After the death of a loved one, you may feel overwhelmed by the many tasks that lay ahead.
Probate is one of the most complicated and intimidating bureaucratic processes: it involves dealing with banks, estates, and other financial institutions—and if you don’t know exactly what to do, it can be incredibly difficult to handle on your own. This is why hiring a probate attorney is so important! A probate attorney will help you navigate this process with ease and make sure everything gets done correctly, saving you time and allowing you to properly grieve the loss you are experiencing.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of validating a will and appointing an executor. During the probate process, all of your assets must be located and valued. After that, taxes and debts are paid, and the estate’s remaining value is distributed.
The death certificate initiates the probate process. Someone, usually your executor or lawyer, will notify the court of your death by submitting a copy of your death certificate. The court must then authenticate your will to ensure that it was properly signed and dated in accordance with the law. Your will is considered valid once this is completed. In the absence of a Will, a judge will formally appoint the person you name as executor (only in very rare cases would the court overturn your choice). The executor then supervises and settles your estate.
Following that, your executor will post a bond to protect beneficiaries from potential errors made by an executor or personal representative during the probate process. Perhaps the most difficult task is locating and informing any potential beneficiaries and creditors of your death. The value of all assets will then be determined, fees and debts will be paid, and your beneficiaries will be able to receive their inheritance.
In the state of Nevada, you can expect a minimum probate period of 120 to 180 days in a routine probate proceeding. This allows creditor notices to be published and gives creditors time to file claims. However, if complications arise, probate and estate administration can take much longer.
What is a Probate Attorney?
A probate attorney is a lawyer who handles the administration of a deceased person’s estate. They primarily assist the beneficiaries or the executor of the estate. They file probate paperwork, contest wills, or simply assist the executor in untangling and distributing the deceased person’s assets and paying their debts.
If your estate is going through probate, it’s recommended that you work with a probate attorney. Complicated estates and wills should also be handled by a probate attorney. Complex wills or estates benefit immensely from probate attorneys. A complex will is often the preferred choice of those with large estates or those who wish to impose certain conditions on their beneficiaries. They may include things like Special Disability Trusts and Testamentary Trusts or deal with previous marriages.
Beneficiaries will also benefit from a complex will if it includes different classes of assets, assets in different jurisdictions, or a complex business. In instances like the aforementioned, a probate attorney is a valuable member of your team. Things like Testamentary Trusts or business succession plans are their own independent legal documents. Having a professional to assist in writing, editing, or executing the conditions of these separate legal documents is crucial for facilitating smoothness.
How a Probate Attorney Makes Your Life Easier
When you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, you don’t want to have to worry about the legal process. Probate can be complicated, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the process. Probate attorneys can make things much easier for you.
Probate attorneys make your life easier by handling the complicated legal processes of settling an estate. You can focus on grieving and healing, knowing that your attorney is taking care of the paperwork. It’s up to them to file all of the necessary documents, notify the right people, and make sure everything gets done right. You can focus on grieving and healing while they take care of everything else.
A probate attorney also helps reduce family conflict over the distribution of assets because they take over the process from a professional standpoint. They will create a plan for distribution that includes all parties.
Probate attorneys also reduce family conflict by making sure everyone is on board with decisions made during probate proceedings. Since everything is done in writing and through official channels, there are no disagreements over who said what and when—everyone knows exactly where they stand at all times. This helps reduce errors and save time for everyone involved in determining what assets go where.
Probate attorneys can also be there for you when things go wrong.
Contesting Wills, Lawsuits, and More
In most cases, a probate attorney will help you contest or challenge a will. This means that they’ll help you decide if the will was made correctly or if there were any legal mistakes in creating it. If there were mistakes, then your attorney will work with you to fix them to ensure that everyone gets what they deserve under the law. In the instance of a lawsuit, the probate attorney can also represent beneficiaries.
A probate attorney can also make sure that your executor—the person who handles all of your estate’s finances—isn’t held liable for any mistakes or errors they may make while administering your affairs during probate court proceedings (which can be lengthy).
Finally, probate attorneys won’t overpay taxes on behalf of their clients because they understand how complex the laws surrounding estates and probate can be!
Estate planning and management is complicated, and you don’t have to handle it by yourself. At Kalicki Collier, we have a whole team of experienced probate attorneys with several decades of combined experience.
If you’re looking for a Reno probate attorney, need help drafting a will compliant with Nevada law, or are in need of any other end-of-life legal assistance, Kalicki Collier is here to help. Visit our website or stop by our Reno office for more information.