When You Might Come Across a Double Probate




Hi, my name is Jonathan Barlow. I'm a partner at Clear Counsel Law Group.

Free Consultations Available at No Obligation to You

Recently had a question asked about what is a double probate.

That can be a fairly complex probate question and before we get into the complexities of that question about what double probate is, I want to make sure that if you have any questions about a double probate after watching this video, wondering how it might apply to your situation, we do a free consultation here at our office that has no obligation to you.

We're glad to answer any questions you might have about the process. Often times during that free consultation, we end up resolving all of the questions for the client at that time and it costs them nothing to get the answers they need and they go on their way without any further obligation to us.

If it looks like there may be further questions or further legal work that has to be done, we'll give you a roadmap of where you have to go with that, what you might expect in the legal process, and we'll give you an estimate of the cost it'll be to hire the attorney to help you finish that part of the legal process. Again, that's at no obligation to you. We're happy to do that as a free initial consultation to answer any questions.

Let me tell you a little bit about what might happen in that consultation if you came in with a double probate question.

You're wondering "Hey, someone told me I have a double probate on my hands. What do I do?" As an initial matter, it's important to understand some basic issues about what probate is, how it arises, and how that could lead to this double probate.


First, What is Probate?

First of all, what is probate? A probate occurs when somebody dies and they have an asset, whether a house or a car or a bank account, whatever it might be, that is in the deceased person's name only.

Again, meaning there's no surviving joint owner, there's no beneficiary designated to receive that asset. Again, it has just the deceased person's name on that account, only the deceased person's name on the title to the house, something like that.


double probate, Las Vegas, Nevada


If you have an asset like that or if the deceased person has an asset like that, the only way to get that asset transferred to whomever it's supposed to go to is to go through the probate court process, which may be very simple or it may be much more complex depending on the assets involved.


What is Probate Court?

What is the probate court process? That is a process where the court oversees essentially the payment of your assets to whomever they're supposed to go to. The court oversees the payment of your debts and the distribution of your assets to your heirs or to those that you list in your will to receive your assets. So it's a process for somebody to take those assets through that and the court oversees where that money goes.

Let's assume that mother has passed away. When mom passed away, she had a house. The house was in just mom's name. However, mom was still married at the time of her death so she had a surviving spouse.

Well dad was still living in the house after mom passed away and he never bothered to go through the probate court process because again he was living there, he didn't think he needed to do it, maybe he forgot that his name wasn't on the title, everyone just assumed that mom and dad were both on the title to the house.

Some years later, I've seen this actually 25, 30 years pass before this pops up, dad dies.

Now the children realize, "Well we need to do something with mom and dad's house."

They realize well we've got to take care of dad's estate in probate court, meaning we got to get dad's property and assets distributed and transferred out.

In that process, they look at the deed to the house and lo and behold they discover that dad's name wasn't actually on the tittle to the house, it was just mom's name. Mom died 20 years ago.


Now It's Time to Discuss Double Probate

That gives rise to that double probate situation because when mom died 20 years ago, that house was in her name only.

In order to transfer that title, her estate, her property has to go through the probate court process. Now the interesting thing is when mom died, had her estate gone through probate, the persons that would have received her property, depending on various things, her husband, dad, would have received part of that property, would have become his property at that time.

Thus when he died, his interest in that property would have to go through probate court.

So that's where this double probate comes up. Mom died and had an asset in her name only. That's got to go through the probate court process.

The end result of mom's probate process is that dad's interest in that property goes to dad's estate. Then dad's estate has to go through probate to decide who gets it from dad's estate.

So we end up having to file two probate cases to transfer the same property from one person to the next, and from that person then to whomever is supposed to receive it at that point, whether that's the closest next of kin or whether he prepared a will and said "Under my will I want it to go to the following individuals."

This double probate can be a pretty messy thing, it usually happens and it surprises people that there was some asset that was in one person's name only that they didn't take care of many years ago.

It gets into some complexities that you have to resolve and go through this process.


We Can Help You With Complex Probate Matters

We here at Clear Counsel have done this many times and have dealt with this issue and helping people get through this process of resolving two estates in one shot and getting it done so that those assets are transferred on to the heirs that are entitled to them at that point.

So if you have questions about this, again we're glad to answer questions about probate, about a double probate again in a free, no obligation consultation where we can answer your questions for you.

If you have any questions about that, go ahead and give us a call at 702-476-5900 and we'll be glad to answer any questions you might have.


Know the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Debt


The Important Distinction Between Secured and Unsecured Debt


Hi, Matt MacArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. A common misunderstanding, or confusion that I come across on a daily basis with my clients, is understanding the difference between an unsecured debt and a secured debt.

In fact, one of the bankruptcy forums that's typically filled out will ask the question, "Have you paid any unsecured credits more than $600 in the last 90 days?"

Many of my clients simply don't know how to answer this question, because they don't know what an unsecured creditor is. I'd like to take a moment to clarify what each of these means, and help you understand the difference.


What is an Unsecured Debt?

An unsecured debt is something like a credit card debt, a medical debt, a payday loan. These are very common examples of unsecured debts.

Secured debt, unsecured debt, bankruptcy, Las Vegas, Nevada

We say that they're unsecured because there's no collateral attached to the debt. In other words, if you don't pay the debt, the creditor cannot come and take anything away from you, because there's nothing securing what's owed. It might be a little bit easier to understand what an unsecured debt is by talking about what a secured debt is.


What is a Secured Debt?

The two most common types of secured debts, or loans, are mortgages and car loans. When a person purchases a home, they take out a mortgage on the home, and they owe the bank, or the mortgage company, a certain number of dollars.

The bank is taking a big risk by lending this huge amount of money to this person to buy a very large asset. What the bank does is in exchange for them agreeing to allow you to have all this money to purchase the home, you agree as the purchaser to give the bank a security in your home.

In other words, if you fail to make payments on the house loan, then the bank has the right to exercise their security by conducting a foreclosure sale and trying to get some of their money that's been lost back through the sale of the home.

This helps them hedge against their bet on you as a borrower, and makes them feel a little bit more secure. It makes it easier to obtain these types of loans.


Why Banks Provide Secured Loans

It's really a good thing for most people, because it gives more people the opportunity to get a home loan, and it also provides security for the bank.

Now, a car loan is another great example of what a secured debt is. If you purchase a car, the car lender inevitably is going to make you sign a security agreement that says that if you fail to make payments on your car loan, that the car company will be able to repossess the car if you fail to make those payments.

Then they'll sell the car at an auction. Recoup some of their losses. In that way, they are a secured creditor.


How Can You Tell if a Debt is Secured?

The easiest way to think about the difference between a secured creditor and an unsecured creditor is if I don't make payments on this debt, is there anything that I would expect the creditor to come and take away from me?

Sometimes, you aren't going to know if a particular debt is secured or unsecured, simply because security agreements can sometimes be found in the small print of contract documents that people don't pay too much attention to when they're trying to purchase an item.

However, if you have any questions about whether a secured debt is secured or unsecured, the easiest way to tell is by looking at the original contract documents.

For something like that, you'd probably would like the help of an attorney.

I would be more than happy to help you in this process of determining what's an unsecured debt and what's a secured debt.

How the difference between these types of debt will affect the outcome in your particular bankruptcy.

Again, my name's Matt MacArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

Please come and see me, and I hope to hear from you soon on your path back to a fresh start.

Take care.

Do You Get to Choose Your Bankruptcy Chapter?



Choose What Chapter of Bankruptcy Is Best for You


Hi, I'm Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. The topic I'd like to discuss today stems from a phone call that I recently had from a man who called in and was very upset because he felt like he was being forced to do a bankruptcy that he didn't want to do.

Now the question I would like to address from that conversation I had with this man is whether or not you can be forced into a bankruptcy chapter that you don't want to do. I'm going to start by answering this by giving examples of scenarios where you're unable to do a certain type of chapter.

There are certain requirements to be able to fit into any given chapter of bankruptcy.


bankruptcy, chapter, Las Vegas, Nevada


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

First, ch. seven bankruptcy. There are income requirements for ch. seven bankruptcy.

If you make too much money based upon your household size, you could be required to choose a different chapter of bankruptcy or dismiss your case. They simply don't allow you to do a ch. seven bankruptcy, in other words, if you don't meet certain requirements.

They won't ever force you to do a ch. 13 against your will if you filed the ch. seven and it turns out that you are ineligible to do that chapter of bankruptcy.


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

An example of ch. 13 bankruptcy where you may be forced out of that chapter is if you filed the ch. 13 bankruptcy and, for example, you have too much debt.

Too much unsecured debt over the allowed amount can force you out of a ch. 13 bankruptcy because you would be ineligible for a ch. 13 discharge, which essentially makes the ch. 13 kind of pointless.

At that point what would normally happen is you'll be given the choice of dismissing the ch. 13 case or converting to another chapter, ch. seven or possibly ch. 11.

In either scenario, you're not going to be forced to do something that you didn't want to do, but your options will be limited.

It's very important when you're considering filing for ch. seven bankruptcy or 13 bankruptcy that you meet with a qualified attorney that's going to look at your situation, analyze what's going on, and determine whether you're able to file for the chapter of bankruptcy that you want to file for, or whether another chapter would be more appropriate for you.

If you have any questions about the type of bankruptcy, please come and see me, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

I have a lot of experience in dealing with my clients' situations, advising them on which course is best for them, helping them achieve their goals so that they can best address their financial needs.

Until next time, I hope to speak with you soon on your path towards a fresh start.

Take care.


La bancarrota ayudará con llamadas telefónicas excesivas



La bancarrota y llamadas incesantes


Hola, le habla el abogado Matt McArthur, de la Oficina de Clear Counsel Law Group. Me gustaría hablar un poquito sobre una pregunta que recibo cada vez que hago una consulta con mis clientes.

Y la pregunta es: “¿Si yo me declaro en bancarrota, puedo parar las llamadas incesantes de mis acreedores?”.

Esto es un problema muy grande que confrontamos en la bancarrota, porque cuando usted debe dinero a un acreedor, ellos van a tratar de colectar ese dinero.

Y el problema que usted va a tener es que ellos le van a llamar constantemente, sin cesar, y eso puede ser un gran problema, especialmente si le están llamando en su trabajo.


La bancarrota y llamadas incesantes, Las Vegas, Nevada


La bancarrota le ofrece una protección, y esa protección se llama “Stay Automático”. El Stay Automático le protege de las llamadas, las cartas de colección. Y esa ley es – empieza en el momento en el que nosotros empezamos la bancarrota. El mismo día, podemos parar las llamadas y las cartas.

Entonces, si usted es una persona que está recibiendo esas llamadas de sus acreedores y le están molestando, por favor, venga y hable conmigo en mi oficina. Y podemos hablar sobre su situación financiera y podemos darle las opciones que usted necesita para corregir el problema que está confrontando en ese momento. Hasta la próxima vez, ciao.

Watch this discussion in English here.


Declaring Bankruptcy and the Effect on Child Support Payments



How Bankruptcy Affects Child Support Obligations



Hi. Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. There seems to be a little confusion out there regarding domestic support obligations and bankruptcy.

The question that I received not too long ago from a concerned mother who was receiving domestic support payments was that her ex-spouse had filed for bankruptcy, and she was worried that, not only would the back due child support stop coming, but that continued ongoing child support payments would stop and she would have an extreme difficulty in providing for the well-being of her child.

What I told her and what I'll tell you now is that bankruptcy is not an effective means of addressing domestic support obligations, and the reason is twofold.


Why Bankruptcy Isn't Effective

First, domestic financial obligations, debts that have accrued in this area of liability, cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. What that means is that at the end of a bankruptcy when the final order comes in that is called the discharge that typically wipes out the debt of the person that filed bankruptcy, it doesn't touch or affect domestic support obligations.

The second reason why bankruptcy isn't going to be much help for a person that's filing for bankruptcy and trying to deal with domestic support obligations through that vehicle, is that there is an exception to what we call the automatic stay for domestic support obligations.


child support, bankruptcy, Las Vegas, Nevada


The automatic stay is the collections freeze that stops creditors from collecting against debtors. This typically goes into place at the outset of a bankruptcy case, and stops all collections actions. However, the exception for domestic payment obligations allows a creditor to continue to collect if they're owed this type of debt.


A Single Parent Doesn't Need to Worry

So not only can this debt not be wiped out at the end of the bankruptcy case, when the case is first filed, the person filing has no protections from being collected against for this type of debt. If you're a single mother or a mother concerned about receiving ongoing domestic support obligations, you shouldn't be worried because the bankruptcy is not going to affect your ability to continue to receive payments.

On the other hand, if you're a person trying to address back due child support or alimony payments that are owed, your best bet is to seek recourse in the family law court, where the order was first issued for that domestic support obligation.

Outside of that, bankruptcy court is not going to help you, so your best bet is to seek a qualified family law attorney, ask their advice on how to best modify or adjust what is currently owed.

This is Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. If you have any questions about this, I'd be happy to speak with you and our phone number here at Clear Counsel Law Group, by the way is 702-476-5900. Please give me a call and I'll be happy to speak with you. Until next time.


Watch This Before Revising Your Own Will



Pitfalls of Amending Your Own Will


Jonathan Barlow: Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I'm an attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. A question that frequently comes up from my clients is: If they have a Will, can they make their own handwritten changes on the face of that Will within the document themselves or do they have to go to an attorney to the Will changed?

This question comes up surprisingly all the time, both while somebody's alive and they're wanting to change their own Will and after that person has died and the family member comes in and they say, "Hey, I have Mom's Will, and look. There's all these handwritten changes on it."

So the question is: Can you do that? Number two, more importantly, if they did make those handwritten changes, are those handwritten changes valid? Are they legally enforceable?

We see this all the time where someone comes in, they bring a Will, and I've got scratches out or there's crossing things out. They've got arrows pointing here and there. They may have a 25% with an X through it that says now 15% next to it. They'll have a scratch-out across Johnny's name, and they'll write in Sally's name underneath it. So we see these kind of changes happen frequently.


Will with Pen, estate planning, probate, Las Vegas, Nevada


The biggest question overall is, we're trying to figure out what was the intent of that person. Did they intend to make that change? Is that what they wanted to do?

So if the person has already passed away, that's what the probate court is going to do. They're going to look at those handwritten changes, and they're going to determine: Is that what the person intended? If it is, they're going to do the best they can to enforce that intent.

While you're still alive, you can make those handwritten changes, but you're setting things up for some messy things down the road after you pass away.

We're going to look at the second question, which is: If you have those handwritten changes, are they legally enforceable? Are they legally valid changes?


An Example

Let's assume that someone came in, mom's passed away, and they have a Will. Mom's done one of those things where she scratched out one of her son's names and instead, wrote in the friend down the street, Susie, and gave Susie 25% of the estate.

The son, in this case, is concerned about this scratch-out. He asks me, "Is that legally valid? Can Mom disinherit me like that by scratching me out and writing in Susie's name from down the street?"

The answer, as is often the case in the law, it depends.


What is a Holographic Will?

In order for those handwritten changes to be determined to be valid, they have to meet the requirements of what's called a holographic Will.

A holographic Will is a handwritten Will, where the entire Will is written in the hand of the person; they sign and date it.

So in order for a holographic Will to be valid, you have to have three things:

  1. It has to be handwritten by the person in their own handwriting,
  2. it has to be dated by the person, and
  3. it has to be signed by the person.

There's no witness requirements. There's no notary requirements in order for it to be valid.

Those same three requirements are going to apply with these handwritten changes in the Will. We're going to look at these changes, which by the way are called interlineations which technically means a change within the margins or change between the lines.

We're going to look at these interlineations and determine as to each one of those, did it meet those three requirements for the holographic Will? Was it in the person's own handwriting? Did they date it? Did they sign it?


Common Problem Regarding Interlineations

The most frequent problem that we see in trying to enforce these interlineations is that we're missing one of those three requirements. They either didn't date it or they didn't sign it. Sometimes people question whether it's in the person's handwriting. Most frequently that's not the case. It usually is in the person's handwriting.

So what we'll see is, say, on page two of the Will, they cross out something there, they make an interlineation change in their writing, they flipped to page four and they changed the executor provision by scratching out Bob's name and writing in Joe's name.

Then on page four, that's where they put their initials or they sign it there and they date it there, but they didn't do that as to page two.

So the big question becomes, and I would argue, that those handwritten changes on page two don't meet the requirements of a holographic Will because it wasn't dated and it wasn't signed on that page.

How are we to know that the person made the changes on page two the same day they made the changes on page four? Again, in order for those to be determined valid by the court, the court would be looking at those requirements of a holographic Will.


Why Intent Matters

Another problem that often comes up is the question of intent. Is this really what the person intended to make these changes? Is that really what they wanted to do?

I've seen personally circumstances where somebody has been, essentially they've just been brainstorming, and they've been using their Will as a way to brainstorm about how they might want to change it; not necessarily that they did want to change it. So they'll get out their Will, and they'll look at the percentages that they put in there for people. They'll start doing some math and doing some changes and trying to add it all up, but that's not necessarily what they intended to have as their final document. That was simply brainstorming or doodling on their Will.


How Will a Probate Court Address an Invalid Will?

So we have to ask: Is that what they intended to do or is that what they were simply thinking about doing? Brian has a question on this issue.


Brian: If someone amends a Will incorrectly, will a probate court throw the whole Will out and their estate will be administered intestate?


Jonathan Barlow: That's an excellent question. Let's say we've looked at this. The interlineation appears to be improperly done. It doesn't meet one of those requirements. Will the court necessarily not follow that change? Will the court, in and of itself, say, "No. No good. We're not going to follow it"? This really only applies if there's some type of contest, if people are fighting about the interlineation.

If everybody who has an interest - say, all of the kids or everyone that's named there - if they all agree and say, "Even though it's missing a date, we want to enforce that part of it," they can all agree and sign an agreement saying, "Even though it's missing a date, even though it might be missing a signature on that particular place, we agree that that's what Mom wanted to do and we agree that that's what she intended to do, so we are going to collectively agree to have the Will distributed in that way." The court would honor that agreement amongst the interested parties, amongst the beneficiaries. It would honor an agreement.

So really, we're only talking about situations where somebody has raised a concern or raised a contest about the validity of one of those changes. Did that kind of answer that particular question about?


Brian:    Sure did. Thank you.


Jonathan Barlow: Again, I highly don't recommend interlineations. People do it frequently. They don't want to go to a lawyer. They may not have time to go to a lawyer, but it's just setting things up ripe for potential disaster down the road.

Your estate may not be distributed the way you want it to, either because what you intended wasn't done clearly enough or you didn't actually intend to do what you doodled on your Will.

So if you want to make those changes, certainly go and see a lawyer or make sure that it's done in a nice formal way so it's very clear what you intended to do unless you want to leave a disaster for your children, which most people don't want to do.

If you want help with making these changes to your Will while you're alive or if you have concerns after someone's passed away and you've got Mom and Dad's Will and it's got these interlineations and you don't what to do with them, give me a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group, and I'll be glad to answer your questions about that and help you determine what Mom or Dad intended and whether it's legally enforceable.


Will Declaring Bankruptcy Help You With Medical Debt?



How Bankruptcy Can Help Conquer Your Medical Debt


Hi, I'm Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. Today I want to speak a little bit about medical debt and specifically using bankruptcy as a vehicle for dealing with overwhelming medical debt. This is common type of debt that we come across.

There's been a lot of significant changes to healthcare laws recently and a lot of people are left a little confused about their situation and oftentimes, they come across a situation where they owe a lot more to the medical providers and services than they would have normally expected.


Is Bankruptcy a Good Option?

The first question we need to address is, is bankruptcy a good option for dealing with medical debt. Generally speaking, this can be answered in a way that can be applied to any type of debt.

If the debt is at a level where it's high enough to where it makes sense to file for bankruptcy then, yes, bankruptcy can definitely wipe out medical debt and be an effective means for eliminating any financial responsibility of the person that owes the debt.

Now, there are some pitfalls that you need to worry about with dealing with medical debt, specifically in filing bankruptcy to eliminate the medical debt.


Good Things to Know about Medical Debt

One of the most common things that I come across when a person has had significant medical services provided to them, is that they are unsure of who is owed money and how much money is owed. What we do, typically, when we get ready to file bankruptcy for an individual is we will run a credit report that pulls from the three different reporting bureaus.

Any debts that are currently being reported to the reporting bureaus will show up on that report. We have a way of knowing who is owed the money and is actually reporting to the credit reporting bureaus.


Medical debt, medical bills, bankruptcy, nevada, las vegas


Now, the shortfall with that method is that we can only pick up or find out about debts that are currently being reported to the credit reporting bureaus. This means that you have a creditor that is actually owed money but for some reason isn't reporting to the credit reporting bureaus, that's not going to show up on a credit report.

An attorney getting ready to prepare bankruptcy paperwork to file a case for you, isn't going to know about that creditor unless you have some other form of documentation to show the attorney.

That's why it's really important if you are facing an enormous amount of medical debt and it's coming from a number of different sources, to save any bills that are coming in the mail so that those bills can be cross-referenced with the credit report to ensure that everybody is being listed in the bankruptcy, the debt is going to be eliminated, and all proper parties are going to receive notice of your bankruptcy.


An Example Through an ER Trip

Now, another issue that you need to be aware of when filing for bankruptcy and trying to list all of your creditors is that one trip to an emergency room could result in a number of different types of bills. The bills could be from the hospital itself, it could from the treating physician, it could be from the lab company that the ... Any labs that are sent off for during your visit, it could be from an anesthesiologist, a different type of doctor, there's a whole range of potential medical service providers that are going to be sending you bills and wanting to be paid.

Just because you only went to the emergency one room, doesn't mean there's only going to be one bill. You need to be on the lookout for multiple bills from multiple sources.

Save those bills and make sure that you provide those bills to your attorney before filing for bankruptcy so that we can make sure that if you're filing for bankruptcy you're getting the full benefit of the bankruptcy and all parties are being noticed, all debts are being eliminated.

If you have any questions about this, please come and see me, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group, and I'd be happy to discuss this with you on your path towards a fresh start.


Filing for Bankruptcy and Your Tax Refund



Tax Refunds and Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know


Hi, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. This time of year, tax season, a very common question that I receive is how will filing bankruptcy affect the status of my tax returns and any tax refund that I may be entitled to if I file?

This is a somewhat important issue for people filing for bankruptcy because people filing for bankruptcy typically don't have a lot of disposable income and tax refunds are often treated like a nice little bonus that you can use to catch up on bills, pay for the bankruptcy itself, or do some other needed things because it's money that wasn't really being counted on that's now available to you.

The problem is, specifically if you're filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is that when you file for bankruptcy anything valuable that you own is potentially part of the bankruptcy estate and even the right to receive a refund can be considered a valuable asset.

In other words, if you filed your bankruptcy in January and you filed your tax return in February and you're entitled to receive a certain amount of money as part of your tax refund, then the bankruptcy case that was filed in January is going to possibly include part of that refund as property in the bankruptcy estate.


What does that mean?

That means if it's property in the bankruptcy estate the court has the power to take that money, make it available to your creditors and make distributions to your creditors.

For example, a person filing in January that files their tax return in February, let's suppose that they're entitled to a refund of $2,000. If this person didn't have any protections available to protect that refund the court has the power to take that $2,000.

They can either intercept it directly from the IRS or require you to pay that amount to the bankruptcy court and then they take that money and give it to your creditors. That's considered fair price to pay for wiping out all the other debt that you may have.


Tax Return, bankruptcy, Las Vegas, Nevada


The important question is do you have protection that's available to exempt the refund from being part of the bankruptcy estate? In the State of Nevada there are 2 main types of protections that we typically use to protect the tax refund.


The Income Credit Exemption

The first is the earned income credit exemption. In the State of Nevada, if you receive earned income credit as part of your tax refund, that is 100% exempt and is yours and is not part of the bankruptcy estate. This is kind of a confusing issue and if you're concerned or not sure whether you received earned income credit it's going to be important to take a look at your tax return.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney should be able to find this with you, or a qualified tax professional should be able to help you determine whether or not your entitled to earned income credit. Generally speaking, if you get earned income credit it's protected though, and that's a good thing for filing bankruptcy and protecting your tax refund.


The Wildcard Exemption

The other protection that we have available in most cases in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the State of Nevada is what we call the wildcard exemption. This is $1,000 or $2,000, depending if it's an individual or a couple filing jointly, that is available to be applied to any asset, any personal property, so it can be applied to a tax refund in other words.

In the optimal situation, a person filing for bankruptcy would have some earned income credit that would be 100% protected and any remaining portion of the refund that might not be covered by the earned income credit would be covered by the $2,000 wildcard or the $1,000 wildcard. Anything over that amount and that's technically part of the bankruptcy estate, that may be required to be turned over to the court for your creditors to make a claim against.

If you have any questions about your ability to protect your tax refund, especially this time of year, in tax season, and you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy please come and see me before you file for bankruptcy. I'd be happy to walk you through this and make sure that we're being able to protect your tax refund to the extent possible. Hope to hear from you soon and be part of your path back to a fresh start. Take care.


How Long Does It Take to Sell an Estates Assets?


The Time Period to Sell Estates Assets

Hello, I'm Jonathan Barlow. I'm a probate and estate planning attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. People often ask us the question of how long does it take to have assets transferred to me after Mom or Dad have passed away? How quickly can I get the bank account transferred to me or how soon can I have the house put into my name? The answer to that question depends largely on the value of those assets. The Nevada statute set out what those values are and what we have to do in those circumstances.


Estates under $25,000

First, there's total assets under $25,000. There's a level between $25,000 and $100,000, and in general, anything above $100,000. I'm going to describe briefly these three categories. Under $25,000, if there is no house or land importantly, you can have those assets transferred to you in about 40 days. The statutes say you have to wait 40 days after date of death and after 40 days, you can prepare a document or have a document ready that says, "Mom passed away. She had the following bank account, the following car. We list the assets there. I'm the closest next of kin. I have resolved her debts and I'm entitled to receive her assets."

Assuming you've filled that document out appropriately, you can take that into the bank on Day #40 after Mom passed away, present them with that affidavit, and they would process it through their legal department and in about an hour's time, they should come back to you with the check with Mom's bank account and giving that money to you. That's the fastest you can do it, when it's under $25,000. There's a same process with the DMV that you can get car tiles transferred in the same manner when it's under $25,000.


Estates between $25,000 and $100,000

The second level is between $25,000 and $100,000. This is also a fairly quick process but you have to wait 30 days after date of death and after 30 days, you can file a document in the probate court. It does require probate court filing. However, it's quick and abbreviated. Within about three weeks time after filing, you can have a court order that says, "Hey bank, transfer the bank account or give the bank account to so and so or to so and so." To whomever it's supposed to go to.

estates, asset, inherit, probate, Las Vegas, Nevada.


That court order could also transfer the title to the land or the house also and so you take that down to the county recorder and that would transfer the house to you. That's a 30 day wait after Mom or Dad have passed away. You've filed your document and then you have a hearing about two to three weeks after that. That'll take care of estates under $100,000.


Estates over $100,000

Now if you're over $100,000 in assets, you're in a situation that's going to require generally a full probate process. Those full probate processes can take ... At the very quickest, you're going to be done in about four months. That's really cruising through there. In general those usually take six to nine to twelve months, possibly longer depending on what type of assets you're dealing with and it's a very involved process at the probate court, a lot of court filings, a lot of court requirements that you have to keep up on.

Now here at Clear Counsel Law Group, we focus on probate, in taking care of those things whether it's under $25,000 or over $100,000, we file hundreds of probate cases to deal with those estates from very small to several million dollar estates. We also focus on the estate plan part of it, so if you have an estate that's over $100,000 and you're concerned about your children having to go through this probate process that's time consuming, it's expensive, it's public, and you want to make it very easy and very simple for your children to get your assets after you pass away, even if they're over $100,000, come and see us and talk to us because there's some really great tools that you can use right now and put in place that make it very simple for your children to get your assets after you pass away.

In any situation, whether you're faced with the under $25,000, under $100,000, over $100,000, here at Clear Counsel Law Group we've got years of experience in these areas. We've done hundreds of these cases. We'll be able to help you answer your questions and get those assets to you as quickly as humanly possible as quickly as the statutes will allow you to do that. Give us a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group and we'll be glad to help you with those things.


Clear Counsel Law group

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Henderson, NV 89012

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