Most people know they should avoid probate, but may be unclear why or how to do so. One reason to avoid probate is that it can be time-consuming. The heirs to an estate do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed.
For some people, waiting to receive an inheritance is really not a big deal. However, the sooner you get the bequest in your own hands, the sooner you can start to build upon your inheritance.
On the other hand, there are some people who really need their inheritances in a timely manner. This may be because an interested party was relying on the decedent for support. Perhaps they are hoping to relieve some financial issues with their share of the inheritance.
Exactly How Long Does It Take?
The exact duration of the probate process in Reno, Nevada is going to vary on a case-by-case basis. Under Nevada law it may be possible to avoid probate if the assets in question do not exceed $20,000 through the execution of an Small Estate Affidavit. This process can be initiated 40 days after the passing of the decedent.
If the value of the estate exceeds $20,000, or if real property is involved, the estate must go through probate.
In a general sense, the more complicated the case, the longer the process is going to take. If someone is contesting the validity of the last will, the process is going to be drawn out. If both sides make valid points, it can take an extraordinary amount of time.
The infamous case involving Anna Nicole Smith and the Marshall family was undecided for some 15 years.
During the probate process property must be liquidated in many cases, and any outstanding debts must be paid. It can take time to liquidate property, determine who is entitled to what, and ultimately finalize all of these transactions.
Property is not always going to sell overnight, and all interested parties may not agree with regard to every detail.
According to the State Bar of Nevada, the average amount of time that it is going to take for an estate to pass through probate is 120 to 180 days. Remember, this is an average. Problems with clearing title, will contests and other problems may cause untold delays.
When you consider the time involved you may want to find a way to arrange for the eventual transfer of assets outside of the probate process.
Probate avoidance strategies do exist. In fact, they are routinely implemented by estate planning attorneys.
If you are interested in discussing your options in detail with a licensed professional whose practice consists solely of estate planning, contact our firm to request a free consultation.