Probate is the legal process in which a property is distributed following a person’s will upon his or her death. It is a formal set of steps involving a probate court, which is tasked with establishing the validity of the person’s will, ensuring that the estate’s affairs are settled, and distributing assets per the person’s expressed wishes.
The Probate Process
When a person (testator) dies in Nevada with a will, the person in possession of the will must file it with the clerk of the probate court. What happens next depends on the overall value of the estate, as the extent to which a probate court monitors the execution of a will increases with the value and complexity of the estate.
For example, estates without real estate and whose assets are worth less than $20,000, no probate court proceedings are necessary. Instead, people entitled to inherit property can file an Affidavit of Entitlement that authorizes the release of property to them. Heirs of estates that are valued between $20,000 and $100,000 can similarly seek authorization from a probate court to release property without further court involvement.
For larger estates, the probate court will appoint a personal representative, or “executor”, via Letters of Administration. An executor holds a critically important role of gaining control of all of the testator’s property, creating an inventory and appraising property, selling property, notifying creditors, and settling debt, providing the probate court with vital accounting about the estate, and preparing the estate’s tax returns. Upon completion of his or her duties, an executor must ultimately receive approval from the court to make final distributions to the beneficiaries.
Dying Without a Will
When a person dies without a will, they die “intestate”, and their estate is settled through a similar process of administration. Here, an administrator settles the affairs, debts, and taxes of the estate, and is ultimately tasked with distributing property to beneficiaries named by the legislature, since there is no will.
Probate Attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.
If a loved one has passed away and you need help navigating the probate process, contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. Our lawyers are smart, experienced, and efficient. We understand that this is a very difficult time and will provide you with compassionate and responsive representation. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.