The state of Nevada has a strong policy interest in protecting the surviving spouse and minor children of a decedent. Nevada law has a special provision that provides protection for a surviving spouse and/or minor children where estate assets are less than $100,000. NRS 146.070 provides:
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.
This statute permits the entire estate to be set aside and distributed to the surviving spouse and/or minor children for their support. Further, if the court deems it just, the funds can pass to the surviving spouse and/or minor children prior to creditors being paid and regardless of how the funds are distributed pursuant to the decedent’s will.
One of the reasons for this Nevada law is to make sure that if a deceased leaves a small estate and a surviving spouse or minor children, the funds may be used to support the decedent’s survivors and avoid the need for state aid. Feel free to contact our office should you have any questions about transferring a small estate to a surviving spouse or minor children.
Attorney – Corey J. Schmutz