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How does probate work and can you avoid it?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2022 | Probates & Trusts

No one wants to think about death, but it’s a reality we all must face. And after we die, our estate will go through probate, a lengthy and expensive process for your loved ones who are grieving their loss.

Probate is a court-supervised process for validating a will and distributing a deceased person’s assets. The process generally goes like this:

  • A petition is filed with the probate court
  • The probate court appoints an executor to administer the estate
  • The executor gathers the deceased person’s assets
  • They also notify creditors and pay any debts and taxes
  • After all obligations are satisfied, the executor distributes the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

The probate process can be complex, time-consuming, and may take several months. But what if there was a way to avoid that?

Nevada offers a few ways to avoid the probate process

Your estate won’t go through probate if your estate is less than $100,000 for your surviving spouse or less than $25,000 for any other beneficiary. If you have a more significant estate, there are several other ways to avoid probate, such as:

  • Create a trust, a legal entity that can hold assets on your behalf and distribute your property after you die.
  • Designate a beneficiary for certain assets such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts.
  • Gifting property during your lifetime.
  • Joint property ownership with someone else, such as a spouse or child, allows the property to pass directly to the surviving joint owner without going through probate.

Setting up your estate plan to avoid probate will take considerable planning and legal advice. However, by taking these steps now, you can help ensure that your property will go directly to your intended heirs without delay or expense.