The Benefits of a Probate Attorney in Las Vegas
Determining guardianship in Las Vegas can be a lengthy and complicated process, and taking it through the court system can drag things out even further. In some cases where the estate is smaller, it may not even be worth going through the normal procedures to settle the estate. A probate attorney in Las Vegas can help you navigate this process, as well as get you the documentation you need to avoid going to probate court.
An Affidavit of Entitlement
An Affidavit of Entitlement is the legal document that allows you to bypass the probate court system when distributing assets to an heir in Nevada. If you have a Probate Attorney in Las Vegas or the surrounding area, they can help you with filing the proper paperwork and proving that the estate meets the conditions for applying or an Affidavit of Entitlement. In order to apply for an Affidavit of Entitlement, the estate will either need to be valued at less than $25,000 in combined assets and must not have any real property. Alternatively, the surviving spouse of a descendent can use an affidavit of entitlement for up to $100,000 worth of property if the descendent did not own real property. In this case, real property refers to fixed property, such as land and buildings. There can also be no petitions for the appointment of a personal representative either pending or being granted. Since a personal representative handles the dividing of assets according to the Last Will and Testament, the Affidavit of Entitlement would be considered unnecessary. You must also not be aware of any personal injury or tort claims against the descendent. Lastly, you must be legally entitled to claim the property as a legal property heir.
Applying for an Affidavit of Entitlement
When applying for an Affidavit of Entitlement, there are a few steps you need to take before filling out and presenting the Affidavit of Entitlement. The first step is to notify the descendant’s family members of your intent to proceed with the Affidavit of Entitlement. To do this, you must notify anyone with equal or higher priority than you to the property of what you are looking to claim. Next, you should collect information on the piece of property you wish to claim. This can be a VIN number for a vehicle, or bank account information. Try to be as detailed as possible when collecting information. Once you’ve collected all of the information you need, fill out the Affidavit of Entitlement and attached the death certificate. Once complete, present the Affidavit of Entitlement to the agency that is holding the property, and they should honor it.
It should be noted that only a descendant’s rightful legal heirs can use an Affidavit of Entitlement, those heirs being named according to a Last Will and Testament, or in the absence of one, the laws of succession in Nevada. You must also wait until 40 days after the death of a descendant to apply for an Affidavit of Entitlement.
When to Retain a Probate Attorney in Las Vegas
While it’s usually not necessary to retain a lawyer or file proceedings with the court when using an Affidavit of Entitlement, there are some situations it may be necessary. The first instance is when there is a problem identifying the property legal heir of the descendant. This issue can occur when the probate process fails to occur and property is passed down through multiple generations but is still legally owned by the deceased. This type of issue is generally more common with housing or plots of land. The other common issue that may require a probate attorney is if there is a dispute among heirs with the distribution of assets and property. This can occur when there is no Last Will and Testament or in cases where there are disputes among heirs regarding the Last Will and Testament and its validity, or if it is found that the executor (if one has been named) is not properly performing their duties in handling the estate during the probate process. Similarly, there can be disputes or assertations that there is a newer will that supersedes the one on file with either the court or the organization handling the assets of the descendent. Lastly, there can also be disputes regards to the value of the estate. This can be especially problematic when filing for an Affidavit of Entitlement if the value of the estate is nearing the $25,000 threshold. If there is any dispute or question as to the proper distribution or value of assets, it’s highly recommended you retain a probate attorney in Las Vegas.
Probate law and the distribution of assets can be a complicated process, even in situations where an attorney is not required. In order to ensure you’re getting the property that is rightfully yours, you need to have some knowledge about how the probate process works, as well as ensure that the assets are being handled properly. If there isn’t a personal representative appointed and there is either no intent on appointing one or if the probate process is not already underway 40 days after the death of the descendent, it may be wise to look into retaining a probate attorney to help navigate the probate process and get ahead of any problems that might arise when it comes time to distribute assets to the heirs.