March 3rd, 2023
Probate is the legal process of taking inventory of and distributing a person’s assets after they die. It is a common court-supervised procedure that protects against fraud after someone passes away and is required for most estates in Nevada in the absence of trust or named beneficiaries.
One of the most common questions people ask about probate is: how much does probate cost in Nevada?
Like most things in the law, the answer is: it depends.
Fees, Costs, and Other Expenses in Nevada Probate
The total cost of probate in Nevada will depend on factors including the size and complexity of the estate, how many heirs are involved, whether the deceased person left an estate plan, and whether there is a Will contest.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to calculating probate cost in Nevada, there are expenses that are common in most probate proceedings.
Court and Filing Fees
Court and filing fees are determined by state and local jurisdiction and vary based on the size of the estate. These costs generally range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Compensation for the Personal Representative
The executor or administrator is the person named in the Will or appointed by the court to handle the probate process. This person is paid for their time spent administering the estate. Compensation is set by statute and is calculated as follows:
- 4% of the first $15,000
- 3% of the next $85,000
- 2% for all amounts about $100,000
If there are two or more personal representatives, the compensation must be shared among them according to the services provided by each. The court may also, at its discretion, allow additional fees if these fees are insufficient to reasonably compensate the personal representative.
Attorneys can charge either an hourly rate to probate an estate or a percentage of the total value of the estate. The attorney and client should agree on the lawyer’s fee structure before work begins. The attorney is usually paid at the completion of the probate process.
According to statute, if an attorney seeks compensation based on the value of the estate, the compensation for ordinary services shall be as follows:
- 4% of the first $100,000
- 3% of the next $100,000
- 2% of the next $800,000
- 1% of the next $9,000,000
- 0.5% of the next $15,000,000
- For amounts beyond $25,000,000, a reasonable rate as determined by the court.
If the attorney is required to perform extraordinary services, the court may allow additional compensation for those additional services based on the time and hours necessary, the nature and extent of the services required, and the complexity of the work.
The personal representative will need to hire someone to determine the value of the estate. This is often accomplished with the assistance of an accountant or other financial professional who will calculate the value of stocks, bonds, bank accounts, estate tax returns, and other tax issues. If the deceased person owned a business, an accountant can provide a business valuation. It might also be necessary to hire a real estate appraiser to determine the value of any real property.
Other estate items, such as jewelry, artwork, vehicles, and other high-value items may need to be appraised by various specialists who will be compensated for their time.
Courts in Nevada can require that the personal representative pay a bond when handling the estate of a deceased person. A probate bond ensures that the personal representative will satisfy all debts of the estate and that the remaining assets will be distributed to the heirs of the estate. The cost of the bond can vary but generally costs between a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.
Miscellaneous Fees and Expenses
There can be other costs associated with the probate process, such as expenses for storing or shipping property, the cost of real estate upkeep, realtor fees to sell property, and even postage to send notifications to beneficiaries and possible debtors.
Can You Avoid Probate in Nevada?
Because of the cost and time-consuming nature of probate, many people wonder if they can avoid the process altogether. There are estate planning tools that may help you avoid probate, or at least minimize the cost and expense of the probate process.
Ways to avoid probate in Nevada include
- Using a trust
- Titling assets as tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy, or community property with a right of survivorship
- Designating accounts as Transfer on Death (TOD) or Payable on Death (POD)
For smaller estates, you may be able to use simplified probate procedure:
- An Affidavit of Entitlement if the value of the estate is less than $20,000
- A Set Aside for estates that are valued at less than $100,000
- Summary Administration for estates valued between $100,000 and $300,000
Contact The Vander Laan Law Firm, LLC for Help with Nevada Probate
If you have questions about the probate process in Nevada, the Vander Laan Law Firm, LLC can help. With offices in Minden and Carson City, Nevada, probate attorney Natalia Vander Laan takes a caring and personal approach and spends the time necessary with her clients to explain the probate process. She provides top-notch legal advice and representation and has a deep and thorough knowledge of Nevada probate law.
To learn more about Natalia Vander Laan and how she can help, contact the Vander Laan Law Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.