While there are numerous steps an individual can take in developing a comprehensive estate plan to minimize the impact of the probate process, the process itself is a necessity in many cases. It is wise to draft the plan with this in mind and encourage surviving loved ones to work with an attorney who can guide them through the potentially complex probate process when necessary.
Many people have a foundational understanding of the probate process in Nevada. In general, probate refers to the process by which the title of assets passes to beneficiaries. While every process is unique to the characteristics of the estate, there are some common reasons why you should get an attorney involved, including:
- The size of the estate: In Nevada, the length and complexity of the probate process are directly tied to the size of the estate itself. While the full calculation is complex, in the simplest terms, an estate with a value more than $300,000 must complete the full probate general administration. Even though this might seem like a significant sum, the totality of the estate includes real property such as the family home, retirement properties and vehicles. This can lead to a lengthy, complex process where the court must transfer legal titles and complete the distribution of assets to heirs.
- Avoiding potential conflict: While a decedent might have taken the time to create a will and other estate planning documents, it is not uncommon for this set of documents to be incomplete or unclear. When the decedent’s wishes are not clear, it can lead to heated family disputes and unnecessary complications through the probate process. Even though these disputes might not necessitate legal action, it is wise to work with an attorney to ensure the efficiency of the process.
- Identifying and resolving family complications: Today, divorce and remarriage are common themes. In addition, individuals could have children from two or more marriages. These blended families often have different ideas about who deserves what after the passing of a loved one. These heated emotional disagreements can often lead to those who might challenge the validity of the will or worry that the elderly decedent wrote the estate planning documents under duress. Working with an experienced attorney step by step through the process can reduce challenges and eliminate complications from the probate process.
Many surviving loved ones are content with allowing the legal system to run automatically and guide the probate process. It is wise, however, to seek experienced legal guidance to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently.