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An overview of estate administration responsibilities

Estate administration is an important process following the death of a Nevada resident. This process involves handling the decedent's belongings and accounts as creditors are paid and remaining assets are distributed to heirs. The party responsible for administrating an estate could be appointed by the court during the probate process. However, a testator will usually designate an executor in a will.

Properties belonging to a decedent could influence the probate process. Typically, probate occurs in the state in which a decedent resided at the time of his or her death, but real property held in a different state might be subject to probate in that jurisdiction. However, such an ancillary probate proceeding is typically a simplified process. An informal probate in the state of residence might be possible with the only major requirements being the completion of paperwork and appointment of an individual to manage the debts and assets of the estate. In a more formal probate, court activity might be required.

An inventory of the assets of the decedent must be conducted by the administrator, who will also need to identify creditors and work on satisfying these debts from the estate resources. Remaining assets are then distributed to heirs according to a will or based on state intestacy law if a will does not exist. The executor also handles tax matters for the estate and in some cases may need to collect outstanding debts owed to the decedent.

Careful estate planning may include efforts to minimize challenges after a party's death in handling assets, debts, and other issues. A trust could be used to minimize potential probate problems, providing for asset distribution without the involvement of the court system. It is important to be sure that one's will, trust, and other facets of an estate plan are complete and up to date. It is also crucial to be sure that these matters are legally documented.

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