There are a number of circumstances where a will may need to be validated prior to anyone being able to act upon it. It will then be through the process of probate that a will can be validated.
Anyone connected to a particular will obviously will wish to avoid problems that could arise during the probate process. For example, assets that are included in a decedent’s probate estate can also be subjected to creditor claims within the probate process. The personal representative will invite “reasonably ascertainable creditors” into the process to submit claims within a certain defined period.
Many wish to avoid probate as it can be time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. In such an event, one may wish to create a revocable living trust. Though these trusts remain answerable to creditors for debts, these assets will still be less susceptible to the reach of the decedent’s creditors. There are assets that are also considered non-probate assets that are also less prone to being reached by creditors.
Questions regarding the advantages or disadvantages of creating such a trust should be addressed to attorneys experienced in the probate and estate administration area. If you are a Las Vegas resident, it’s especially essential to speak to an attorney licensed to practice law in Nevada.
There may be circumstances where probate cannot be avoided. In any event, it’s also good to have an experienced attorney available if probate is required. There may be requirements for a probate hearing in the event that the will was poorly drafted. Attorneys can also assist when the assets to be distributed are substantial or if there are complex tax issues related to the distribution of the assets.
Source: Lake County News, “Estate Planning: Why avoiding probate protects assets,” Dennis Fordhan, Nov. 29, 2013