What to know about wills and probate

If an individual who owns property in Nevada passes away, his or her estate may need to go through probate. This may be true whether or not that individual had a will. Certain assets such as a life insurance policy or a home that was owned jointly with another person may be able to bypass this process. The point of the probate process is to verify that a will is valid and enter it into the public record.

Generally speaking, the executor of the estate will present the will to the appropriate authorities. Wills may be valid even if a person has been married multiple times or has gone through other life events since the document was created. State law may spell out the guidelines related to challenging a will or other estate plan documents. For instance, Georgia law requires that a will be contested no more than four years after an estate has been settled.

Ideally, the executor of an estate will keep a copy of a will or know where to find it when an individual passes on. It may also be a good idea to let an executor or other designated person know where other important estate plan documents may be kept. By keeping documents in a draw or other obscure location, it may be difficult for surviving relatives to respect a person’s wishes.

Individuals may benefit from involving their family members in the estate planning process. By telling others about their plans, it may be easier for others to follow through on them. At a minimum, an executor or other designated person will ideally know where a will or other estate plan documents are located. This may reduce the chances that a document is lost or not filed in a timely manner.

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