Selective focus image of judge gavel and house - small estate probate concept

Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing a deceased person’s assets after their death. The probate court oversees the transfer of property to ensure the deceased person’s debts are paid and their assets are transferred to the people entitled to receive them.

Probate can be a complicated, lengthy, time-consuming process. However, in situations where the deceased person’s assets are below a statutory threshold, the estate may qualify for a simplified estate administration process.

If you recently lost a loved one and are starting the probate process, Nevada probate attorney Natalia Vander Laan can evaluate your situation to determine whether your loved one’s estate qualifies for simplified administration. Regardless of the probate process you must follow, Ms. Vander Laan can lift this burden and handle the estate administration process so you and your family can focus on the grieving process.

Small Estate Probate in Nevada

A person who dies with a Will is said to have died “testate.” Typically, their Will identifies someone who will serve as the Estate Executor.

Someone who dies without a Will is said to have died “intestate.” When someone dies intestate, the probate court appoints someone to serve as the Estate Administrator.

The Estate Executor or Estate Administrator is responsible for managing the deceased person's estate. Typically, this means they must open an estate in the probate court of the country where the deceased person died. They should take an inventory of estate assets, pay any debts and taxes the deceased person owed, and distribute the remaining assets to the people named in the deceased person’s Will or the people who are entitled to receive the deceased person’s property under Nevada law’s intestacy laws (the deceased person’s heirs).

In certain situations, the estate may qualify for a simplified probate procedure. If the total gross value of the estate is less than $300,000, the estate may qualify for Summary Administration. If the estate is valued at less than $100,000, it may qualify for Set-Aside Probate. And for estates valued at less than $25,000 (excluding the value of any vehicles) that do not include real property, the estate representative may only need to file an Affidavit of Entitlement.

Summary Administration for Estates Valued at Less than $300,000

If the decedent’s estate is valued at less than $300,000, the estate representative can request a Summary Administration of Estates. Summary administration does not avoid probate entirely, but it is a more streamlined process that can save time and probate fees.

The primary benefits of a Summary Administration are:

  1. Creditors must present claims against the estate within 60 days, as opposed to 90 days in a general administration.
  2. The requirement to publish a notice of the petition for probate in a newspaper is waived.

Probate Court Set-Aside

For estates valued at less than $100,000, the probate court can order that all or part of the estate be “set aside without administration” so estate assets can be distributed directly, in the following order or priority:

  1. To pay attorney’s fees
  2. To pay funeral expenses, the expenses of a last illness, and any money owed to the Department of Health for Medicaid reimbursement
  3. To pay creditors
  4. To people who inherit under a Will or, if there is no will, under Nevada intestacy laws

If the deceased person left a surviving spouse or minor children, the court will generally set aside the entire estate for the spouse or minor children without first paying creditors.

Nevada’s Small Estate Affidavit

Nevada’s Small Estate Affidavit procedure allows inheritors to skip probate altogether. To qualify, the estate must meet the following requirements:

  1. The total value of the estate is less than $25,000 ($100,000 if the person filing the Small Estate Affidavit is the deceased person’s surviving spouse)
  2. The deceased person did not own real estate
  3. No petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction
  4. At least 40 days have passed since the person’s death

If the estate meets these requirements, the inheritor can file a Small Estate Affidavit. At least 14 days before filing the Small Estate Affidavit, the inheritor must provide any other beneficiaries with written notice of the claim and a description of the property to be transferred.

After signing the document and having it notarized, the inheritor presents the affidavit to the person or institution that holds the deceased person’s property, often with a copy of the death certificate. Then, the person or institution holding the property should release the asset.

Contact The Vander Laan Law Firm for Small Estate Probate in Nevada

If you need assistance with small estate probate in Nevada, Natalia Vander Laan can help. Ms. Vander Laan is an experienced probate and estate planning attorney who proudly serves the Carson Valley. Contact the Vander Laan Law Firm today to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation and how Ms. Vander Laan can help.

Categories: Probate