When someone dies, the property they own becomes their estate. Often, their estate will have to pass through probate for loved ones to inherit those assets. People concerned with the legacy they will ultimately leave may proactively plan their estates, making sure that they have documents that explain how to distribute their property.
Many people planning estates will specifically take steps to avoid their assets going through probate court. When does Nevada require an estate to pass through the probate court?
The value and contents of the estate may necessitate probate
You can only bypass probate obligations for an estate with assets worth $20,000 or less and no real estate. Anyone passing on more than $20,000 worth of property or a piece of real estate with any value will have to go through probate. Generally speaking, anyone with a last will for an estate that must pass through probate will have to submit the will to the courts within 30 days of learning about the death of the testator.
Those with more than $20,000 worth of assets or real estate in their names will have to plan ahead if they don’t want their estates to go through probate, a process that can diminish the value of the estate and delay the distribution of assets.
How can people plan to avoid probate?
Taking the right steps while still alive might let someone keep the majority of their assets out of the probate courts.
A common tactic is to move assets into a trust. Real estate held in a trust instead of owned by a deceased person won’t be part of the estate and therefore won’t necessarily trigger probate proceedings. People can also move major financial assets into a trust, which has the added benefit of protecting those assets from creditors’ claims and estate taxes.
Other individuals may choose to diminish their assets before they die by making gifts to their loved ones. They may also choose to change how they hold assets, allowing them to pass to someone else immediately when they die. Understanding when an estate must pass through probate court can help you whether you want to plan your own estate or you have decided to step up as the administrator of an estate.