What is Probate?
Probate is the process that results after the death of an individual, where all the affairs regarding the individual’s assets and liabilities are resolved. A probate court will supervise the collection of all of the individual’s assets, liquidating liabilities, paying necessary taxes, and distribution to creditors and inheritors.
Testate Probate (Valid Will)
The probate process is called a testate probate or testate estate when an individual dies with a legally valid Will. In this situation the deceased individual is termed the “Testator.” In a testate estate, the Testator decides how the estate will be distributed and the legal system will support those decisions. The following are just a few of the issues involved in creating a valid Last Will and Testament:
- Detailing the assets of the estate
- Real property
- Debts owed to the estate
- Funds owed to creditors from the estate
- Appointment of an Executor
- Provisions for taxes
- Proper execution of the Will
- Designation of the inheritors of the remaining value in the estate after all other valid claims are satisfied
Different States have different laws and jurisdiction regarding the legal requirements for a valid Last Will and Testament. Some states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code created by the Uniform Law Commission, in an effort to simplify probate processes; however, Nevada has not adopted this set of uniform codes. Therefore, the early involvement of a probate attorney while drafting the Will of the estate owner prior to death, will ensure a valid Will, diminish disputes against the Will, as well as ensure the desires of the estate owner are honored.
After the death of the Testator, the testate estate enters the probate process, the Executor and/or a probate attorney administer all the affairs relating to the testate estate. During this sensitive and difficult time for family and friends, a probate attorney can be objective and honor all the wishes of the deceased, giving family members peace of mind. The key value in writing a Will and the probate being testate, is that the probate process is typically much shorter, less expensive, and leaves higher transferable value for the benefit of the heirs and inheritors.
If for some reason a Testator’s previously created Will is determined by a court to be invalid, then the testate estate enters the Intestate Probate process, which is far more costly and usually results in far less (if any) transferable value for inheritance by heirs after all other claims against the estate are eventually settled.
Involving an experienced probate attorney will minimize any chance of Testator’s Will being deemed intestate by a probate court.
Contact probate attorney Greg Smith, whose years of experience will help to maximize your estate for the benefit of your inheritors. (702) 318-5033. We are open 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday.