medical directives, end-of-life care, or funeral instructions in a wall. This is because a will is not usually consulted until after the funeral. If you leave any of those types of instructions or wishes in your will, your family might not know about them until after the funeral.
For medical directives and end-of-life care, you want to create a living will. For funeral instructions, you can simply discuss these with your family and make your wishes known. You can also make a separate document that describes your wishes for funeral arrangements, giving it to the executor of your estate or other trusted people.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Indiana?
Whether or not you make a will online, a will is a legally binding document. But, you can change or revoke your will at any time. If you make an online will in Indiana, you can revoke or change it in the same ways you change or revoke any will.
The ways to change or revoke a will in Indiana are:
- You can physically destroy it by burning, tearing, canceling, or otherwise mutilating it with the intent to revoke it.
- You can order someone else to physically destroy it in front of you with the intent of revoking it.
- You can write a new will that explicitly states it revokes the old will, which must meet the same legal requirements as the old one.
- You can write a document that states you are revoking your will, which must meet the same legal requirements as a will (signed, witnessed).
Whenever you have any major life change, you should update your will. Life changes—like marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, acquisition of significant assets, or relocation to another state or country—may require you to write a new will. If you are making only minor changes to the will, you can instead add an amendment (called a codicil) with these changes to your will. A codicil must be finalized in the same way the original will is finalized.
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Indiana?
To finalize an online will in Indiana, take these steps:
- Sign it in the actual presence of two witnesses.
- Have the two witnesses sign it in your actual presence.
To make a will self-proving in Indiana, you can include a document with the language that says that you: met the legal requirements for a valid will, signed the will voluntarily, your witnesses signed the will voluntarily, you appeared to be of sound mind, you are at least 18 years old or in the armed forces. You do not need this document notarized. You can include the language in the will itself or in a separate document.
- Indiana accepts electronic wills.
We recommend USLegalWills to make an online will in Indiana. Comprehensive service at affordable prices, with an option for secure storage and unlimited free updates to your last will and testament. See their pricing and will details here.