Probate is the process by which the court oversees the distribution of your estate to your heirs. It may involve hearing and deciding upon claims from creditors, resolving disputes among heirs, selling and liquidating assets, and myriad other tasks to dispose of what you leave behind. I’ve yet to meet a client who enjoyed the process.
Probate is Expensive
Of the many reasons you want to avoid probate, one of the biggest is the cost. There are several forms of probate in Nevada depending on the value of the estate. Most probates are of the summary (between $100K and $200K) and regular administration (greater than $200K) variety. Probate attorneys can charge by the hour to work on these matters or based on a their fee on a percentage of the value of the probate estate, the rate of which is set by statute. Hourly fees generally range between $250 to $450 per hour. From the initial petition to the final discharge, the process on average can take anywhere from 10 to 20 billable hours. That’s if the process goes smoothly, however. If there are disputes among the family about the administrator, who is entitled to what, or any conflicts with creditors, then the time and expense will only grow.
Alternatives to Probate Exist
Between fees and costs, in the end you’re looking at a bill from about $4000 to $10,000. Now of course, YOU are not looking at that cost, you’re long gone. And that is the attitude I receive occasionally when it comes to engaging in the proper planning to avoid probate. The truth is, though, the cost of probate will come from the estate itself. Did you really leave behind cash, maybe putting aside a little bit extra your heirs, only to see it further depleted to pay a probate attorney? Additionally, you are leaving behind what is sure to be a headache to your heirs and preventing them from enjoying the assets you’ve left behind for at least a few months.
Probate can be avoided by planning your estate during your life. Moreover, estate planning will cost a fraction of what probate costs. In addition, planning your estate will not only avoid probate, but allow you to be prepared if you are ever incapacitated during your life, keep your estate private, and allow you to make post-death decisions regarding how your assets will be distributed.
I handle both probate matters and estate planning cases and while I’m more than happy to be serve as your estate’s probate attorney, I’d much rather see you for your will and trust.
Efficient Probate Resolution
If the time for advance planning has already passed, a knowledgeable and experienced Las Vegas Probate Attorney is going to be able to assess your family’s situation and determine the best course of action. That will include examining the assets and liabilities of the estate, choosing the appropriate type of probate process, resolving issues with creditors, preparing and filing the appropriate pleadings, and much, much more. Most importantly, your attorney should be able to explain every aspect of the process at every point so that you feel comfortable at all times with the events. I’d be happy to discuss the next step with you and help resolve your probate and estate issues as expeditiously as possible.