Tips for Maintaining a Respectable Probate Court

While wills and trusts detail a consistent and predictable path for assets to follow from the deceased’s estate, probate court handles issues where this situation is either unwritten or involves multiple parties without a sole beneficiary from a revocable living trust.

Probate court is the area of law that recognizes, distributes, and seeks to better understand the deceased person’s assets while appeasing beneficiaries, creditors, and state mandates. The process is slow, complicated, and in most cases more expensive than the creation of sound estate planning.

Many families will find themselves navigating this complex space, and it is essential to consider the life that brought them there together. No matter the feelings one may have, whether grieving or driven by a personal understanding of the deceased’s will in life, maintaining civility and mutual respect during this sensitive time will help the process, even when it feels stuck or somehow corrupted.

Knowing where you are headed and the considerations for each step of probate will help you anticipate and navigate the challenging times that may arise. This blog will first outline the general probate process in Nevada, then touch on how you may best promote civility and compliance during the delicate probate process.

Probate Steps in Nevada

In Nevada, the district court handles the probate process within the district the deceased had resided. There are 11 district courts in total, which together represent the 17 counties of Nevada. In general, as with many other states, the following steps are followed:

  • A will is presented to the court in the Nevada county where the decedent had lived.
  • A petition for probate includes a request that someone is appointed as the personal representative for the deceased.
  • The chosen personal representative will advertise and notify creditors.
  • The personal representatives locate and secure all assets and take available inventory. Some assets and investments will require appraisal in this stage.
  • The personal representative will pay all of the deceased’s debts and file tax returns, as well as settle any remaining taxes owed.
  • After debts are settled, the personal representative will distribute the assets to the heirs.
  • The estate is considered closed after all debts are closed, and the remaining assets have been dispersed.

It is important to remember that the court appoints the personal representative, sometimes per the deceased’s will. This individual is expected to be thorough, intentional, and impersonal throughout the process. Targeting the personal representative through harsh or condescending language is never recommended and may be deemed unacceptable in court.

Remaining Respectable

To help maintain civility and certainty over the probate process, it is essential to remember that the personal representative and court act from the living person’s will—not a personal prerogative. Try to imagine the process as overseen by their spirit—in a sense, it is.

When dispersible assets dwindle while paying off debts, remember that debts today, if left unattended, accrue interest. You would not want these lingering without your knowledge.

Lastly, trust the process wherever possible—judges have overseen these cases in the past and understand the difficulties that come from families vying for what may not be theirs to ask for. Their experience and the guidance of a personal representative balance the will, evidence, and assets to create an outcome that seeks to satisfy all parties.

In events where you are not confident in the process, probate law experts can help you understand, navigate, or challenge the process.

Probate court is a challenging and complex time for many. As you remember the deceased’s life and your role within it, keep in mind all of the complexities, debts, assets, and emotions today will one day pass, and all that remains is memories.

We understand how overwhelming and clouded this process can become. If you are experiencing probate or seeking to avoid it altogether, contact Kalicki Collier and allow us to walk you through the process. We are eager to hear from you and help.

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