Some legal terms can leave Nevada residents scratching their heads. One such term is probate. While it is oftentimes fairly easy for most people to associate this legal term with estate planning and the distribution of a person's assets upon death, some people can benefit from a brief overview of probate and how the process can devolve into complex litigation at times.
For starters, the probate process is the legal process by which a deceased person's assets and debts are accounted for and inventoried, and then debts are paid off and the remaining assets are distributed, usually to designated heirs. If the deceased person did not have an estate plan of any kind, state law will determine who will inherit the assets in the person's estate. But, if the deceased person had a will or other estate planning tools in place upon death, assets will be distributed according to that plan.
One of the main goals of the probate process is to determine if the will brought before the court is actually valid and is actually the most recent and correct version of the will. This is where the potential for probate litigation pops up. If someone believes that the will in question is invalid, the parties will need to go through the legal process to determine the validity of the will.
Estate planning is an important legal process. Nevada residents will want to make sure they have the most accurate information available for their own unique financial and family situations.