Probate is the legal process whereby a will is “proved” in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased. The probate process varies by state and by the size of the estate of the deceased person. In both California and Nevada, there are specific laws and defined processes for the appointment of an executor of the will and the distribution of assets to heirs. The executor is the person who handles the affairs of the estate throughout the probate process and who ultimately distributes the property according to the terms of the will.
An attorney is not required in a probate proceeding. However, an attorney can certainly be beneficial to an executor, especially in more complex probates. It is important that certain steps be taken in a particular order to comply with the various probate statutes. An attorney can help navigate this process which may save the estate money. Since the executor of an estate is considered a fiduciary, the executor may become liable to the beneficiaries if s/he attempts to probate the will of his/her own and ends up doing so improperly or spending extra money on steps that did not need to be taken.
The attorneys at Incline Law Group are available to assist you with probate proceedings for estates of all sizes.