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Avoiding probate when transferring real estate

Individuals in Nevada who are planning for the ultimate distribution of their estates and whose only significant asset is real property may be able to avoid probate altogether by using some other methods of transferring property in place of a will. Probate can be expensive and time-consuming, so individuals may wish to consider changing the title in some way that will allow the real estate to pass straight to the beneficiary. One way of doing this is by creating a living trust. The property is transferred into the trust and retitled accordingly. A living trust permits the individual to keep control of the asset.

Two other methods of avoiding probate involve adding beneficiaries to the title. Individuals can create a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. If the beneficiary is a spouse, they may wish to add the spouse to the title with survivorship rights. Since Nevada is a community property state, the phrase "as community property, with the right of survivorship" should be used.

One potential disadvantage individuals should keep in mind is that creating joint tenancies results in the intended beneficiary having immediate rights to the property. It might even be possible for that beneficiary to force a sale of the property. Another point individuals should remember is that in some cases, estates in Nevada that are worth less than $200,000 may be eligible for a simplified probate process.

As a result of these potential complications, those involved in planning for the ultimate distribution of their assets may wish to consult an attorney to discuss the best options. Estate planning attorneys can suggest strategies that will balance tax and other financial concerns while ensuring that the client's wishes are carried out.

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