What Is Probate, How Does It Work, And Is It Possible to Avoid?

Technically, when a person dies and leaves a will, probate is the term used for when the will is read, accepted by the court, and then executed according to the law. Of course, each step of the way there are hurdles to cross, sometimes easy ones and sometimes hard, depending on how prepared the deceased was before they died. If someone dies without a will, things can get a little more complicated, and the law in the jurisdiction will have to take over and dictate how things will proceed. There are ways to limit how much of an estate will fall under the probate, and a good lawyer is needed to advise on those details. To find a lawyer to handle this for you in Vegas, you can search probate attorney Las Vegas, or just estate lawyer and find someone who can help. Here are some of the reasons why estates go into probate, what happens in probate, and how you may be able to avoid probate.

Here Are Just Some of The Reasons for Probate


The first thing that actually needs to happen is for the death certificate and last will and testament need to be verified in front of the court. If the will is proven to be the last will and testament of the deceased at the time of death, then the probate will move on to the next step of administration of the estate.

After the probate court has ruled that the will is legitimately the final testament of the deceased, a number of things kick into motion. There needs to be an accounting of all property belonging to the deceased, including life insurance policies, bank accounts, real property, personal property, business property and investments.

There also will have to be a complete accounting of debts owed by the deceased as well. Some of these are easy if they are regular debts to banks, credit cards, mortgage companies and finance companies. But, there is also the possibility that the deceased has other outstanding debts elsewhere, so ads in designated newspapers are taken out as legal notice to any outstanding creditors where they need to file their claim for monies owed.

There is a time limit on making a claim, under the law, and failure to act will result in forfeiture or loss of the ability to file a claim. These time constraints are also what makes probate take so long as well since none of the assets can be disbursed until the time limits for claims has passed and the debtors paid.

The Executor of The Will Isn’t Necessarily A Beneficiary

There is a common misconception that the executor of the will is able to take money from the estate for whatever purpose and spend it however they want and continue unabated. The executor is under strict legal constraints to keep costs of settling the estate under control and shouldn’t have open access to the accounts for frivolous expenditures. All costs will have to be approved in the end by the probate judge and they are usually strict about wasting money owed to the heirs.

The executor is appointed by the will, and is usually an heir, but not always. It may actually be an attorney instead, a close friend, or anyone else the recent deceased had decided to appoint. The executor will have the legal power of attorney to sign checks, close bank accounts, deal with Social Security, make funeral arrangements, pay off creditors, sell assets that weren’t specifically allocated in the will, and many other things.

How Long Does A Probate Take?

This is a very hard question to answer because of the complexity of many estates. There is definitely a minimum amount of time, however. Since many of the tasks, like running ads for creditors, have specified lengths of time that need to be met, those will delay any settlements for at least that much time on their own.

In addition to that, some courts are backed up for weeks or months and hearings have to be scheduled at their convenience, not the estate’s or their attorney’s. Any real estate that needs to be sold will have a separate time table dictated by the markets. If there is sufficient money in the estate to pay all creditors and debts it is possible to meet all the requirements and settle the estate prior to selling the real estate. Otherwise, everything may be put on hold until the property is sold.

Is It Possible to Avoid Probate?

Yes, but it is very difficult and must be handled by an attorney. In most states in the US, probate is required on any estate that is valued more than a certain amount of money. The threshold is usually very low, and if there is real estate involved, easily surpassed.

If there are business assets, real estate assets, the will is contested, there is no will, large gifts were given, or any one of a number of factors, probate will be required. A good attorney can, however, arrange for a person to basically give everything away before death and avoid probate. This is usually done with trusts, but there are other ways as well. This is difficult to do legally and must be handled professionally or the courts will take action after death. People wishing to go this route should contact a competent legal professional that specializes in that type of law.

What Do the New Changes In Health Insurance Laws Mean For Everyone?

In 2017, the United States Congress passed the controversial “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act,” which made major changes to the US health care industry by removing the Affordable Care Act‘s (ACA) individual mandate. This is the requirement for all Americans to have effective health insurance. This mandate was in place because the larger health insurance market is better served when everyone supports the system. Without the individual mandate, what will happen? In this article, we explore this question. Read on to learn more.

Will Everyone Be Negatively Impacted?

The first thing to understand is the fact that removal of the individual mandate will have a broad reaching ripple effect that will impact all Americans. Many are concerned an impact will come in the form of increased costs across the board.

According to the United States’ Congressional Budget Office (CBO) repeal of the individual mandate will have the effect of increasing health insurance premium costs overall by about ten percent. It will also add to the number of uninsured in America by about thirteen million additional people by the year 2027. However, given the fact that health insurance premiums skyrocketed under Obamacare, it is more likely they will drop after the mandate repeal has been put into effect. Under Obamacare, many insurers were finding it difficult to provide coverage. Some even wondered if big companies such as State Farm and others would be able to provide coverage.

Will Wasteful Medical Spending Increase Costing More Tax Dollars?

Uninsured Americans cost all Americans money. When people are uninsured, they must visit the emergency room for care because there is currently a federal law in place that requires emergency rooms to treat all presenting patients without regard to ability to pay or insurance status. However, the biggest abuses of insurance are often seen under federal programs, such as Medicare. A privatized system, based on the free market, does a better job of regulating itself, rather than big government, which is not known for looking out for the budget of the average American. When health care is free, people tend to abuse and over-use the privilege, driving costs up.

Currently, according to a study conducted by the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, about fifty percent of medical care in the US is provided by emergency rooms. Another study conducted by the New England Health Care Institute found that this overuse of emergency rooms for general care results in approximately $38 billion dollars in wasteful spending annually, with the individual mandate in place. Hardly a cost savings.

Preventative Screenings Will Decrease

In addition to promoting more efficient health care spending, good health care coverage also promotes a good doctor/patient relationship, which encourages proactive preventative care. This is important because good preventative care increases patient accountability.

When patients have regular contact with primary care providers, they tend to be more knowledgeable about their own health and how to take the best care of themselves. Regularly scheduled preventative screenings make early detection of treatable diseases possible. These screenings also help patients with chronic conditions manage them more effectively and affordably.

Will Chronic Illness & Avoidable Deaths Increase?

Under the ACA, preventative screenings must be covered by insurance. Without the individual mandate, millions more Americans will do without health insurance and valuable health screenings.

According to the US Surgeon General’s office, consistent, widespread, regular use of preventative screenings can save the United States nearly four-billion dollars in medical costs annually. Having preventative testing covered by all health insurance and having all Americans covered by health insurance makes this tremendous saving possible.

This is why the American Hospital Association went on record in support of the individual mandate in November of 2017. They signed onto a letter to Congress requesting that the individual mandate stay in place. The letter pointed out that repealing the mandate and leaving the insurance reforms of the ACA in place would not only cause many more Americans to become uninsured, but would also raise premium and co-pay prices for those who remained insured to such levels that they could not access these screenings even with insurance.

Doctors Will Work Harder For Less Successful Outcomes

Another advantage of regular screenings is that they make it easier for doctors and other health care professionals to provide top-notch care. The results of screenings ensure that doctors have complete files and information on patients. Without screenings, health care professionals may only see patients presenting with acute, serious health threats, which are much harder and more expensive to treat and have less successful outcomes.

It is easy to see that the individual mandate is an extremely important part of the structure of the ACA vision for an effective health care market. However, whether its removal will result in increases or decreases in overall health costs remains to be seen. Those who rallied around its removal and cheer on the dismantling of the ACA are betting on a change for the better.

Healthcare’s Technology Trends

In fact technological advancements have significant impacts on our way of life, may it be negatively or positively (it all depends upon the aim of view you decide to consider it). Today, there are many technological advancements in most fields, and they have shown to be handy. And also this applies with regards to healthcare. As an example, previously patients were needed to call and set a consultation merely to ask queries about a selected treatment. However, these days’ patients bypass every one of these by just going to a doctor’s webpage or chat with them by way of a specific platform.

Concurrently, those days are gone of waiting in stuffy exam rooms, and/or waiting for test results. Indeed, there is lots of room for tech-enabled advancements in healthcare. For this reason, we lay out to locate new and trending healthcare technologies this year. This meant looking for experts and asking them to weigh in.

1. Chatbots In Healthcare

This is a reality that Chatbots already have overtaken many industries like the service and retail sector. However, in the health industry, this technology has not been widely adopted, but soon it will likely be a game changer. Besides saving costs, it can also be used to schedule appointments, notify nurses when it comes to severe conditions, along with monitor a patient’s health status.

Concurrently, a Chatbot might help a patient directly by discussing the healthy issues h/she is suffering from and which are the best possible treatment they may get. The only problem with Chatbot in healthcare is it is still within its experimental phase, meaning that it is really not easy to replace them as an alternative for proper health care now. However, they can use accustomed to offer first aid. Nevertheless, experts have predicted that it will change anytime soon and perhaps this year.

2. Telehealth

Telehealth can be defined as the variety of methods or means, with the objective of enhancing public health, healthcare and health delivery, support, or education using telecommunication channels. By way of example, in case you have emailed forward and backward by using a doctor, then you have observed telehealth. Today, telehealth involves, online portals to find out test results, appointment reminder texts, and apps accustomed to track exercises and diet.

Telehealth is an already existing field of medicine without a doubt. It became popular in the 90s and was adopted by a lot of people across America. However, experts claim that an upgrade or expand is slowly encroaching on many new areas. First, it is known this technology will grow and develop to people people residing in rural areas. Simultaneously, you will see a rise of mobile clinics and even more.

3. Personalized Medicine

When you probably know, everyone is different from each other. Put simply, your DNA is different from the other people, even though it may be similar. For this reason, the market has seen a rise in personalized medicine because the Human Genome Project, which mapped order of DNA in the human gene pool. For this reason, personalized medicine is a huge trending region of research for a long time now.