We often write on our Las Vegas estate planning law blog about probate. Usually we do so in the context of discussing how to avoid probate through careful estate planning. But for those whose loved ones' estates must go through probate, let's take a few moments to look at just what probate is and what happens during the process. This is just for general information, and is not intended as specific legal advice.
Probate is simply the name for the process in which a court oversees the distribution of a deceased individual's assets. The court will take stock of the property left behind, figure out who is entitled to it and make sure state law is followed in terms of who gets what. There will also be taxes and perhaps lingering debts to pay. If there is a valid will naming an executor, the court will make that appointment formal, otherwise the court will identify someone to serve as the executor.