Probate is the legal process by which the assets of a deceased person are distributed to their heirs after the inventory of the estate has been completed and the debts of the estate have been paid. If the person had a will, their assets will be distributed according to the terms of the will by the personal representative named in the will. If the person died without a will, the probate court will appoint a personal representative and the assets will be distributed according to intestacy laws.
Except in rare circumstances, probate is required in the absence of a trust. The probate process ensures that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out and that their obligations have been met. The Probate Court oversees the process to ensure it is handled correctly, interprets documents that are unclear and, if necessary, resolves disputes.
The probate process begins when someone files a petition to open probate. The person opening the probate must provide a certified copy of the death certificate and the original will, if the deceased person had one. Once probate court has reviewed these documents, the court will appoint a personal representative and issue letters of testament, if there has been a will, or letters of administration, if there is no will. , and the approval process has officially begun.
Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration are documents that the court-appointed personal representative will show to banks, government agencies, and other institutions to prove that the estate personal representative is authorized to conduct business on behalf of the estate. of the estate.
Once appointed, the personal representative must also notify the creditors of the estate. Under Nevada law, the estate representative must send notice to known creditors and publish a notice in a local newspaper to notify unknown creditors that probate has been opened. Creditors have a limited time to bring claims against the estate, depending on the level of probate (60 to 90 days).
The personal representative must also inventory the assets of the estate, thus identify and collect the assets subject to the jurisdiction of the inheritance court and, if necessary, have them appraised.
Once the assets and debts of the estate have been identified, if the estate has sufficient funds, it is time to pay the debts and taxes of the estate. If the deceased owned a business, the estate representative may have to liquidate the business and pay business taxes.
Once the personal estate representative has paid creditors and estate taxes, he must file the final account, unless waived, and he can ask the court for permission to disburse the remaining assets according to the deceased person’s will. If the deceased person did not have a will, the estate assets will be distributed according to the laws of the intestate. Then, the court can order the closure of the estate.
The time it takes to close a probate estate can vary significantly depending on the size of the estate, the complexity of the assets, whether creditors have claims against the estate, and whether there are disputes among estate beneficiaries. . The probate process usually takes a few months to a year. In exceptional cases, registration may take several years.
Although the probate process may seem simple, each step can present complex legal issues. In addition, the Probate Court will impose strict time limits that must be adhered to.