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Navigating through the probate process

Every loss of a family member or loved one will bring along with it indecision as what to do next.  The unexpectedness of such a loss can sometimes make it difficult for individuals to take the necessary steps to ensure that all matters are in order.

Experienced estate administration attorneys will generally try to put things in perspective concerning probate and other matters.  Generally we advise individuals to first secure personal property that belonged to the deceased.  Once someone has a general idea concerning property that is a part of the estate, they may then wish to consult with an attorney as to the necessary legal steps to take.

The idea behind the probate process is to make certain that the wishes of the deceased concerning distribution of the estate are followed as closely as possible.  This can in certain circumstances involve taking an inventory and appraising the value of assets.  There are also a number of financial requirements that come along with probate including payment of estate taxes and debts. 

Probate can be unfortunately time-consuming when the intentions of the deceased individual concerning the estate are not entirely clear.  Under these circumstances, it's necessary to determine what documents actually existed such as wills or trusts pertaining to the estate.  There also is the process of distribution of assets from the estate.  It's important that this distribution to beneficiaries is properly documented.

It's always best if the deceased individual planned out their estate distribution in great detail.  However, this is not always the case.  Attorneys can nevertheless provide guidance even under less than ideal circumstances.  If the deceased individual resided in Las Vegas, it is especially important to speak with an attorney licensed in the state of Nevada.

Source:, "What to do when loved one dies," Jeffrey J. McKenna, Nov. 27, 2013

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