Probate is court-monitored process of proving the validity of a will, transferring property, and settling the affairs of the deceased's estate. If there is no will, a similar process known as Administration is used to settle the deceased's affairs.
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Where a person dies leaving a will appointing an executor, and that executor validly disposes of the property of the deceased, then the estate will go to probate. However, if no will is left, or the will is invalid or incomplete in some way, then administrators must be appointed. They perform a similar role to the executor of a will but, where there are no instructions in a will, the administrators must distribute the estate of the deceased according to the rules laid down by statute and the common trust. An administrator (sometimes known as the administratrix, if female) acts as the personal representative of the deceased in relation to land and other property.
WHAT IS PROBATE ADMINISTRATION?
WHEN SHOULD A PROBATE BE OPENED?
As soon as practical following the person's death, in Nevada if the total amount of the decedent's assets exceeds $20,000, or if the real estate is involved, probate (or administration) will be required and there is normally no reason to delay starting the process. Nevada law requires a person in possession of the deceased person's will must "deliver it to the clerk of the district court" within 30 days of the death.
CAN I BECOME THE EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR OF AN ESTATE IF I DO NOT LIVE IN NEVADA?
Nevada does not impose restrictions on residency of an Executor named in a will, but does require a non-resident Administrator of an estate where there is no will to associate with a Nevada resident as co-administrator.
HOW LONG DOES PROBATE OR ADMINISTRATION NORMALLY TAKE?
In a routine probate proceeding, you can expect a minimum probate period from 120 to 180 days. This allows for publication of creditor notices and gives creditors time to file claims. However, probate and estate administration often take much longer if complications arise.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATIONS:
Heirs and beneficiaries are protected by the court
Orderly transfer of assets in an open manner, approved by the court
Validity of title of the transferred assets is not in question
All questions and disputes of the distribution of your estate are settled under court supervision
Creditor's claims against your estate can be made for a limited time (state law dictates)
Your estate, while in probate, is a separate tax entity. Prior planning may afford some tax savings.
ADVANTAGE OF PROBATE:
Planning your estate affairs ahead of any unforeseen events can go a long way to ensuring your assets are distributed to family, heirs and charities as you want them to be. Going through the probate process in a court of law can be time consuming and may or may not turn out the way you wanted. The law office of Cary Colt Payne, Esq. can help you and your family through the planning process.
If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding probate law, estate planning, or would like to start the process, give us a call at (702) 383-9010 for a free consultation.