Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. When "probate avoidance" planning has not been implemented prior to death, the state of Nevada requires a probate court proceeding for estates valued at more than $20,000. Nevada also requires appointment of a personal representative and a formal probate court proceeding for estates of more than $100,000. The personal representative's duties and the probate process itself will vary depending on the nature and value of the estate assets, the terms of the will (if there is one), and etc. The Sundvick Legacy Center can help make the process easier, more efficient, and provide peace of mind during a difficult time.
The loss of a loved one is a very difficult period. This isn't the time most people are at their best when asked to make financial and legal decisions. This is especially true for the surviving spouse or kids if they are just hearing about Mom or Dad's plan for the first time, or worse yet, learning one was never completed. Sundvick Legacy Center makes the process of probate as easy and pain-free as possible.
We work with executors, personal representatives and other fiduciaries in all aspects of probate administration and are committed to the delivery of probate administration services with sensitivity to the special concerns of our clients.
Because probate can be a lengthy, costly and public process, many people choose to avoid it. There are a number of legal strategies that will allow you to pass property to another person after death, without going through probate.
Adding another person to your assets as a joint owner or "joint tenant with rights of survivorship" will allow your property to pass to them upon your death without going through probate. There are pitfalls to this strategy, however, including the fact that the other owner is considered a 100% owner of the asset, just as you are. This means they will have access to the asset (such as a checking account) while you are alive. Also, the asset could be subject to any claims (such as lawsuits) against the co-owner and available to the co-owner's creditors -- all while you are still alive and planning on using the asset yourself.
Nevada does allow Transfer on Death (TOD) or Pay on Death (POD) beneficiary designations to be added to bank accounts. You can even transfer real estate directly, outside of probate, with a Beneficiary Deed. Beneficiary designations like these are preferable to joint tenancy in that they allow you to transfer property upon your death without giving away current ownership. One of the drawbacks, however, is that it can be difficult to obtain an equitable distribution of property among your heirs by utilizing beneficiary designations. Additionally, understand that if you have beneficiaries listed on your assets, those assets will be distributed upon your death to the listed beneficiaries, even if your last will and testament states otherwise. Also, if you are married, you need to take into account your spouse's community property interests before changing the title or beneficiary designation of assets.
A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that allows you to establish a separate entity (the trust) to "hold" legal title to your assets while you are alive, and to name trustees to manage those assets according to the trust terms. Typically, you serve as the trustee while you are alive, managing your assets for your own benefit. Upon your disability or death, the trust terms name your successor trustee to continue to manage -- or distribute -- the assets held in trust. A properly drafted trust can accomplish many goals, including guardianship and probate avoidance for your estate and bloodline, marital and creditor protection for your children.
A properly drafted and funded trust will generally avoid probate. The trust need not be filed with the probate court. Nonetheless, there are still steps necessary to administer the trust: beneficiaries must be contacted; assets must be gathered, valued and managed; potential creditors must be notified ; debts, taxes and final expenses must be paid; and, ultimately, any remaining income and assets must be distributed in compliance with the trust terms. Successor trustees often lack the time, resources or knowledge to personally administer the trust, and therefore may call upon legal, accounting and investment professionals for assistance. The Sundvick Legacy Center can help your successor trustee(s) deal with the complexities of administering your trust. Please call our office and we'll be happy to schedule a consultation, whether or not our office has drafted the original trust.
There are three basic stages to estate and trust administration: Collection & Management, Payment of Expenses, and Asset Administration & Distribution. Follow the link below to Estate & Trust Administration: Successful Conclusions for an easy-to-understand presentation outlining the process. Feel free to use the integrated functions to print any page, bookmark it to return later, or forward a copy to your friends, family members or financial advisor.
Estate Planning is a Lifetime Process, not a one-time event. Though estate administration is the final stage in the process, a successful conclusion is dependent on proper completion of each of the preceding stages.
Our services include:
As coordinated with your appropriate advisors:
We will work to complete the process as quickly as possible, while minimizing family disharmony.