Q: What is Probate?
A: Probate is the legal process of “proving up” a Will (verifying that a Will is valid) and administering the assets owned by the Decedent at the time of death (the “Estate”).
Q: Does the Probate process take a long time?
A: Generally, the probate process will take at least four to six months. Every probate is unique and depends upon many factors. Some of these considerations include: the complexity of the estate; outstanding tax issues, the contentiousness between family members; and challenges to outstanding creditors. However, beneficiaries should be aware that it may be possible for the Personal Representative to seek court permission to make partial distributions if it is anticipated to take a long time to close the probate.
Q: Can a trust be revised after the death of a Settlor?
A: Yes, we can file a petition for reformation under certain circumstances.
Q: Do I really need an attorney?
A: Although it sounds incredibly self-serving, the answer is a resounding “yes”. The probate process is fraught with many complexities and the right attorney can make all the difference in the world to reduce the stress associated with this difficult time. You likely have many questions about Nevada probate and a qualified attorney can be of great assistance.
Q: Are there times where undue influence is presumed?
Q: This sounds expensive, is it?
A: Fees are generally based upon an amount set forth in the Nevada Revised Statutes. In addition to this “basic fee” there can be “extraordinary fees” relating to sales of real property and contested matters. While this can become an expensive process, you will generally not have to pay the fees yourself. Rather, the fees must be approved by the Court when the final account is submitted for approval and the fees can be paid out of the assets in the Estate.
Q: When can creditor’s claims be rejected?
Q: Can a home be sold during the probate process?
A: Yes, real property is frequently sold during the course of the probate since the beneficiaries generally prefer a distribution of cash rather then to own a portion of a parcel of real estate. The court must approve any prospective sale (known as the “confirmation process”) once it determines the property is being sold for a reasonable amount.
Q: Is there an emergency procedure to have someone assume certain tasks immediately?
A: Yes, Drizin Law can petition for the appointment of a Special Administrator.
Q: Can a will be challenged?
A: Yes, you can object to the will before or after it is admitted to the probate. Generally, the challenge to the will can be made if you believe the document is a fabrication or has been altered by someone other than the Decedent. In addition, a contest may be appropriate if you believe the Decedent was not competent at the time they signed the will or that it was the result of “undue influence”.
Q: Should we pay off the Decedent’s debts right away?
A: No, the Personal Representative should issue a “creditor’s notice” to advise creditors that they have 60 or 90 days to file a claim with the Clerk’s Office. If the creditor receives this notice and does not timely file its claim, they are barred from collection of the obligation. In addition, if the amount owed is more than $250, the creditor must meet additional requirements for their submission. As a result, debts should not be paid until after the Estate is closed and the Court approves which obligations are to be paid.
Q: Should I notify anyone of the death?
A: Yes, Social Security will continue to send out benefit checks until they are notified of an individual’s death. The executor/spouse/trustee should contact the local Social Security Administration office and notify them of the death, or if a benefit check is received, send it back with a letter notifying them.
Q: Why should I hire Drizin Law to assist me with probate?
A: We know you likely have many questions about Nevada probate. Our approach is described in three words: dedication, compassion and accessible. We’re committed to providing you the best service possible and believe its important for you to understand the process. We take the time to explain each step involved and the advise what to expect. Drizin Law understands the difficulty in winding up your loved one’s affairs and is prepared to help you shoulder the emotional roller coaster of completing the probate. Our probate team is there when you have questions or concerns that need immediate attention. No question should go unanswered and this can make all the difference in such a stressful time.
Q: Are Personal Representatives entitled to fees?
A: Yes. The statutes provide that any amount designated in the Will to the Personal Representative shall be deemed full compensation for the services. If no compensation is provided for in the Will, the statute contains a formula for the calculation of a reasonable compensation. This compensation is based upon the value of the estate.
Q: What should I bring with me to the first meeting with my probate attorney?
A: It is extremely helpful if you have a list of questions about Nevada probate for the attorney. This can help the discussion focus upon your immediate concerns. Bring the original Will. Bank statements should be located and reviewed to determine if any accounts are Payable on Death (“POD”) accounts. Create a list of all the outstanding bills at the date of death that you are aware of. Finally, because the value of an Estate will determine the type of probate process it is helpful to create a list of the assets. At Drizin Law we have a probate questionnaire to help you organize this information.
Still have questions about Nevada probate? Please give our office a call (702)798-4955.