Does My Parent's Estate Have to Go Through Probate?

April 30, 2012

When you lose a parent, it can be one of the most emotional times of your life.  Despite the grief, there will be estate administration matters that must be addressed.  If a decedent leaves a Last Will it will be admitted by the Court for a probate process.  If the decedent died without a Last Will or living trust the estate will go through a similar probate process.  Although each state has slightly different procedures and rules, there are a few common things you should know that may help you understand the process and determine whether your parent’s estate must be probated.
If a Last Will was not found, then the laws of intestacy of the state with jurisdiciton over the estate will be applied.  If a Last Will was discovered then the estate will distribute to the beneficiaries identified in the Last Will.  The size of the estate and the type of assets involved often impacts what type of probate process is required.
Nevada offers a form of less formal probate know as a set-aside administration for uncomplicated estates valued at less than $100,000.  Although a Court hearing is required, this process can usually be accomplished in a matter of weeks.
A more formal probate process will be required those estates with values exceeding $100,000.  This process will take months and sometimes years to complete and can cost the estate a significant amount of money.  Some assets, such as life insurance proceeds or retirment funds, which already have beneficiaries identified, may not have to pass through probate.
Contact a qualified estate planning and probate attorney to learn more about the probate process.

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