After the death of your spouse, your main focus may not be on finances, but you will soon have to take care of practical things, such as paying bills. If your spouse was the income earner and mainly responsible for paying your daily living expenses, it can be scary when his or her estate enters probate because this puts all assets on hold.
Fortunately, according to the Indiana General Assembly, the law does provide for an allowance, which you can use for daily expenses and to stay afloat until probate is complete.
Allowance amount and type
As the spouse, you may receive an allowance that totals $25,000 from the estate prior to probate.
The allowance may come to you as personal property or real estate. It can also be a combination of property. You will typically receive personal property first and then supplement with real estate. If real estate is part of the allowance, the court must first notify any interested parties. The value is set on the date of the death of your spouse.
Timing and filing
You should be able to claim this allowance up to 90 days of the estate entering probate. You will need to file a claim with the court. The claim must detail the property you want from the estate.
Do be aware that someone else can file an objection to your claim, which can slow things down. People have 30 days from the filing date of your claim.
Because of the rules and time limits placed on the allowance, it is essential that you understand how it works and whether you can make a claim so you can avoid a denial.