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The death of a friend or family member may leave you wondering how to settle your loved one’s personal and financial affairs and wondering whether probate is necessary.
The probate attorneys at Clear Counsel Law Group provide a free consultation to provide clear answers to your questions quickly, inexpensively and correctly. You may not need to hire an attorney.
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When dealing with the unfortunate loss of a loved one, family members are often faced with the daunting task of locating and deciding what to do with the property of the deceased. There may be homes to be sold, creditors to pay, and money to be distributed. This is known as the probate process which can be an extremely complicated and frustrating task. The good news is that an experienced probate attorney can make the process simple and easy for you.
Types of Probate Administrations in Nevada
There are four different types of probate administrations in Nevada, depending on the value of the decedent’s assets. In some cases, a personal representative will be appointed and that person will be in charge of collecting all of the assets and making sure that they are passed to their rightful heir. In certain cases, the personal representative may also be charged with making sure that creditors of the decedent are paid.
First, if the person who passed away had less than $20,000.00 in assets and no homes or land, then the probate process is called an “Affidavit of Entitlement.” This is a streamlined process which a knowledgeable attorney can complete for you fairly quickly. The Affidavit of Entitlement process cannot be started until forty days after death. The standard is different for a surviving spouse. A surviving spouse can claim up to $100,000 with an affidavit of entitlement, provided none of it is real property.
If you don’t know what assets your loved one had or you don’t know the value, then a “Special Administration” petition can be filed with the Court.
Second, if the person who passed away had less than $100,000.00 in assets, a “Set Aside” proceeding can be used. The value of the estate can include personal property, homes, or land. This process can be started 30 days after death. Minimal court involvement is necessary for this process.
Third, if the person who passed away had assets valued at less than $300,000.00 then a “Summary Administration” will be needed. This process is significantly more complicated than the first two and requires following procedures for giving notice to creditors of the decedent and paying claims that meet certain criteria. In certain cases, the court requires that the personal representative buy a bond to ensure that they don’t mishandle assets. However, if you hire a reputable law firm, the bond requirement is often waived.
Fourth, if the person who passed away had assets over $300,000.00 then a “General Administration” will be conducted. Because of the large amount of money involved, this process is the most complicated and involves a significant amount of court supervision. In certain cases, the court requires that the personal representative buy a bond to ensure that they don’t mishandle assets. However, if you hire a reputable law firm, the bond requirement is often waived.
For any estate over $300,000
For estates with a net value of under $100,000
In each case, the personal representative will be held responsible for payment of all damages caused by their mishandling of the estate’s property. For that reason, it is extremely important to make sure that you hire an attorney who has handled many probate matters and will carefully guide you through each step. A skilled attorney will also assist the representative in transferring titles of property, including homes and cars, to their rightful owner. If the title to a home or car is not properly transferred into the beneficiary’s name, it is still owned by the decedent and will be susceptible to foreclosure or repossession and there is nothing the beneficiary will be able to do about it. But, if the title is properly transferred, then the beneficiary will have authority to deal with banks and lenders because they are the properly documented owner by inheritance.
What if I don't know the value of assets?
If you don’t know what assets your loved one had or you don’t know the value, then a “Special Administration” petition can be filed with the Court. This process gives a personal representative authority to investigate into the decedent’s property to determine what property they owned and what it was worth. After the Special Administration is complete, the probate may be transferred into one of the types named above (other than an affidavit of entitlement), and the assets can then be distributed.
The attorneys at Clear Counsel Law Group handle many probate matters in all different categories. Clear Counsel Law Group has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to guide you through the probate process as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Clients and Legal Professionals Speak Out
Very friendly, caring, listens very well, remembers the small detail. He has a great assistant name Natasha. Very caring and friendly as well.
Jonathan is an excellent attorney and a great person. I can, without reservation, recommend him to my current and former clients for their probate matters.
My husband and I had a great experience with Clear Counsel Law Group partner Jonathan Barlow and his thoughtful and efficient preparation of our wills! He helped us to think of the many scenarios that needed to be addressed that we never would have thought of. I originally prepared my own will with a software from a well known financial planner. However, I wanted to make sure that my children and spouse had a document that would hold up without any problem in probate court. I'm glad I did because I had some missed some very important items.
Jonathan is a great person and attorney. He represented an elderly veteran in a case where I represented the guardian and he conducted himself intelligently in court and compassionately with his client. He visited his client and endeavored to make him feel heard. I highly recommend his services for estate planning, probate, guardianship, and the like.
Common Probate Questions
Flat Fee Pricing
Clear Counsel Law Group has extensive experience in representing executors in administering probate estates of all sizes and varieties. Our unique Flat-Rate Probate pricing is sometimes available for ordinary probate and trust administration services and protects your loved one’s estate and your inheritance from unnecessary fees. Don't stress! We'll be with you every step of the way.
What about disputes?
Unfortunately, disputes may arise regarding your loved one’s estate. Someone may contest the will or believe that another person has taken advantage of your loved one.
The Nevada probate attorneys of Clear Counsel Law Group have extensive experience handing disputed probate and trust matters and guiding executors, trustees, and beneficiaries through the difficult process of handling disputes over your loved one’s estate or trust.
Contact a probate attorney now for a free consultation to review your disputed matter and get the clear answers and advice you need.
Other Practice Areas
What is probate?
Probate is the process that transfers legal title of property from the person who has died (the decedent) to their beneficiaries. The term probate refers to “proving.” Proving the existence of a valid last will and testament or determining and proving who one’s legal heirs are if there is no will. In other words, probate is the process used to determine who gets their property. Even if there’s a valid will in place, probate can take months or years before the distribution to inheritors.
Probate may be very complex and expensive. Because probate requires court approval, the process can tie up property for a year or more. If there is disagreement about who gets what, there could even be litigation. For this reason, it’s always wise to consult with a probate attorney. A good attorney can help speed the process and takes the burden off the hands of those who are grieving.
Is probate necessary in Nevada?
The primary function of probate is transferring title of the decedent’s property to their heirs and/or beneficiaries. If there is no property to transfer, there is usually no need for probate.
The probate process also provides a mechanism for setting a deadline for dependents and creates a time frame for the distribution of the remainder of the estate’s property to ones’ rightful heirs.
Nevada has different requirements for different sizes of estates:
Set Aside – For estates with a net value of under 100,000 dollars, a “Nevada Set Aside Without Administration” is allowed. The entire estate is immediately distributed to the surviving spouse and/or minor children.
Summary Administration – For estates with a net value of over 100,000 dollars, but less than 300,000 dollars, a slightly more streamlined probate option is available. Your attorney will know if this is the right option for you.
General Administration – For estates with a net value of over 300,000 dollars, Nevada requires a full probate proceeding. This may be complex and lengthy and a probate attorney is recommended to ease things along.
Can probate be avoided?
Probate can only be avoided with an effective estate plan. If you are making end of life arrangements now, consider meeting with an estate planning attorney to set up a trust. The cost of a trust may seem expensive, but it only a fraction of what probate can cost. If you are facing probate for a loved one, speak with a probate attorney to help streamline the work that will need to be put in. Ask if they offer a flat-rate solution to keep your costs down.
Having a last will and testament can help. Nevada allows for “holographic” or hand-written wills. Alternatively, some estate planning attorneys will offer to help you write a will at no charge.
Is there probate help?
Yes. There is help. There are attorneys, such as our law firm, but there are also many resources in your community and online. Never be afraid to reach out and seek guidance from trusted sources. Your financial, legal, and end-of-life professionals will know of resources that can help you and who to trust during these stressful times.