Does a Probate Attorney Handle IRA or Life Insurance?

Losing someone you love and care about is a traumatic experience. It can take you days to even think about the next steps and weeks before you take those steps. Whether you lose a relative or a close friend, you may need to go through probate. In Nevada, any estate with a higher value must go through this process. IRAs and life insurance policies do not always require probate though.

What is Probate

Working with a probate lawyer is the best way to ensure that you follow the state’s laws. The estate refers to all the belongings that the person left behind. As long as the total value is above $20,000 or it contains any type of real estate, it must go through probate. An administrator or executor will handle the duties of paying any creditors or debts and maintaining any properties. They will also dispense the belongings to those named in the will and testament.

Intestate Laws

Nevada has intestate laws that come into play when the deceased did not have a will. You will still need to go through probate, which will decide who inherits the estate. As the only child of someone who passed away without a spouse, you inherit everything. If you have any siblings, you will equally divide the estate with them. Any adopted children also receive a fair share. You also inherit everything if you’re the surviving spouse. Nevada has other laws that allow any other family members to claim a share of the estate. A probate attorney ensures that you understand who inherits what percentage of the estate.

Retirement Accounts and Probate

Though you may assume you need guardianship in Las Vegas help to ensure the care of your children, you might not spend as much time thinking about your retirement accounts such as an IRA. Any type of retirement account has the legal right to bypass probate. To do so, you must name at least one beneficiary when you open the account. You also have the option of naming multiple beneficiaries such as your spouse and children. If you pass away, the beneficiaries will equally divide the money in your IRA. The only time an IRA needs to go through probate is if it doesn’t have any named beneficiaries.

IRA Considerations

Hiring a probate attorney in Las Vegas is the best way to make sure you get any funds due to you in an IRA or another retirement account. You might have a spouse who passed away and did not name you as the beneficiary. As a spouse, you can petition the court for half of the funds in the account. You also have the right to request the money if your spouse named your minor children as their beneficiaries. This allows you to hold onto the funds until they reach the legal age to claim them.

How to Claim an IRA

You do not need a lawyer to claim an IRA when someone passes away as long as you are one of the beneficiaries listed on it. Many companies require a copy of the death certificate to show that the person passed. You may also need a copy of your birth certificate or marriage certificate to show your relationship to the deceased. This allows you to claim the funds and move them into a different retirement account. You may also have the option of getting the money sent to you in a check that you can deposit in your own account.

Life Insurance and Probate

Life insurance policies provide the loved ones of the deceased with funds they can use for the things they need. Many people buy policies that cover their funeral and death expenses. The policy can also cover any debts they left behind and have enough funds to pay off their home and give their families money for the future. If you are a named beneficiary on the life insurance policy, it instantly skips probate. Depending on how much money is paid out, you might get the funds within a few days or several months.

When Does Life Insurance Go Through Probate?

There are several times when a life insurance policy will become part of a probate. Having estate planning lawyers in Las Vegas look over your will and testament can help your loved ones avoid these hassles. The policy will go through probate if the named beneficiaries are also deceased. This often happens when a married couple passes away at the same time. It will also go through probate if only one beneficiary died. The policy will then become part of the proceedings and divide the funds equally among your heirs.

Another issue arises when the deceased does not name a beneficiary. This can happen when someone gets life insurance through their bank or a part-time job they had. You may also need a probate attorney because you are not one of the listed beneficiaries. If you have a parent who bought life insurance before you were born, you may find that they never updated their beneficiaries. Married couples encounter similar problems when they do not update their policies after they exchange vows.

When to Use a Probate Attorney

The best time to use a probate attorney is when you need to claim an IRA or life insurance policy that does not name you as a beneficiary. You may need to prove that you are the sole living heir of an account or that you have an existing relationship that succeeds any others. For example, you might argue that your spouse never updated the account to name you as the beneficiary and that their former spouse doesn’t deserve the money. If you are one of the beneficiaries of an IRA or life insurance policy, you do not need to go through probate. Simply contact the company that handles it and provide any information they require. Help your loved ones avoid similar hassles when you pass with help from an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas.

Skipping Probate

Though most property goes through probate, not all do. Naming others as beneficiaries is one of the easiest ways to skip the long and complicated probate process. You have the legal right to a loved one’s IRA or life insurance policy if you are the primary beneficiary or one of the listed beneficiaries. Those funds go right to you and remain separate from anything in probate. Hire a local probate attorney to get help drafting your will or navigating the probate process when a loved one passes.

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