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A Comprehensive Overview of Nevada Probate Laws

Nevada probate laws provide a framework for guiding the process of distributing assets from an estate after the death of a loved one. Learn more here.

Basics of Nevada Probate Laws

Probate in Nevada typically refers to the court proceedings used to prove the validity of a deceased person’s will and distribute their assets according to its provisions.

The probate process is usually employed when the assets and personal property of the deceased do not pass directly under the terms of a contract or by law. In such cases, Probate proceedings help surviving spouses, children, and family members have their real property with all rights.

Process Surrounding Probate in Nevada 

The Nevada probate act as personal representatives, and its process may include selling homes according to the value of the estate of the deceased person’s property, making payments, distributing assets, distributing money to beneficiaries, and paying creditors. 

When the decedent’s estate has a will, they are usually said to have died testate, and an executor will distribute their assets. The executor is usually named in the will but must be appointed by the court to administer and distribute the estate to the named beneficiaries in the deceased’s will. 

Nevada Probate Statutes

Asset ownership is one of the most critical components in determining what part of the decedent’s property is subject to the probate process. As a general rule, the only assets that can be subject to probate court proceedings are part of the probate estate.

Non-Probate Assets

These are the decedent’s assets that pass under the terms of a contract or by operations of law.

  1. By Operation of Law, provisions usually include any of the decedent’s property held under joint tenancy by two or more persons. It also consists of any of the decedent’s estate owned as community property by married couples. It also includes securities and accounts held with a beneficiary title, such as payable on death to or in trust for. The laws related to non-probate transfers can be found in the Nevada Revised Statutes.
  2. The terms of a contract usually include the different contracts that allow one or more people to be designated beneficiaries to accounts such as annuities, life insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement benefits, and some buy-sell agreements.
  3. Excluded items are the decedent’s assets that would typically be designated non-probate assets but, in some instances, could be deemed part of the probate estate. This usually happens when the intestate heir designated under contract or by operation of law declines to accept the assets. The Nevada courts would declare such property part of probate in such a case.

Probate Estate Assets

This includes all the decedent’s property that does not pass under the terms of a contract or by operation of law. These typically include assets with no co-owner with survivorship rights and no beneficiary designation.

Our team at the Wood Law Group includes Las Vegas probate lawyers with extensive experience with the probate process, state laws, and the Nevada District Court. Whether the decedent died testate or intestate, we can help you navigate the probate process for favorable outcomes.

How Does Probate Work in Nevada?

Probate court action usually kicks off with the filing of a petition. When a personal representative (usually an administrator or executor) is appointed, the personal representative will sign the petition. 

Under Nevada law, small estates eligible for set aside proceedings, the beneficiaries are entitled to inherit the decedent’s estate and will file the petition. In most cases, the interested persons and the probate court must be given ten days’ notice by registered mail. The notice of hearing also needs to be published in the newspaper. 

In larger jurisdictions such as Clark County, the District Court judges will usually appoint a probate commissioner to review petitions and propose orders and recommendations to the presiding judge.

We understand that the probate process may seem complicated, especially when you have just lost a loved one. Our firm has been providing legal representation to many clients needing to go through the probate court process for years, and we understand the sensitivity and stress surrounding these matters. 

Contact us today, and we may have a lawyer to help you with any questions on the workings of the probate process in Nevada.

Nevada Probate Process

The Nevada probate process involves changing property title from the decedent to the beneficiary. The legal process in Nevada Courts has different requirements depending on the estate’s value.

What is a Probate Requirement in Nevada?

Probate isn’t always necessary; it’s true when a deceased person dies in a testate or terminal condition (deceased in an invalid will or without). Wills are not required for probating. A decedent’s probate will primarily determine the value of their estate and its total value.

Some assets can’t be probated. The funds of deceased beneficiaries registered in the beneficiary designation are transferred immediately. The same applies to assets held in trust or property acquired by an act of transfer. This asset should never remain in the will.

Nevada Probate Court Proceedings

The following proceedings may apply depending on the unique circumstances of your probate case:

1- Affidavit of Entitlement

An affidavit of Entitlement is applied when the estate is valued at $25,000 or less. It usually does not include interest in real property such as trust deeds, liens, or mortgages. The beneficiary can claim the assets through an affidavit rather than the court process.

The claimant must have a right to the estate property under the decedent’s will or by intestate succession.

2- Setting Aside Assets Without Administration

A court order can set aside the assets without administration if the estate’s value is $100,000 or less. The determination deducts encumbrances and liens on the estate and usually does not require a formal probate hearing or the appointment of an administrator or executor.

Note that if there is a surviving spouse or minor children, the court may disregard will provisions and creditors at its discretion.

3- Regular Administration

An estate qualifies for regular administration if valued at greater than $100,000.

4- Summary Administration

Estates valued at sums of at least $300,000 may be eligible for summary administration. This is a formal probate proceeding, even though the initial petition does not need to publish a notice of hearing. The creditor’s claim period is only 60 days.

5- Independent Administration

Under Nevada law, a personal representative may ask for independent administration of the decedent’s estate. The primary benefit of this formal probate procedure is that it significantly reduces court approval requirements, reducing legal fees and administrative fees.

It is critical to note that independent administration is not desired if there are expected to be disputes and controversies.

Trust Notification Under Nevada Probate Laws

The smooth administration of trust requires good communication between the beneficiaries and trustees. If a Nevada resident created a revocable living trust and was both the beneficiary and trustee, you will not need to provide any notifications to other beneficiaries. 

Even though you are competent and alive, you can revoke or amend the trust and property held at any time. Any surviving beneficiaries, such as a living spouse or children, will not have a right to any information about the trust.

However, once the trust’s settlor dies, the trust will become irrevocable, and beneficiaries will have the right to notifications and information about the trust.

Under Nevada laws, the trustee must give the beneficiaries a 120-day notice of irrevocability once a decedent dies. Any beneficiary will have to contest the trust’s validity within 120 days. 

The lawyers at the Wood Law Group have been working in probate court proceedings for years. We have lawyers who will provide legal advice on the different legal processes of the probate processes that you may be eligible for. 

Call our law offices today to take advantage of the experience and skill of our lawyers in the probate court process.

Waiver of Notice

All persons entitled to notification are entitled not to receive information by email (S.N. 155.009(5)). A person who wants to attend a divorce hearing usually is not allowed notice. A waiver of notice may include such phrases:

“[I] declare that under a penalty imposed upon perjury under the law of the state of Nevada, I waived the obligation of notice to be heard in respect of [petisonnam] in this application.

Nevada Law on Probate Estate

If you recently lost a loved one who died intestate, Nevada has intestate laws which you can rely on to take care of the distribution of the property acquired, debts owed, and assets owned by the decedent.

Claiming Property With a Simple (Small Estate) Affidavit

Nevada has procedures that allow inherited assets to be eliminated if the value remains below the threshold for probate. An inheritor can wait up to 40 days and make a document in which they say they have rights. It is known as an “affidavit.”

If someone with a deceased person in their possession gets an affidavit confirming their death and submits copies of that document, they are released.

What is The Role of Probate?

In death, survivors must arrange funerals for loved ones and obtain the decedent’s death certificate. Here probate takes place. Family can sometimes never go to the estate to take what was left behind, although the will says they may have an inheritance in their name. Probate is the legal method for settling a deceased’s affairs organized.

How Can I Avoid Probate in Nevada?

Most people would rather avoid probate to get their beneficiaries’ inheritances more quickly. The settlement of a deceased estate is legal for most states, with no formally recorded death or divorce proceedings.

Many states use the informal probate procedure, and some have more than one way of settlement for the property. An affidavit of death is a commonly accepted probate choice in smaller estates, and it helps executors eliminate court interactions.

Typically if a deceased estate is not in probate, it is kept in a separate account. Examples include the joint account and the account payable in death.

What Do You Do When Someone Dies in Nevada?

In Nevada, it is usually best for a person to die in a legally binding will despite their wishes. If you pass under the laws of Nevada, the estate is distributed under the laws. However, a person who dies without a trust must obey state inheritance laws to be properly inherited.

Is Probate Required in Nevada?

Probate is required by Nevada laws, even though not all estates have to go through a formal probate proceeding. Probate in Nevada must be done for the dispersal, and statutes require it. However, not every estate needs probate. Before requesting probate, it is essential to determine if any estate can skip the probate procedure.

How Long Do Probate Proceedings Take?

The time it would take will depend on the complexity and size of the estate. However, proceedings usually take at least four to six months or more if there are delays or disputes.

How Long After a Deceased’s Death Do You Have to File Probate?

A will must be filed with the courts in the county where the decedent lived within 30 days of death. However, there is no statute of limitations on when the decedent’s heirs can file probate in Nevada

How Much Does Probate in Nevada cost?

Probate is typically priced between 3 and 8 percent, depending on estate value. In many states, the probate fees vary and generally are the estate’s property. You can establish living trusts if it helps cover this cost by making wills.

Do I Have to File a Federal Estate Tax Return?

You may be required to file a federal estate tax return, also known as Form 706 if the value of your estate exceeds a certain amount. This amount, known as the estate tax exemption, changes periodically and is adjusted for inflation.

For the tax year 2021, the estate tax exemption is $11.7 million per individual. This means that if the value of your estate is less than $11.7 million, you are not required to file a federal estate tax return. If the value of your estate is more than $11.7 million, you may need to file a federal estate tax return, even if you do not owe any estate tax.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you may not need to file a federal estate tax return if your assets pass directly to a surviving spouse or a charitable organization.

How Does Nevada Law Handle Small Estates?

In Nevada, the law provides a simplified process for handling small estates, making it easier and less time-consuming for heirs and personal representatives to deal with the distribution of assets.

This is particularly beneficial for families looking to settle the affairs of a deceased relative without the extensive probate procedures required for larger estates.

When the total value of the decedent’s estate, excluding any property that passes outside of probate, such as retirement accounts or jointly held property, is relatively modest, the estate may qualify as a “small estate” under Nevada law.

The specific threshold for a small estate in Nevada is adjusted periodically, so it’s important to consult current statutes or a legal professional for the most up-to-date information.

For small estates, the personal representative can utilize a more streamlined process. Instead of going through the formal probate process in the proper court, such as the Eighth Judicial District Court, the representative may file a request for a summary administration or even an affidavit of entitlement.

This is particularly applicable when dealing with separate property that solely belonged to the deceased.

The affidavit of entitlement is a simpler method that can be used when the value of the estate is below a certain threshold.

The personal representative files this document with entities holding the estate’s assets, like banks, to transfer assets directly to the rightful heirs, bypassing the need for formal probate.

For slightly larger estates that don’t meet the criteria for the affidavit process but are still considered small, summary administration may be appropriate.

This involves filing probate documents with the court, but the process is less complex and time-consuming than regular probate. It requires notifying heirs and creditors and handling the decedent’s property according to their will or state law if there’s no will.

Both these processes significantly reduce the time and paperwork involved in settling a person’s estate, making them beneficial for the decedent’s family, especially when the estate is relatively straightforward and uncontested.

Who Gets the Estate if the Decedent Died Intestate?

If there was no will or the one left by the decedent is deemed invalid, the estate will be subjected to the Nevada laws on intestate succession.

Working with a reputable law firm is critical if you have recently lost someone, such as a parent, aunt, or deceased brother and now need to go through the probate process.

The Wood Law Group has lawyers who understand probate in Nevada and have worked in the field for years. They know all about the Nevada Revised Statutes, federal estate tax, inheritance tax, and other elements of the law.

Contact us today, and we may be able to help you get favorable outcomes in your intestate succession case.