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Handling debts after a person passes

When an individual passes in Nevada, the executor of the estate should determine if that person's estate has any outstanding debt balances. From there, the executor must decide when and how to pay them. It may also be necessary to contact creditors to tell them about any delay in payment that may occur. Property tax and insurance bills are among the most important debts that an estate may need to pay right away.

The deceased's income tax return may also need to be filed in a timely manner. In some cases, past returns may need to be filed for someone who was ill prior to his or her death. Estate tax returns may also need to be filed if the estate is worth more than the federal exemption. State law generally requires all creditors to be notified of a person's death in a reasonable amount of time.

If an executor does not pay bills on time or misuse estate resources, he or she could face personal liability. Technically, the estate itself will need a taxpayer identification number as well as a separate bank account. It may be worthwhile for those who are unfamiliar with or unsure of what estate law says to talk with an attorney prior to taking any action.

During the estate planning process, it may be a good idea to have one or more conversations with the person tasked to be the executor. During these talks, the estate holder should express his or her wishes as well as listen to and answer any questions an executor may have. This may also be the time to consult with an attorney to make sure everything is in order.

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