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Value of estate determines form of probate

Under Nevada law, if a person dies with a will and assets, including real property or having a value of more than $20,000, his or her estate must be submitted to probate. Probate is the court-supervised process whereby a person's will is validated or challenged and the assets of his or her estate are distributed to beneficiaries. If the person dies intestate, without a will, then the estate will generally be settled by a similar process called administration.

The path that an estate takes through probate in Nevada depends in part on the type and value of the assets of which it is made up. For example, if an estate includes real property or has a value greater than $20,000 and the total value is less than $100,000, then the estate may be eligible to be set aside. The beneficiaries of the estate can petition the court to set the estate aside and simply issue an order regarding the distribution of the property without further proceedings.

If the value of the estate is greater than $100,000 but less than $200,000, then it will go through a process called summary administration, which is simpler than the general administration required for estates worth more than $200,000. In a general administration probate, the executor of the will relies on letters testamentary, which are issued by the court, to outline his or her responsibilities and authority.

If the estate does not include real property and has a value less than $20,000, then the decedent's family members or other heirs can typically use an affidavit of entitlement to bring about the release of estate assets. Those who have questions about probate administration might want to consult an estate planning attorney who could explain the process or provide an analysis of the law as it applies to the facts of a particular situation.

Source: State Bar of Nevada , "Probate and Administration of Estates", October 03, 2014

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