Wills and Estates – Small Estates – Nevada
Small Estates General Summary: Small Estate laws were enacted in order to enable heirs to obtain property of the deceased without probate, or with shortened probate proceedings, provided certain conditions are met. Small estates can be administered with less time and cost. If the deceased had conveyed most property to a trust but there remains some property, small estate laws may also be available. Small Estate procedures may generally be used regardless of whether there was a Will. In general, the two forms of small estate procedures are recognized:
1. Small Estate Affidavit -Some States allow an affidavit to be executed by the spouse and/or heirs of the deceased and present the affidavit to the holder of property such as a bank to obtain property of the deceased. Other states require that the affidavit be filed with the Court. The main requirement before you may use an affidavit is that the value of the personal and/or real property of the estate not exceed a certain value.
2. Summary Administration -Some states allow a Summary administration. Some States recognize both the Small Estate affidavit and Summary Administration, basing the requirement of which one to use on the value of the estate. Example: If the estate value is 10,000 or less an affidavit is allowed but if the value is between 10,000 to 20,000 a summary administration is allowed.
Nevada requirements are set forth in the statutes below.
DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL ESTATES
NRS 146.070 Estates not exceeding $100,000: Petition; notice; fees; distribution of interest of minor.
1. If a person dies leaving an estate the gross value of which, after deducting any encumbrances, does not exceed $100,000, and there is a surviving spouse or minor child or minor children of the decedent, the estate must not be administered upon, but the whole estate, after directing such payments as may be deemed just, must be, by an order for that purpose, assigned and set apart for the support of the surviving spouse or minor child or minor children, or for the support of the minor child or minor children, if there is no surviving spouse. Even if there is a surviving spouse, the court may, after directing such payments, set aside the whole of the estate to the minor child or minor children, if it is in their best interests.
2. If there is no surviving spouse or minor child of the decedent and the gross value of a decedent’s estate, after deducting any encumbrances, does not exceed $100,000, upon good cause shown, the court shall order that the estate not be administered upon, but the whole estate be assigned and set apart in the following order:
(a) To the payment of funeral expenses, expenses of last illness, money owed to the Department of Health and Human Services as a result of payment of benefits for Medicaid and creditors, if there are any; and
(b) Any balance remaining to the claimant or claimants entitled thereto pursuant to a valid will of the decedent, and if there is no valid will, pursuant to intestate succession.
3. Proceedings taken under this section, whether or not the decedent left a valid will, must not begin until at least 30 days after the death of the decedent and must be originated by a petition containing:
(a) A specific description of all the decedent’s property.
(b) A list of all the liens and mortgages of record at the date of the decedent’s death.
(c) An estimate of the value of the property.
(d) A statement of the debts of the decedent so far as known to the petitioner.
(e) The names and residences of the heirs and devisees of the decedent and the age of any who is a minor and the relationship of the heirs and devisees to the decedent, so far as known to the petitioner.
4. The clerk shall set the petition for hearing and the petitioner shall give notice of the petition and hearing in the manner provided in NRS 155.010 to the decedent’s heirs and devisees and to the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. If a complete copy of the petition is not enclosed with the notice, the notice must include a statement setting forth to whom the estate is being set aside.
5. No court or clerk’s fees may be charged for the filing of any petition in, or order of court thereon, or for any certified copy of the petition or order in an estate not exceeding $2,500 in value.
6. If the court finds that the gross value of the estate, less encumbrances, does not exceed the sum of $100,000, the court may direct that the estate be distributed to the father or mother of a minor heir or devisee, with or without the filing of any bond, or to a custodian under chapter 167 of NRS, or may require that a general guardian be appointed and that the estate be distributed to the guardian, with or without bond, as in the discretion of the court is deemed to be in the best interests of the minor. The court may direct the manner in which the money may be used for the benefit of the minor.