Estate Planning For The Long Run

Estate Planning For The Long Run

Estate Planning And Probate FAQs

Estate planning and probate matters often seem confusing, and many people have questions about these concepts. Below are some common questions that people have about these personal legal matters.

Q: Can I Get My Trust Fund Early In Nevada?

A: It may be possible, but it will depend on the terms of the trust. Terms such as whether there is a life estate, how the distributions are determined and who the trustee is will be important. If you have potentially valid grounds for an early distribution, you should consult with a trust attorney who can carefully review the trust document and explain your options.

Q: How Long Does Probate Take In Nevada?

A: It really depends on the type and complexity of the estate. It can take up to 12 months or longer, depending the value of the estate. Creditors must have time to file potential claims and if there are problems, such as difficulties selling an asset like real estate, it could take much longer.

Q: What Questions Should I Ask A Probate Lawyer Before Hiring Them In Nevada?

A: You should discuss fees, timelines and ask questions that allow you get to know how the firm operates, especially regarding issues of communication. Easy communications with your attorneys during this process is important. Because of the nature of the probate process, you should receive specific answers to any concerns before you hire them.

Q: How Should I Set Up An Estate Plan In Nevada?

A: Talk to an estate planning attorney. This area of law is complex and requires a strong understanding of probate laws, finance, taxes and how they all fit together, and how they all must remain coordinated for the remainder of your life to be effective. They can recommend the various features of a plan that would be most appropriate for your specific circumstances.

Q: How Do I Dispute A Living Trust In Nevada?

A: You will need to file a case in court. This should not be done without careful consultation with an attorney, as you will need to prove there was undue influence, that the trustor lacked necessary capacity to execute the trust or that the trust was improperly executed. This can be difficult and expensive to demonstrate in court.

Q: Do I Need A Lawyer For A Trust In Nevada?

A: In most cases, yes, but if you attempt to do it yourself and use online forms, the real question is, do you really want to do it that way? If you make a mistake, the trust could be found invalid and a court could determine your property would pass via intestate succession laws, which very likely is not a result you would desire.

Q: Why Hire A Probate Attorney In Nevada?

A: A Nevada probate attorney is a professional who understands the interaction of all of the disparate parts of an estate plan and can work with you during the probate to see that the administration of an estate is done correctly. They ensure that all of the relevant documents are filed in a timely manner and proper procedures are followed, which can minimize the expenses to the estate and prevent questions and disputes from developing.

Q: How Long Does It Take To Set Up A Will In Nevada?

A: A straightforward will can be drafted within a short period. The greater the complexity, the more time and care that should be employed in developing you plan. If you want a comprehensive estate plan, you will likely need to discuss your goals with your attorney, and he or she can help you determine the most effective means of achieving those goals.

Q: What Happens If A Will Is Not Probated In Nevada?

A: Like many legal questions, it depends on the facts. If there is nothing to probate, then nothing will happen. Because there is no property to distribute, there will be no economic effect. However, if there are any creditors, they may file with the court to open an estate if they believe there are potential assets.

Q: How Much Does A Trust Fund Cost In Nevada?

A: Normally a trust is part of an estate plan that will include other documents, such as wills and powers of attorney. Depending on the law firm and the level of planning, these estate plans typically cost between $1,500-2,500.

Q: How Should I Leave Assets To A Minor In Nevada?

A: Rather than an outright gift, the use of a trust for a minor may be advisable. A trust can be drafted to distribute assets at a specific age, and a trustee can be given instructions on the purpose of distributions, such as paying for college tuition but not allowing a young adult to buy a sports car. You can also use the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) to provide for a minor.

Q: How can I avoid inheritance tax on property in Nevada?

A: Nevada does not have an inheritance tax.

Q: Can You Do A Grant Of Probate Yourself In Nevada?

A: You can, but it will be very difficult. You will need to make certain you understood all of the requirements of the process, file all of the documents and make all of the necessary court appearances. If you make a mistake or are challenged by another potential heir, it may cost much more to hire an attorney to rectify the matter than if you had hired one to handle the probate in the first place.

Q: What Is Probate Court In Nevada?

A: It is the court responsible for determining the validity of a will and supervising the distribution of the assets of a decedent’s estate. It also is where challenges to wills or trusts are filed.

For answers to your individual questions—and experienced guidance—regarding estate planning, tax planning and probate, call our office in Henderson at 702-471-0990 or use our online contact form.

More Information For Understanding Estate Planning and Probate In Nevada

When a person deceases, whatever assets that person owns will either pass through probate or they will not. Probate is the legal way to transfer the assets of someone who has deceased, and involves the use of probate court proceedings. Probate occurs primarily in two scenarios; first, when the deceased executed a will during his/her lifetime (testate), and second, when the deceased did not execute a will (intestate). If the deceased legally and effectively executed a will, then the probate courts will transfer the decedent’s assets according to that will. If there was no will, then the probate court will transfer the assets according to state intestacy laws. It is possible that part of the decedent’s assets go through probate and part of them do not (partial intestacy).

Consequences of Probate

Understanding the probate process is important for every person because of the consequences that result from probate proceedings. One of the consequences that might arise from probate is not having your estate and assets transferred to whom you want and/or in the way you want. Those who do not execute a will leave their entire estate up to the probate courts. Even those who execute a will still must go through probate, although the probate courts will administer the estate in accordance with the will; however, wills that are not properly executed can still leave assets that go through probate. Another consequence of probate is that it usually is time consuming. Most of the time, probates will take anywhere from nine  months to two years or more, depending on the size of the estate. Even smaller estates can take many months or more to go through the probate process. A further consequence of probate is that it is often costly. Between filing everything with the courts, attorneys’ fees, and other costs, probate could substantially diminish an estate.

Ways to Avoid Probate

Although there are advantages to probate, those advantages are just as effectively, if not more so, attainable through means other than probate. A useful and common way to avoid probate is to do some estate planning, including creating a living trust. Livings trusts allow people to protect their assets from probate and transfer them to whom they want and in the way they want, without going through probate.

Another way to avoid probate is hold an asset in joint tenancy. Joint tenancy allows the survivor to automatically take complete title to the asset in joint tenancy in the event the other joint tenant deceases. A further way to avoid probate is to hold assets that designate valid beneficiaries, such as IRA’s, 401K’s, and annuities. Upon the death of the owner of such an asset, the beneficiary will usually take the asset free of probate. Probate can also be avoided for small estates, pursuant to state probate statutes.

Normally, probate should be avoided and the most efficient way to do so is through estate planning. Although we have touched on some of the basics of the probate process and its consequences, there is more to probate than what is discussed in this article. Our law firm can help you understand the probate process better and how to utilize estate planning to avoid it.

Contact Our Firm

From our office in Henderson, our lawyers assist clients with a wide variety of estate and tax planning needs. If you have additional questions after looking at this FAQ, call us at 702-471-0990 or use our online contact form.