Inheritance Laws in Nevada

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn about wills, trusts, intestate succession, and how Wood Law Group can help. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Introduction to Nevada Inheritance Laws

Planning for the end of life can be burdensome. But it can also provide peace of mind because a will represents what your intentions are when it comes to distributing your assets.

However, if you die without a will in Nevada, your assets will be subject to the state inheritance laws. In other words, you will have no say in what happens to your assets – the state will distribute them.

In this guide, in addition to clarifying the state’s inheritance laws, we will also break down tax implications, testate succession laws, as well as legal implications of not following Nevada inheritance laws.

If you need professional guidance with inheritance laws or other estate planning matters, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Wood Law Group.

What Are the Inheritance Laws in Nevada?

The Purpose and Scope of the Law

The Nevada Revised Statutes govern what happens to your assets when you pass away and what your children inherit. If you have a valid will in place, your estate and assets will be distributed according to the provisions of that will.

A person who dies without a will is considered to have died intestate. In that case, nearly everything they owned would be distributed to beneficiaries according to inheritance laws or intestate succession laws. If the decedent had children, the state would dictate what would happen to their dependent minor children. The details will be outlined during the probate court proceedings.

There are some exemptions to this Nevada law, such as assets whose beneficiaries you’ve named. These assets include retirement accounts, life insurance policies, property placed in a living trust, and jointly owned property.

Tax Implications

Is there an inheritance tax in Nevada? No, Nevada doesn’t collect estate or inheritance taxes. However, these taxes are different and shouldn’t be confused.

Inheritance taxes are imposed upon the deceased’s beneficiaries after they receive their inheritance. Estate taxes are imposed upon the decedent’s estate after their passing.

The State of Nevada doesn’t impose any of these taxes. However, there are federal tax implications. For example, if you live in Nevada but inherit an estate from an individual living in a state that has an inheritance tax, you will have to pay it.

Also, the federal estate tax applies. However, you must inherit more than $12.92 million in 2023 to be subject to the federal estate tax.

Testate Succession

Testate succession means that an individual had died with a valid will. The will creator, or the testator, has to be at least 18 years old and of sound mind for a will to be valid. Furthermore, the will has to be in writing and signed by the testator and two witnesses. The testator can appoint anyone to act as the will’s executor – Nevada residency requirements are not imposed on executors.

After the testator’s death, the will has to be submitted to probate court. A probate proceeding is a court-monitored proceeding that includes proving the validity of a will, transferring property, and settling the deceased’s estate affairs.

If the total amount of the deceased person’s assets exceeds $20,000 or real estate is included in the estate, probate will be required. But, if the total value is less than this amount and the estate doesn’t include real estate, probate court proceedings may be avoided.

Nevada’s Intestate Succession Laws

Several factors affect who will inherit someone’s assets under intestate succession. Firstly, heirs are considered the same as next of kin. First in line to inherit is the spouse, followed by:

  • Children

  • Parents

  • Siblings

  • Closest extended family member

Secondly, Nevada is a community property state. That means all property acquired during the marriage is shared between the spouses. It’s not important whose name is on the bill of sale or the deed. The only assets that are exempt from community property state laws are those that one spouse acquired before marriage and kept through a prenuptial agreement and those that were given to one spouse by a separate individual. The exempt property is considered separate property.

Here’s what that can look like in practice.

  • If someone was married, didn’t have children, and died intestate, their surviving spouse inherits everything.

  • If someone was married and had one child, dying intestate means the spouse will inherit all of the decedent’s community property and one-half of separate property. The child will inherit the other half of the separate property.

  • Dying intestate, married with two children means the living spouse inherits all community property and one-third of separate property. Each child inherits one-third of separate property.

  • However, if there is no separate property, the spouse inherits everything, regardless of how many children the decedent had. The children, in that case, don’t inherit anything. Bear in mind that children have to be legally recognized to be able to inherit intestate property.

In other cases, the state moves down the list of heirs to distribute assets. So if the deceased person had children but no spouse, children inherit everything.

If the state of Nevada cannot find an heir, the property will be retained by the state.


Probate can be avoided in certain cases if a valid trust is in place. A trust is a legal document that defines the terms under which the grantor’s assets will be distributed upon death. It names the beneficiaries, as well as a trustee, the person who will ensure that the trust assets are handled according to the terms of the trust.

While there are several types of trusts in Nevada, one of the most significant distinctions is whether they are irrevocable or revocable. Assets placed in an irrevocable trust are typically protected from creditors, but this type of trust can’t be changed.

On the other hand, a revocable trust, also called a living trust, can be changed and can help avoid probate. Moreover, by creating a trust or a will and ensuring these documents are valid, your estate property won’t be subject to Nevada’s inheritance laws.

Have More Questions on Nevada Inheritance Law? Call Us!

Nevada inheritance law comes into play if someone dies without a will. Spouses and children are the first in line to inherit someone’s property. However, inheritance law might jeopardize your children’s ability to inherit assets that will be distributed to your spouse. Things get more complicated if you have foster children you have never legally adopted. That’s why it is best to be prepared and have a reliable will and a complete estate plan.

Our team of skilled attorneys at the Wood Law Group have extensive experience with trusts, probate, wills and can help you navigate the inheritance state law. Moreover, we provide excellent client service in all aspects of estate planning.

Whether you are creating an estate plan or your loved one died intestate and you need legal advice, we can help. Our attorneys can work with you to ensure your legal matters are successfully handled. Contact us today!