Wednesday, March 25, 2015

JURISDICTION OF THE NEVADA PROBATE COURT

Jurisdiction is the power of a legal body (a court) to hear and make a judgment or ruling on a case.   The Nevada Probate Courts are only able to hear and adjudicate probate cases that come within its jurisdiction.  The Nevada Probate Court’s jurisdiction is set forth in NRS 136.010:

  1. Wills may be proved and letters granted in the county where the decedent was a resident at the time of death, whether death occurred in that county or elsewhere, and the district court of that county has exclusive jurisdiction of the settlement of such estates, whether the estate is in one or more counties.
  2. The estate of a nonresident decedent may be settled by the district court of any county in which any part of the estate is located. The district court to which application is first made has exclusive jurisdiction of the settlement of estates of nonresidents.

In other words, the Nevada Probate Court may hear and make rulings on cases where (1) the Decedent was a resident of Nevada at the date of death or (2) the Decedent was a non-resident but owns property located within the State of Nevada.
Three simple examples illustrate the Nevada Probate Court’s jurisdiction: 

  1. Decedent A was a resident of Colorado and owned a vacation home in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Nevada Probate Court has jurisdiction over Decedent A’s probate because the Decedent owned real property in Nevada.
  2. Decedent B is a resident of Nevada at the date of Death.  The Nevada Probate Court has jurisdiction over Decedent B’s probate because Decedent B was a Nevada resident.
  3. Decedent C is a resident of Texas and has no assets in the state of Nevada.  However, Decedent C’s children are Nevada residents.  The Nevada Probate Court does not have jurisdiction over Decedent C’s probate because Decedent C was not a Nevada resident and did not own and property in the state of Nevada.

Should you have any questions regarding the Nevada Probate Court’s jurisdiction, feel free to contact our office.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

AFR's for April

The Section 7520 rate is 2.0%
The AFRs Annual Semi-annual Quarterly Monthly
are as follows
Short-term 0.48% 0.48% 0.48% 0.48%
Mid-term 1.70% 1.69% 1.69% 1.68%
Long-term 2.47% 2.45% 2.44% 2.44%

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review and Update of Estate Plan by Surviving Spouse

When a spouse dies, it is important that the surviving spouse review his or her own estate plan and estate planning documents.  In most situations, a married couple nominates his or her spouse to serve as their attorney-in-fact (agent) under their power of attorney for health care decisions and as their attorney-in-fact (agent) under their power of attorney for financial matters.  Under these documents, the person nominated to make health care decisions and to handle the financial affairs for the surviving spouse is now deceased.  Accordingly, it is essential that the surviving spouse review the powers of attorney to insure that there are alternate agents nominated to so serve. 
 
Oftentimes the surviving spouse will desire to update the powers of attorney by making the alternate nominated party or parties under the existing powers of attorney now the primary nominated party or parties and adding new alternate nominated parties. This is also true for nominated successor trustees under the Trust agreement and for the nominated personal representatives under the Last Will and Testament of the surviving spouse. Again, the nominated successor trustee and the nominated personal representative is often the now deceased spouse. 

Such a review is not limited to these estate planning documents.  The surviving spouse should also review any insurance policies insuring the life of the surviving spouse as to designated beneficiaries.  Again, the spouse, who is now deceased, is usually the designated beneficiary of the policy.  The surviving spouse needs to be sure that there are alternate designated beneficiaries under the terms of the policy (a revocable trust is a good beneficiary for insurance policies).  Unfortunately, if there is no living designated beneficiary at the time of the death of the surviving spouse, some policies provide that the proceeds are paid to the estate of the insured.  This would in all likelihood result in the necessity of a probate of the estate of the surviving spouse, something we always try to help our clients avoid due to the costs and fees involved with a probate proceeding. 

Additionally, if the surviving spouse has a retirement plan, the designated beneficiary provisions of the plan should be reviewed to make sure that there are alternate designated beneficiaries other than the deceased spouse.

-Attorney John R. Mugan