The Probate Process and How It Works
Dealing with the death of a loved one can be a emotionally trying experience, and having to deal with sorting out the will and financials after their passing certainly doesn’t make matters any easier. Luckily, for most estates, there is something called a Probate process. This process helps ensure that the appraisals of any necessary assets can go smoothly, as well as ensure any taxes, credits and debts can be dealt with prior to any inheritance being passed down. Another perk of the probate process is that it helps prevent any theft or fraud to occur in the confusion after a loved one’s passing.
How Does the Probate Process Work?
Probate is normally the official way the courts settle the estate of a deceased. The first step in the Las Vegas probate process is for the court to appoint an executor. Sometimes also referred to as a personal representative, this individual is usually is usually a spouse or surviving adult child. The personal representative is normally declared and appointed within the will, but if there is no will then they will be appointed by the court. This individual ultimately has the legal authority to pay bills and taxes, value the deceased’s assets, and eventually distribute any assets to their appropriate heirs or beneficiaries.
Once an executor has been appointed, the deceased’s assets are frozen, allowing only the executor to handle them. This prevents third parties from tampering with any of the financials or other assets until the will has been verified, as well as prevents any fraud from occurring. This also ensures that no inheritance is paid out or distributed until all relevant parties are notified or until all creditors and taxes have been paid. Some smaller estates do not require the use of a probate process, generally under $100,000.
If you have a recently deceased loved one with a large estate, or if you or a loved one are planning their will, it may be a good idea to meet with a estate planning lawyer in Las Vegas. An estate planning lawyer can help prepare and simplify the probate process by ensuring an executor is named in the will, as well as work with the courts to ensure the probate process goes smoothly and only those involved with the probate process have access to the deceased’s finances.