What is Probate?

Howard Robert Roitman

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Probate Attorney - Las Vegas, NV

Contributor Level 16

Posted almost 2 years ago. Applies to Las Vegas, NV, 2 helpful votes

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1

Records needed in the probate process

Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, guardianships, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, depositions, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents

2

The type of probate varies with the size of the decadent's estate

The type of probate varies with the size of the decadent's estate. An estate with less than $20,000.00 in assets and no real estate can be distributed without court involvement by filing an affidavit of entitlement. An estate with less than $100,000.00 in assets can qualify for a "set aside" without formal administration Set asides can generally be completed relatively quickly and inexpensively. An estate with more than $100,000.00 in assets generally requires a full probate. Set asides are relatively quick and easy. A larger estate generally goes through the full probate process and can take a few months or, if disputed or especially complex, a few years. Most probates are completed in a matter of months. Our probate attorneys can help you handle a probate as quickly and efficiently as possible

3

What is Probate?:

(1) belonging to a deceased person ("decedent") that do not pass directly by law or under the terms of a contract. If the decedent leaves a will, he or she has died "testate", and the executor nominated in the will is appointed by the court, and the estate passes to the beneficiaries named in the will. A person who dies without a will has died "intestate", and his or her estate will be administered by a court-appointed administrator, and that person's assets pass to his or her heirs, who are those designated under state law to inherit the estate.

4

The Probate Commissioner prepares the calendar and related materials

The Probate Commissioner prepares the calendar and related materials for and conducts the Friday session of Probate. In addition, the Probate Commissioner, as a hearing master, conducts Evidentiary Hearings of contested probate matters. The Probate Commissioner does not assist the public in filing or processing Probate Petitions in the District Court. Pro Se Resources the Nevada Supreme Court Council for Pro Se Assistance list of resources has compiled a list of recorces for thouse who want to go through the probate process without a lawyer.

5

The following steps are recommended upon a loved one's death

The following steps are recommended upon a loved one's death: 1. Locate the will or other estate planning documents. 2. Contact a Nevada probate lawyer to open probate as soon as possible in order to protect and secure the deceased's assets. 3. Obtain several copies of the death certificate, which will be used to open the Nevada probate, collect insurance, transfer joint tenancies, etc. 4. If a will exists: Contact the executor named in the will. Under Nevada probate law, the will is to be filed within 30 days of the death, with the county clerk. The executor need not be a Nevada resident. 5. If no will exists: An administrator should be nominated and then approved by the Nevada probate court. An administrator may be a bank, public administrator, friend, relative, or an attorney. The Administrator must be atleast 18 years old and a Nevada resident. 6. The named executor/administrator should then: (A) Inventory and secure all assets. (B) Determine debts owed

6

An executor is the person you name in your will to handle your property after death.

Essentially, the executor's job is to protect the deceased person's property until all debts and taxes have been paid, and see that what's left is transferred to the people who are entitled to it. The law does not require an executor to be a legal or financial expert or to display more than reasonable prudence and judgment, but it does require the highest degree of honesty, impartiality and diligence. This is called a " fiduciary duty" - the duty to act with scrupulous good faith and candor on behalf of someone else. Executors have a number of duties, depending on the complexity of the deceased person's estate.

7

The executor must be prepared to carry out a long list of tasks, prudently and promptly.

Executors have a number of duties, depending on the complexity of the deceased person's estate. Typically, an executor must: o Decide whether or not probate court proceedings are needed. If the deceased person's property is worth less than a certain amount (it depends on state law), formal probate may not be required. o Figure out who inherits property. If the deceased person left a will, the executor will read it to determine who gets what. If there's no will, the administrator will have to look at state law (called " intestate succession" statutes) to find out who the deceased person's heirs are. o Decide whether or not it's legally permissible to transfer certain items immediately to the people named to inherit them, even if probate is required for other property. o If probate is required, file the will (if any) and all required legal papers in the local probate court. o Find the deceased person's assets and manage them during the probate process.

8

Must the executor hire a lawyer?

Not always. An executor should definitely consider handling the paperwork without a lawyer if he or she is the main beneficiary, the deceased person's property consists of common kinds of assets (house, bank accounts, insurance), the will seems straightforward, and good self-help materials are at hand. Essentially, shepherding a case through probate court requires shuffling a lot of papers. In the vast majority of cases, there are no disputes that require a decision by a judge. So the executor may never see the inside of a courtroom, but will certainly become familiar with the court clerk's office. In Nevada if you have a good lawyer you may be able to do it all by mail from where ever you live and if the person helping you does not know what they are doing you may be headed for big trouble.

Additional Resources

Howard Roitman, Esq. 8921 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, Nevada 89117 (702) 647-8550

Howard Robert Roitman’s Answers

Nevada Probate Law

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