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Probate and Estate Administration Archives

Identifying interested parties when a will is contested

The question as to who is an "interested party" to an estate may become important in a Nevada will contest. The person who is contesting the will may not realize how many interested parties there could be since a person does not necessarily have to be listed in the will be to considered one.

The probate system and distributing an estate

When Nevada residents pass away, their estate will need to be administered in order to gather, organize and pass on the assets that remain. In many cases, people die with an estate plan intact, and the primary objective of the administrator is to honor the distributions specified in it. In other cases, people may pass away without a will, in which case state law and the directions of the probate court will direct the disbursements. However, there are also tasks such as paying off debts and taxes that must be handled before distributions are made.

Going to probate isn't necessarily a bad thing

Nevada residents may believe that they need to avoid probate at all costs. However, this is not necessarily true depending on the size of a person's estate and their estate planning goals. Those who want to skip probate can do so by naming a beneficiary a joint owner of an asset. This can be done with a bank account and most other assets that a person has.

What happens in the probate process

Some people might wonder what is involved in the probate process. A person must file a petition for probate. If there is a will, a Nevada court will decide whether it is valid. In some cases, family members might challenge the will. The court would then hear evidence to decide how to proceed.

What estate executors should expect

A Nevada resident who takes on the role of estate executor could have many different responsibilities. For instance, they must determine how much the estate is worth, arrange to pay taxes and distribute assets to beneficiaries. It may also be necessary to sell assets to pay outstanding debts that the estate may have. Executors must balance the wishes of the deceased person with the legal rights that creditors and beneficiaries may have.

Law places restrictions on use of estate funds by executor

Although people assigned as executors of estates in Nevada may use estate funds in a number of circumstances, the law prohibits executors from pursuing their own interests at the expense of the estate. Primarily, executors must not apply estate funds for the purpose of increasing or protecting their personal assets. Such actions would need to be self-funded by executors. Additionally, estate funds cannot be directed toward activities that would violate the interests of other estate beneficiaries.

Aretha Franklin's heirs will likely face estate taxes

The death of Aretha Franklin at the age of 76 saddened music fans throughout Nevada and the rest of America. Her passing also revealed that she did not prepare a will or any kind of estate plan. With an estimated fortune of $80 million, which includes illiquid assets like song copyrights and future royalties, her heirs will very likely owe the federal government 40 percent estate taxes on the portion of the fortune that exceeds the exemption of $11.18 million. The Internal Revenue Service will expect this tax payment within nine months.

Incorporating digital assets into an estate plan

It isn't uncommon for Nevada residents to have digital assets like social media accounts or digital currency holdings. Currently, 42 states have laws that allow executors to manage digital assets like they do physical assets such as a home. However, even if they have the legal authority to access a digital account, they will need to know how to get into it.

Tips for choosing the right person as estate executor

One important step for people in Nevada who are creating an estate plan is choosing the right executor. This person will be responsible for locating the will and other important documents, inventorying assets, paying taxes, distributing assets and doing any other tasks required to manage the estate. It is a responsibility that could last for two years or more.