What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process used to validate and administer a will when a person dies. The probate process is also used when a person dies without a will or “intestate.” Without a will, a person cannot express their wishes for important decisions such as asset distribution, funeral arrangements, or a caregiver for any minor children.
With a will, the probate process can take anywhere from six to 18 months after the will is filed. The length of the probate process depends on how simple or complex an estate is. Simple estates are more straightforward, require less decision-making, and have fewer assets to distribute.
On the other hand, more complex estates are more time-intensive as there are likely more assets and beneficiaries and different layers, such as creditors and business partners. Creditors might be fighting for their share of the money, and heirs could argue over assets. Any wrinkles or complexity drag out the timeline and involve more court time and attorney fees.
Consider Fuller Law Practice and our team of experienced probate attorneys when you need legal assistance to resolve probate-related issues. Don’t overspend on time or money when we have potential solutions.
How Do I Avoid Probate Altogether or a Lengthy Process?
There are a few ways to avoid probate in Nevada. Most people don’t know that not every estate qualifies for probate. If the total amount of the deceased person’s assets exceeds $20,000 or if real estate is involved, probate will be required.
Most people don’t know that not every estate qualifies for probate. You can use the simplified estate process if the estate’s value exceeds $20,000.
Creating a will is essential and a way to avoid a lengthy probate process. Most wills must go through the probate process to ensure authenticity, though the process will take less time with an intention than without one.
The best way to avoid probate altogether is with a living trust. A living trust is a private fiduciary arrangement that allows a person, or trustee, to manage and preserve another person’s assets. A living trust works to avoid probate because the trust itself owns any assets a person transfers into it.
From wills to trusts, our experienced estate planning attorneys with Fuller Law Practice will help you understand the probate process and how your estate planning choices can benefit (or work against) you and your family in the long run.
How Can I Avoid Conflict During Probate?
There are many loose ends to tie up after a loved one dies. It’s a busy and emotional time. The probate process can be wrought with conflict and disputes when the deceased person chooses not to leave a will behind. Without a plan for asset distribution or other important decisions, it puts loved ones in a compromising position.
There are many steps of the probate process our attorneys can control, though the part we do not have a say in—and can only efficiently manage on your behalf—is family members disputing decisions. This overcomplicates the process and adds time and money to it.
A little upfront planning can help you avoid conflict and distress. Keep open communication with family members and try to work through issues together or with legal assistance to add a non-biased perspective. Along the same lines, practice empathy as it could go a long way in maintaining relationships and reaching a resolution faster.
As an executor or trustee, you can apply these learnings and prevent the same thing from happening to your family with a proper estate plan. Reach out to Fuller Law Practice for guidance regarding probate and estate planning. Call: (702) 935-4144.
What Are the Steps in Probate?
Executors have a fiduciary responsibility to the decedent, which includes executing the will.
This starts with the probate process after a person passes. In a typical probate process, free of disputes or issues, these are the steps:
- File a petition to start the probate process
- Give notice to heirs and interested parties
- Take inventory of the estate and assets
- Handle and pay bills and any remaining debts
- Legally change the name of assets
- Distribute assets among heirs
- Close the estate
To conclude the probate process, you must inform the court of actions to close the estate. This might include submitting a template or creating a report that outlines assets gathered, expenses incurred and the assets distributed to heirs. Any assets leftover in the estate will require a final petition to grant any distribution.
The probate process can be simple or complex, though no one can predict the process or the outcome. An experienced attorney is crucial to prevent additional frustration and expenses. Contact the Fuller Law Practice to discuss your probate case: (702) 935-4144.
What Are Probate Assets?
Probate assets are typically outlined in a person’s will. Probate is necessary for items or property listed in the deceased person’s name. These typically include:
- Real estate
- Other titled assets
- Personal possessions, including jewelry and collectibles
Not all estates must go through the probate process if the estate is considered minor or the value is below a specific dollar amount.
In Nevada, this is any assets that exceed $20,000. An inheritor of an estate must wait 40 days and prepare a short document stating that they are entitled to certain assets. Our firm can answer your questions regarding probate versus non-probate holdings so that you’re ready.
What are Non-Probate Assets?
Assets that do not have to go through the probate process are considered non-probate assets. These assets go directly to the beneficiaries, regardless of what the deceased person’s will says. Non-probate assets include:
- Any assets named in a living trust
- Bank accounts
- Joint property
- Life insurance policies, pensions, and 401ks
- Other real estate property, perhaps commercial or a business
- Additional vehicles
Our firm can prepare you for the probate process as an executor or administrator or help you with estate planning to protect your family from unnecessary costs and legal hoops that are a natural part of the probate process.
How Do I Protect My Assets from Probate?
A living trust is one way to avoid the probate process in Nevada. This is important if you have a complex estate or your estate falls outside of the “small estate.” Our attorneys can help you design a complete trust to protect any asset you own, from real estate to bank accounts to property.
The probate process typically requires all wills to go through the court system, while trusts are a third-party, private legal agreement handled outside the legal system. They are slightly more costly than wills, though they will protect you and your family from unnecessary costs and legal hassles down the road.
Should I Consult with a Probate Attorney?
Money, property, and assets are involved in the estate process. These material things can cause contention and conflict for the people left behind. The benefit of having an attorney in the first place is to avoid or lessen the probate process altogether with proper estate planning strategies like a trust or, at the very least, a will.
If you are an executor and you find yourself in a situation executing a complex estate, or you’re navigating disputes among family members that are extending the probate process, Fuller Law Practice can help.
There are many tasks a probate attorney can take off your plate, including:
- Identifying and securing estate assets
- Obtaining appraisals
- Assisting in bill payment and inheritance taxes
- Preparing and filing all documents
- Transferring assets
- Issuing a final disbursement of assets
Fuller Law Practice can help you avoid probate or work through it efficiently and effectively with valuable legal counsel and representation. Discuss your specific situation and book an initial consultation with our attorneys today: (702) 935-4144.