Estate Planning For The Long Run

Estate Planning For The Long Run

Is Probate Required for Every Will in Nevada?

by | Jul 7, 2024 | Estate Planning, Probate, Wills and Trusts

If you live in the state of Nevada, you may be wondering if probate is required if there is a will when someone passes away. Probate laws are different in every state, which is why it is important that you understand the specific laws in Nevada and how they may apply to a trust or a will.

To properly prepare for the future and get your estate in order for your loved ones, you need to hire an estate planning attorney to help you create a plan for your assets. At Morris Estate Planning Attorneys, our collective years of experience in estate planning have equipped us with the knowledge we need to help our clients navigate probate laws in Nevada. Keep reading to find out if probate is required when there is a will, as well as how the probate process in Nevada works.

How Probate Works in Nevada

Understanding how probate works in Nevada is very important when a loved one has passed away. Sometimes Nevada probates are straightforward and other times they are more involved. Here are some general steps you need to take in a probate:

  • Secure the loved ones’ death certificate.
  • Find the legally binding and most recent will to identify the executor and the desired distribution of assets and lodge it with the probate court.
  • File a petition to prove the will and appoint the executor.
  • Notify the heirs and interested parties in the will that you are initiating probate.
  • Publish a notice to creditors.
  • Create an inventory of assets and get appraisals to determine their value if necessary.
  • Sell or liquidate assets as needed.
  • Make arrangements for the filing of the decedent’s final tax returns.
  • File a petition to pay off any debts, pay for expenses, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries in the will.
  • Upon the payment of all debts, expenses, and distributions, file receipts with the Court and obtain an order discharging the executor from further duties.

Before you begin the process of initiating probate, it is best to hire a probate attorney in Nevada who can handle most of these steps for you. If you have never gone through probate before, this can be a confusing process, and a competent attorney can guide you to get the best outcome. An attorney can also help you decide if probate is necessary for the specific situation or if another process can be used.

When is Probate Necessary in Nevada?

Many people are uncertain about whether or not probate is required if there is a will when the person passes away. In many situations, probate is required even if there is a will but this does not apply to every situation. Whether or not you have to probate a will is dependent on the ownership and value of your assets.

In short, any asset that is not owned jointly with one or more people, not owned in a trust, and does not designate a beneficiary, will need to be probated to some extent. The type of probate required in Nevada depends on the value of the probate assets.

You can avoid formal probate court if you qualify for utilizing the Small Estate Affidavit. This is an affidavit that allows the beneficiary to collect certain assets without having to go through the probate court to get them. This is an option for estates valued at $25,000 or less in personal property (excluding real estate) if the heir is a non-spouse, or estates valued at $100,000 or less in personal property (excluding real estate) if the heir is a spouse.

Another option for estates valued under $100,000 is to do a Set Aside Petition. A Set Aside Petition involves one court hearing where the court will set aside the estate so that it goes to the rightful heirs after the hearing. This is required if there is real estate but the total value of all probate assets does not exceed $100,000.

For estates valued between $100,000 and $300,000, you typically file for a summary administration. You will have to file a petition with the court to get an administrator appointed, publish a notice to creditors for 60 days, file a formal inventory, and perform many other tasks.

For estates over $300,000 in value, you will have to use general administration, which is the highest level of probate in Nevada. The procedures are similar compared to a summary administration, except that there are additional notice requirements and the notice to creditor period runs for 90 days.

Tips For Avoiding Probate in Nevada

Now that you know when you need to apply for probate, you may be wondering how you can avoid the probate process entirely. The good news is that there are some strategies you can use to try to avoid this time-consuming process by planning more meticulously for the future. In many instances, avoiding probate simplifies the administration process and reduces time and cost.

Here are some strategies you can use to avoid probate in Nevada:

  • Living trusts: A living trust allows you to place assets within a trust that is managed by a trustee. Assets in a living trust will not go through probate, instead being transferred directly to the beneficiaries upon the grantor’s death.
  • Joint ownership: Another option is joint ownership, which is when the property is owned jointly with another person, giving them the right of survivorship. Joint ownership assets do not need to go through probate as long as they are designated with a right of survivorship, and they will be automatically transferred to the surviving joint owner(s).
  • Beneficiary designations: Some assets can use beneficiary designations so that they are automatically transferred to the named beneficiary upon your death. Examples of assets that allow for this include things like life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and bank accounts.

Part of preparing for the future and ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes includes hiring an estate planning attorney. It is too easy to make mistakes with self-prepared estate plan. Your plan may also need to be revisited and modified from time to time. An attorney can help you do this, ensuring you have created an estate plan that allows you to clearly dictate your last wishes.

An attorney can also help you find the right method of avoiding probate and ensuring your loved ones get what they are entitled to.

Contact a Dependable Estate Planning Attorney at Morris Estate Planning Attorneys

Probate can be a long process that is not only inconvenient but also mentally taxing to your loved ones when you have passed away. To prevent them from having to go through a long and overwhelming probate process, you need to plan for the future and get your estate in order.

At Morris Estate Planning Attorneys, our estate planning lawyers are dedicated to providing legal assistance to our Nevada clients who are getting their estate plans in order. Contact us today at 702-471-0990 to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.