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After a loved one passes away, probate is the legal process that governs whether or not a person’s will is valid, if debt and taxes need to be paid and how property is distributed among existing beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this process is expensive and can tie up property for months, and sometimes even years. At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., we have experience with the probate process, which can be unfamiliar and intimidating for many individuals. Our firm can help you complete many of the required tasks and alleviate the stress associated with this aspect of estate planning.
When a person dies, all of their assets come under the jurisdiction and power of the court. These assets include:
- Assets with a designated beneficiary
- Assets held by a living trust
- Property held in joint tenancy by more than one person
If someone dies, but leaves a will, the person in possession of the will must file it within 10 days after death. The probate process then begins when the individual named in the will approaches the probate court and asks to be appointed as administrator of the decedent’s estate. Any heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent have an opportunity to object to this person’s appointment.
The court will issue Letters of Administration to the individual settling the decedent’s estate, and check the validity of the will. If the will is accepted, the personal representative can administer the decedent’s estate. That may include:
- Settling debts and obligations against the estate
- Identifying, valuing, and distributing assets to the proper beneficiary
- Collecting documentation of all the work done in administering the estate
At the conclusion of the process, the administrator submits a final report to the court detailing how the liabilities and assets were handled. Once this is accepted by the court, the estate is closed and the administrator is released from their obligation to the court.
Why You Need an Attorney
The probate process can be quite complex and extremely contentious. Our Reno estate planning attorneys can help you by validating the will, taking inventory of the deceased’s assets, determining who is entitled to the assets and making sure assets are distributed according to the will. In addition, Nevada allows certain inheritors to skip probate when the value of assets left behind are less than $20,000. Fees associated with probate can get expensive.
At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., we have the ability to assist clients and their families who have lost a loved one and are dealing with the probate process. We can guide you through all stages of probate and counsel you on ways to avoid the process, as well as deal with any disputes.
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