Do I need an attorney to open a Probate or Administration?
It is strongly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced attorney when looking to open a probate or administration. While you can open a probate or Administration yourself, a qualified attorney can guide you through the process, notify any other beneficiaries of the estate, and can help if a dispute arises among creditors or other potential heirs.
HOW LONG DOES PROBATE TAKE & HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The length and cost for a probate case depends on the level of probate court administration that is required.
The HIGHER the estate's value, the longer it's going to take to get through probate and the more money it's going to cost you in attorney's fees.
The LOWER the value, the less time less expensive the process will be.
In a routine probate proceeding, you can expect a period from 120 to 180 days. This allows for publication of creditor notices and gives creditors time to file claims on an estate. This process can take much longer if complications occur.
The complexity of the estate is a large factor when determining the cost of probate or administration. Comparing rates and experience of attorneys in your area is important when choosing an attorney. Some attorneys may charge an hourly rate as the case proceeds, some may charge a flat rate, and others may charge a small percentage of the estate value at the end of the case.
When should Probate be opened?
As soon as possible following the person's death if there has been a death certificate issued. Nevada law requires a person in possession of the deceased person's will to deliver it to the clerk of the district court within 30 days of the death. In Nevada, if the total amount of assets exceeds $20,000, or if real estate is involved, probate will be required.
How do I inherit a deceased person's assets without Probate or Administration?
This is only possible if the value of the estate does not exceed $20,000. Certain surviving family member(s) or a person entitled to inherit the property may initiate proceedings to acquire the estate 40 days after the death. This is done by using a form called Affidavit of Entitlement which would permit the release of the assets from a person or business that may hold those assets (banks, stock brokerages, pension plans, etc.).
Can I become the Executor or Administrator of estate without living in Nevada?
Nevada has no restrictions on residency for an Executor named in a will. Nevada does require a non-resident Administrator of an estate where there is no will to associate with a Nevada resident as a co-administrator.
How do I start Probate or Administration proceedings?
Usually, a relative of the deceased will submit a “Petition for issuance of Letters of Testamentary” or a “Petition for Issuance of Letters of Administration” to the District Court. These documents will as for you to be officially recognized as the legal executor representing the estate. In addition, you will need to file a valid will, if one exists, and the death certificate of the person in which the estate is named under. From this, the court will schedule a hearing to approve the executor or hear potential objections from other parties. Once approved as an executor by the court, probate will officially be opened, and you can now act on behalf of the deceased's estate
Who can withdraw funds from a deceased person's bank account?
If the account is held jointly, with rights of survivorship, a surviving owner is entitled to withdraw the money or delete the deceased person's name from the account. The financial institution will likely require a certified copy of the death certificate and proof that the deceased is the same person who owned the account. If the account was owned individually by the deceased, normally only the person appointed as Executor or Administrator of the estate may withdraw funds. In many cases during the probate process, banks will freeze access to deceased accounts, and can only be accessed upon an authorized court order.
Do I need an estate plan?
Everyone needs an estate plan. Estate planning avoids taxes and legal court battles, and ensures funds are awarded as you wish upon death. An estate plan ensures that you can make the proper arrangements for your family if something were to happen to you. This includes the care of minor children, and even your own medical decisions. You do not want to leave your loved ones in a position where they are grieving, fighting over property, and making your financial/medical decisions.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION IN CLARK COUNTY, NV?
"Set Aside without Administration" This is for estates that are worth under $100,000 total. These usually take three months or less and cost the least. This process can begin 30 days after the death of the estate owner. This requires a mailed notice to the heirs, devisees, and creditors or the estate. While this requires a court hearing, it generally requires fewer hearings than the probate administration processes of larger estates.
"Summary Administration", is for assets that are valued between $100,000 and $300,000. Many probate cases fall under this level, and it usually takes six to nine months, depending on the circumstances. Summary Administration is a type of probate proceeding in Nevada that exists as an alternative to the full probate process known as “General Administration”. Seeking an attorney is highly recommended while undergoing this process as they will be able to most accurately represent your interests in a summary administration. This procedure requires the drafting of court documents, proper notice to various parties, notice to creditors, accounting for assets, and court hearing appearances.
Estates above $300,000 are called "General Administration". This level will take you nine months or longer to get through and will be the most expensive. Seeking an attorney is highly recommended while undergoing this process as they will be able to most accurately represent your interests in a summary administration. This procedure requires the drafting of court documents, proper notice to various parties, notice to creditors, accounting for assets, and court hearing appearances.
If you want to talk about probate, or estate planning to avoid the probate process in Nevada, please feel free to give our office a call. We offer complimentary 15 minute phone consults.