Probate is the process that legally distributes your property after death. If you created a will, the court checks its legality and permits the executor of your estate to divide your possessions. The probate process can be complicated or straightforward. It depends on the assets in your estate and whether anyone contests your will. If the value of your assets exceeds $25,000 or there is real estate to pass on, your estate must go through probate in Nevada.
Many people wish to avoid this process as much as possible. Probate can be both costly and slow, which makes it a burden for surviving friends and family. The more it costs, the less money your loved ones will inherit.
Reducing probate costs
Luckily, there are ways to reduce the expenses of the probate process. Using these methods can save your friends and family even more:
- Payable on death accounts: To pass on money without having to go through probate, payable on death (POD) accounts can be an excellent method. Beneficiaries are automatically paid upon your death and do not have to wait for any legal process to finish. POD accounts work with both personal bank accounts and individual retirement accounts. Vehicle transfer on death is a similar mechanic and allows cars to be passed on to a beneficiary.
- Decrease estate size: While still living, you can choose to decrease the size of your estate through gifts. If you don’t go over the federal allowance, you won’t have to pay taxes on them. The current annual gift exclusion is $15,000. The smaller and less complex your estate, the faster the probate process can finish.
- Create a trust: Trusts, if set up correctly, can help avoid the probate process. Assets transferred to them can be given to the beneficiaries without court involvement.