In previous blog articles, I wrote about the importance of avoiding probate. However, where probate is unavoidable, there are several provisions in Title 12 of the Nevada Revised Statutes that can alleviate the burden of a full probate proceeding where the estate is less than $200,000:
1. Affidavit of Entitlement - NRS 146.080 allows estates with a total value of less than $20,000 (not including any real property) to be distributed directly to beneficiaries through the use of an affidavit. The affidavit does not require court supervision and can be presented to any person who holds estate property. The property is then distributed directly to the rightful beneficiaries of the estate without going through a formal probate.
There are certain requirements outlined in NRS 146.080 that must be adhered to for the affidavit to work. For example, among other things, the affidavit may not be filed until 40 days after the date of death and the affidavit must state that all funeral expenses and debts have been paid or provided for.
2. Set Aside - NRS 146.070 provides for the “set-aside” of small estates in two situations. The first is where "the gross value of [the estate], after deducting any encumbrances does not exceed $100,000" and the estate assets are distributed to the surviving spouse and/or minor children. The court, at its discretion, can direct that the entire estate be set-aside for their support and the decedent’s debts, if any, are discharged.
The second situation is where there is no surviving spouse or minor children. The court can set aside the estate to the intestate heirs or beneficiaries of a last will and testament provided that the gross value of the estate is less than $100,000. In the second situation, the creditors of the estate must be paid. Although NRS 146.070 requires that a petition be filed with the court, the procedure is much faster and easier than a full probate administration.
3. Summary Administration – NRS Chapter 145 provides that if the gross value of the estate after deducting encumbrances is less than $200,000, then summary administration is appropriate. Although the steps for a summary administration are similar to a full probate administration, the provisions of NRS Chapter 145 provide for some relief in a summary administration. For instance, the creditor claims period is shortened to 60 days and the initial petition for issuance of letters does not need to be published.
Should you have any questions regarding probate, feel free to contact our office.