What is Probate Estate of a Will & Without a Will? Process, Inheritance Terms & More

When a loved one dies the estate must go into probate. Probate is the validation or proving of a will. If there is a will it will name the executor(s) of the will. Intestacy is the condition of the estate when there is no will. It is based the law of descent and distribution, referring to the body of law including statutory and case law and determines who is entitled to the estate under the rules of inheritance. When the estate is intestate an Administrator steps in and has the responsibilities the same as the executor. The administrator is usually a close relative appointed by the court.

Probate Inheritance Terms

It pays to have a will, makes it easier on the survivors. But there some terms you must know.
Executor – The executor is the person that acts for the testator or will maker (the deceased) and is the legal person responsible for a deceased person’s estate. What about the appointment, when does it take place? At the death of the testator, and they have no legal duty to accept. The executor has the responsibility to wind up the deceased affairs.
Probate – Must make sure that creditors are identified and if they can prove that they are owed by the estate, they will usually be paid. Some avoid probate because assets can pass by contractual means. Assets in business can pass to partners if their business organization is “jointly owned with right of survivorship.” Property in a revocable or irrevocable trust created while grantor is alive will avoid probate.

Steps in Probate Process

• If the person died intestate, without a will, the estate will be disposed of and handled according to the laws of the deceased resident state. Any assets in other states will be handled by that states probate laws.
• If the person deceased had a will it will have named the executor(s). Executors can cascade through an ordered list in case the deceased should out live the listed executor. The executor carries out the instructions in the will. The executor marshals or brings together all the deceased assets.
• If the executor cannot or will not administer the estate the court can appoint an administrator.
• A court may require a fidelity bond to ensure against abuse by the executor or administrator.
• The generic term for executors and administrators is the personal representative.
• It is the duty of the personal representative to inventory all of property and pay all of debts and taxes.
• Distribution of any remaining assets is done according to the will or if no will in accordance with intestacy laws of the state having jurisdiction.
• The validity of the will can be challenged known as a contested will.
• The representative must abide by and understand fiduciary duties and keep any cash in interest bearing account and to treat all beneficiaries equally. Failure to comply can result in the representative being held responsible to any harm to the estate.

Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Business Attorneys & More in Greater Las Vegas, Nevada

Because of the law and all the details involved it is best to get legal representation to prove the will and allow the representative to fulfill his obligations. Kajioka & Associates Attorneys at Law can assist you in all your probate needs. Contact us today!