Probate: Some Information You Should Know

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Probate, what does it mean?

Probate is a legal proceeding where a judge will oversee the process of gathering the decedent's assets for the purpose of paying taxes, creditors, expenses and ultimately distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will.

If I have a Will, do I have to go through a Probate?

Many people are under the misconception that a properly drafted Will does not have to go through probate. On the contrary, the provisions of a Will can only be carried into effect through a court-supervised probate proceeding.

What kinds of Wills are valid in Nevada?

Nevada's laws basically allow for two different kinds of Wills. A Holographic Will is a handwritten Will. Holographic Wills are valid in Nevada as long as the Will is written according to Nevada's statutes. A valid Holographic Will must be entirely in the Testator's (the person making the Will) handwriting. The Holographic Will must also be dated and signed by the Testator. There is no requirement for witnesses with a Holographic Will. A Typewritten Will is a more commonly used type of Will. In a Typewritten Will, the Will is still dated and signed by the Testator, but the Testator's signature must also be witnessed by two competent witnesses, whose signatures should be notarized.

Because we live in a time where technology makes information available by computer, many people attempt to prepare their own Computer Generated Wills - Wills without any legal supervision. We suggest that if you are going to live in Nevada, have your Will prepared by a Nevada attorney. There are too many pitfalls in drafting your own legal documents and, with a Will, we won't know until after your death, if your Will was properly drafted and executed.

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