The definition of probate is simple. It is essentially a court process to prove that a person’s will was signed and executed legally. However, the probate process remains poorly understood across the nation, including here in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If asked, nearly everyone will tell you that probate is something to avoid at all costs. Some of the most enduring reasons people try to avoid probate include:
- It often takes a long time to complete probate and transfer assets, particularly when someone dies without an estate plan.
- Probate is a matter of public record, meaning that anyone can discover details about your or your family’s finances.
- If the person that died left no will, it usually increases the fees and costs of probating an estate.
In short, people fear probate because they believe it is always costly, lengthy and not private.
How can probate ever be advantageous?
Although probate offers little in the way of specific advantages, it probably will not take as long nor cost as much as you expect. With estate planning guidance, you can prepare in advance to either avoid probate (if possible) or minimize some of the professional fees (appraisers, financial advisors, etc.) for your beneficiaries.
The same goes for executors of an estate. Instead of choosing the first advisor or appraiser you find, look for professionals known to charge fair fees for their services. In many cases, your legal advocate can recommend trusted professionals to assist you during probate.
It is also wise to become more familiar with the probate laws in Nevada. That way, you remain informed through every step of the process whether you are an estate executor or an estate beneficiary.