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The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield, Attorneys  Personal Injury & Property Damage, Las Vegas, NV

Why Is Probate Sometimes So Complicated?

Suppose a widow dies with a proper will leaving her $250,000 worth of property held in her name to her two adult children who are her only children. Why can't the two adult children (or their attorney) simply go into court and say, "Your Honor, here is the will, here are the assets, please sign this Order transferring her assets to her two children who are in perfect agreement with everything." In most areas of the law, if everyone is in agreement, the Judge is happy to sign an order ending the case.

But in this example, a summary administration probate in Nevada would be required. (See Probate, Estates over $100,000) This process allows for the possibility that the will submitted to the court is a fake will or is a will that was valid but which was revoked by a subsequent will. This process allows for the fact that creditors of the widow might have a better claim to some or all of her assets than her children. This process allows for court supervision of the sale of assets, if certain of the widow's assets are sold rather than transferred jointly to the two adult children. In short, the process requires a ton of paperwork that has to be just right. The complexity of paperwork and need to pay careful attention to detail makes this process expensive.

The Probate Court (technically a division of Family Court) and its staff here in Las Vegas (a division of Clark County District Court) is efficient and friendly. However, the volume of probate cases combined with the exacting nature of the process makes its very difficult if not impossible for people to handle probates over $20,000 without a lawyer.

For this reason we advise clients to consider their estate plans so that when they die their children or heirs will not be burdened with probate expenses and probate delays in their inheritance. See Trusts versus Wills and Will or Trust Substitutes .

However, when probate is necessary, we consider ourselves to the high quality, low cost probate attorneys in Las Vegas and Nevada. See our fees listed and explained in Probate.