When people in Las Vegas pass away without a will, the consequences for their family members can be painful and even costly. Estate planning can be an emotionally and logistically difficult process because resentments and rivalries can emerge after a death, especially if a substantial estate has been left behind. By developing key estate planning documents, a person can help make sure their family members will be properly cared for and that their assets will be distributed in a way that reflects their wishes. When families have blended marriages and other complex circumstances, estate planning can be particularly necessary.
The legal aspects of the estate are handled by probate courts in Nevada, governed by state law. When a last will and testament exists, each beneficiary has a right to contact the court and receive a copy of the will and even present any relevant challenges. However, when there is no will, the decedent is considered to have passed away intestate, and their belongings are to be distributed according to state law. This distribution would take place after taxes and outstanding debts are handled.
The probate court will appoint an executor or personal representative who has a responsibility to assess the decedent’s complete estate and prepare it for distribution to the relevant heirs. However, an estate planning process can help people to avoid probate for as many of their assets as possible, allowing them to pass directly to their heirs without fees or delays.
People who are considering how to handle their assets may wish to work with an estate planning attorney. A lawyer may be able to help people prepare a will, trusts, powers of attorney and other key documents long before they are necessary. In addition, an attorney might provide counsel and advice about how to make use of tax and estate laws to benefit one’s heirs when distributing the estate.