The process of settling the estate of a loved one after his or her death can be a difficult and emotional endeavor, especially in the weeks and months following a passing. If you are the executor of the estate of a family member, it is your responsibility to navigate this process effectively, eventually concluding outstanding matters and closing the estate. In order to do this, you will need to know what to expect from the probate process.
Probate is the process of authenticating a will, paying off remaining debts and doing other tasks as outlined in the course of a decedent’s will. The court oversees the entire process, and it can take months or years to complete. By having accurate and reasonable expectations for the probate process, you will be in a better position to avoid issues that could lead to additional costs, a longer probate period and stress for your entire Nevada family.
What happens during probate?
One of the first steps in the probate process is locating the will and filing the appropriate paperwork with the probate court. In addition to determining if the will is authentic, the court will appoint someone to act as executor. This is typically the person named to act in that capacity by the decedent’s will. As the executor, you will take the following steps or oversee their completion:
- Locating the decedent’s assets and determining an accurate value on those assets through statements and appraisals
- Identifying creditors and notifying them of the death of the account holder, after which creditors can make any claims that need resolution
- Paying any remaining debts owed by the decedent, as well as preparing and filing a last tax return
- Distributing money and assets from the estate to heirs and beneficiaries as outlined by the terms of the decedent’s will
Some assets are exempt from the probate process. For example, assets held in a trust are not subject to probate.
Help at every step
Navigating probate can be daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. As the executor, you may find it beneficial to find out what you can expect from this process and what steps you can take that will make it less likely that you will experience complications and setbacks along the way. Probate administration is not always a smooth process, but with help, you can feel more confident about what is ahead.