If you are a beneficiary of a piece of property going through probate, you should understand that the process can sometimes be lengthy. Probate can last anywhere from several months to years, depending upon the relevant issues surrounding the estate in probate.
Generally, you should expect to wait about a year for the probate process to conclude.
The two paths of a home in probate
The first and simplest path is to convey the property to the survivors of the decedent. If the testator named the property heir(s) in their will, to convey the property to those heirs and beneficiaries, a petition must be filed in probate court by the named executor.
Once the probate process is over, the probate judge conveys the property to the named beneficiaries. Those who inherit the property must handle any mortgage payments and capital gains that may apply.
The second path involves the sale of the property. Without a will, the probate will follow an intestate process wherein the probate judge names one of the decedent’s family members as an executor. Property in probate follows intestate succession laws related to spouses, children and other descendants and next of kin.
Intestate scenarios with property sales are directed by executors and involve multiple individuals. These include realtors, appraisers, inspectors and contractors, all of whom typically are paid from proceeds of the sale.
Proper estate planning can avoid probate
If you desire to make the inheritance process easier for your beneficiaries and heirs, consider the following vehicles to avoid probate:
- Joint property ownership
- Transfer-upon-death deeds
- Inter Vivos trusts
- Community property regime in Nevada
Working with an estate planning professional allows you to devise the best options to convey an estate to beneficiaries without devaluing what you’ve left behind.