Creditor Claim: A Nevada Probate How-To Guide

Through a creditor claim, if a person owes you money, and they die, you can still collect on the debt. Nevada probate is the process by which the financial and legal affairs of a recently deceased person are resolved. Most often, when a person dies, they have financial obligations that have yet to be satisfied, including debts.

Creditor Claim Step 1: Determine Whether Probate Proceedings Have Been Initiated

First, a creditor must confirm that probate proceedings have been initiated. This can be accomplished by reviewing the records of the Clark County District Court.  Search by the Decedent’s name.   If proceedings have started, proceed with the steps below.

However, if probate proceedings have not commenced, the creditor may file an initial probate petition with the court to begin probate.  To file the initial probate petition, the creditor must either be a Nevada resident or associate with a Nevada resident. NRS 139.010.  If a family member steps forward, they would have priority to become the personal representative/administrator of the estate. NRS 139.040. If no one steps forward, the creditor would then proceed to administer the estate.  This makes sense.  As a matter of public policy, we want the debts of those who die to be paid. Nevada ensures resolution of probate by allowing creditors to act as representatives of an estate.  For the creditors troubles, a personal representatives fee would be paid on top of any claim collected as follows, pursuant to NRS 150.20:

  • 4% of the first $15,000.00.
  • 3% of the next $85,000.00.
  • 2% of everything above $100,000.
  • Further compensation may be allowed by the Court for “extraordinary services.” NRS 150.30.

Thus, if an estate is worth $500,000.00, the personal representative fee would be as follows:

prfee

This gives the creditor additional incentive to take on the task of administering the estate.

Creditor Claim Step 2: File with the Clerk of the Court

Second, you will need to file a creditor claim. It is important to move forward with your creditor claim even if you have not received formal notice from the estate.  The estate has a duty to provide all known creditors with formal notice.  NRS 147.010. Claims must be filed within 90 days of this notice or they are “forever barred.” NRS 147.040(3).  Note, however, that if the estate is worth less than $300,000.00, a creditor has only 60 days to file a creditor claim.  NRS 147.040(4), NRS 145.060(3). Even if a creditor doesn’t receive actual notice from the estate, they must still file within the 60/90 days.  Otherwise, the claim will be time-barred. The Nevada Supreme Court has held “knowledge of death coupled with the failure to act will support the lower court’s discretion in denying a late filing.”  Continental Coffee Co. v. Estate of Clark, 84 Nev. 208, 213 (Nev. 1968).  This seemingly harsh rule exists because, “[t]he entire statutory scheme set out in Title 12 [Nevada Probate Code] demonstrates an intention on the part of the legislature to ensure the speedy and certain distribution of decedents’ estates.” Bergeron v. Loeb, 100 Nev. 54, 57 (Nev. 1984).  By time-barring late claims, except in extraordinary circumstances, probate administration moves quickly.

Note, however, that a creditor secured by real property does not have to file a claim to proceed with foreclosure. NRS 147.150.  See also Reed v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court, 75 Nev. 338 (Nev. 1959).

All creditor claims in Nevada Probate bear interest at prime plus 2 percent until the claim is paid.  This is true regardless of any contractual provision. NRS 147.220.

Creditor Claim Step 3: Wait and See

Third, the creditor sits and waits.  The Personal Representative has 15 days after the 60/90 day claim period expires to accept or reject the claim. NRS 147.110(1). This is accomplished by filing an “Notice of Allowance” or “Notice of Rejection” with the clerk of the court. If the estate doesn’t respond within 30 days, the claim is deemed to be automatically rejected.  NRS 147.110(2).

Creditor Claim Step 4: Get Paid or Sue the Estate

Fourth, if the claim is accepted, you wait to be paid from the estate. Sometimes, payment will come immediately.  Other times, however, where the estate is complex, the creditor will wait until the end of the probate administration to be paid.

However, if the claim is rejected, the creditor has just 60 days to file suit against the estate. NRS 147.130(1).  The lawsuit is a separate case/matter from the probate proceedings.  The creditor is named as the Plaintiff.  The Estate, through the Personal Representative, is named as the Defendant. From this point, the lawsuit is litigated in the same manner as any lawsuit between two persons or entities.  If the creditor is successful in the lawsuit, the estate must pay the judgment.  However, if there are insufficient funds to pay the judgment, all unsecured, non-priority claims are paid on a pro-rata basis. It’s also important to understand that if the estate becomes insolvent, the Personal Representative of the estate is not  personally liable. NRS 147.230.

In Nevada probate, a creditor claim is governed by NRS Chapter 147. Photo Credit: Bill Walter

In Nevada probate, a creditor claim is governed by NRS Chapter 147. Photo Credit: Bill Walter

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Guardian Ad Litem: Nevada Probate

A guardian ad litem (also “GAL”) may be appointed by the Clark County Probate Court to protect the interests of certain persons. Typically, a guardian ad litem will be appointed for those that are incapacitated, minor, disabled or even unborn.

Guardian Ad Litem, Guardian and Attorney Are Not the Same

The difference between a guardian ad litem, guardian and attorney is often confusing.

  • A guardian is appointed by the Clark County Guardianship Court (not Probate Court) under NRS Chapter 159.  A guardian acts on behalf of a ward, who is living.  A guardian attempts to follow the instructions and preferences of the ward as much as practical.  A guardian balances the preferences of the ward against the long term interests of the ward.  A guardian is responsible for the personal and financial well-being of the ward.
  • An attorney in a probate proceeding acts on behalf of a client.   The attorney is the agent of the client.  The client gives the attorney directions and the attorney follows those instructions.  In this relationship, the client is competent to give instructions.  The attorney and client form an attorney-client relationship.
  • A guardian ad litem is different than an attorney or a guardian. From Cornell University Law School: “Unlike typical guardians or conservators, guardians ad litem only protect their wards’ interests in a single suit. Generally, courts appoint guardians ad litem to represent legal infants and adults who are actually or allegedly incapacitated.”  A GAL may or may not be an attorney.  Unlike a guardian, a GAL steps into the shoes of the ward and acts on their behalf as if the guardian ad litem were the ward.

In Nevada probate proceedings, GAL’s are governed by NRS 155.140(h):

At any stage of a proceeding, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem or an attorney to represent the interest of a minor, an incapacitated, unborn or unascertained person, or a person whose identity or address is unknown, if the court determines that representation of the interest would otherwise be inadequate. If not precluded by conflict of interest, a guardian ad litem or an attorney may be appointed to represent several persons or interests. The court shall set out its reasons for appointing a guardian ad litem or an attorney as a part of the record of the proceeding.

Guardian Ad Litem Examples

A few weeks ago I was sitting in Clark County Probate Court waiting for my cases to be called by the Probate Commissioner.  The Probate Commissioner was hearing a matter that involved minor children as beneficiaries of an estate. To protect their interests, the Probate Commissioner picked a random probate attorney from the gallery and appointed that attorney as GAL for the minor children.  That attorney will now use his judgment of what is in the interests of the minor children.  His responsibilities extend only to the probate case before the Court.

The Clark County Probate Court also has jurisdiction over non-testamentary trusts.  When a trustor becomes incapacitated, the Clark County Probate Court may appoint a guardian ad litem.  The guardian ad litem will then act on behalf of the incapacitated trustor.  The GAL may file pleadings or initiate litigation on behalf of the ward.

At any time in the proceedings, the Clark County Probate Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem.

At any time in the proceedings, the Clark County Probate Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem. Photo Credit: Chris Dyer.

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Nevada Probate Attorneys Fees

Attorneys fees in Nevada probate are paid for by the estate, not personally by the personal representative.  “An attorney for a personal representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for the attorney’s services, to be paid out of the decedent’s estate.” NRS 150.060(1). A personal representative is the person who represents the estate in the Nevada probate process.   This post discusses four types of arrangements for attorneys fees in Nevada probate: (1) Hourly; (2) Flat Fee; (3) Contingency; (4) Statutory percentage of the estate.

Nevada Probate Hourly Attorneys Fees

Payment by the hour is the most common attorneys fee arrangement in Nevada probate. The attorney keeps track of his or her time and bills it against the estate.  Importantly, the family member or person acting as personal representative is not personally responsible for the attorneys’ fees.  They do not pay the attorneys fees up front, or at all. Instead, the attorneys fees are paid from the estate.  At the end of the Nevada probate process, the attorney submits his or her invoices to the Clark County Probate Court for approval.  The Court reviews the proposed attorneys’ fees and invoices. The Court will approve the proposed attorneys fees if it feels they are reasonable. The attorneys’ fees are then paid for from the estate. NRS 150.067.

Of course, if you are not the personal representative, you are not entitled to have your attorneys’ fees paid from the estate.  If you are objecting to the probate of a will, you generally will not be able to recover your fees from the estate.  Similarly, if you are a creditor of the estate, you will need to pay your own attorneys’ fees.

Flat Fee Probate Attorneys Fees

Sometimes, the legal services needed by a client are simple and straightforward enough that a modest flat fee makes the most sense.  For example, where an estate is less than $100,000, and there is a surviving spouse or minor children, the probate Court can “set aside” the estate.  This gives the entire estate to the surviving spouse/minor children. NRS 146.080.  This involves a single petition, notice to interested persons, a hearing and an order.  Therefore, a flat fee may be more appropriate because the process is less involved.

Contingency Nevada Probate Attorneys Fees

Sometimes, a Nevada probate attorney is paid on a contingency.  From the American Bar Association:

In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage (often one third) of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. If you win the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money awarded to you. If you lose, neither you nor the lawyer will get any money, but you will not be required to pay your attorney for the work done on the case.

An attorney who represents the personal representative of the estate may not be paid a traditional contingency. Instead, attorneys fees based upon the value of the estate are limited by statute, as discussed below.

However, a Nevada probate attorney may be paid on contingency by others. A creditor may agree to pay his or her attorney a contingency. In this arrangement, the attorney would keep a portion of the money collected from the estate on the debt owed to the creditor.  If the attorney is successful recovering the debt, he or she will be paid.  If unsuccessful, he or she will not.

An heir or beneficiary may also pay their attorney based upon a contingency fee agreement.  Example: Bob has been disinherited in his Father’s will.  Bob believes the will is a forgery.  Bob may pay his attorney a portion of his inheritance if the will contest is successful.

Generally, probate attorneys will only take a case on a contingency if the case is strong.  The percentage of the contingency fee is usually higher than what a personal injury lawyer would charge. This is because in a personal injury case, there is almost always an insurance policy from which the claim will be paid.  The risk for a probate attorney is much higher because estate litigation is more complex and there isn’t a guarantee of money to pay a successful claim.

Nevada Probate Attorneys’ Fees: Percentage of the Estate

Nevada Probate Attorneys’ fees may be paid based upon the size of the estate. By statute, the attorneys’ fees are paid on a tier system:

  • 4% of the total value of the estate from $0-$100,000.00.
  • 3% from $100,000.01-$200,000.00.
  • 2% from $200,000.01-$1,000,000.00.
  • 1% from $1,000,000.01-$25,000,000.00.
  • Anything above $25,000,000.00 in a “a reasonable amount to be determined by the court.” NRS 150.060(4)(f).

This type of fee arrangement is uncommon. It’s usually a lot cheaper to pay an attorney by the hour if the estate is large.  For example, let’s assume an estate is worth $500,000.00.

Under NRS 150.060(4), Nevada probate attorneys fees on a $500,000 estate would be $13,000.

Under NRS 150.060(4), Nevada probate attorneys fees on a $500,000 estate would be $13,000.

Normally, a probate administration that is not contested (litigated) or does not have unusual problems will cost around $5,000-$7,000 if billed hourly, regardless of the value of the estate.  Therefore, it wouldn’t make much sense to pay $13,000.00 in attorneys’ fees under NRS 150.060(4).

Nevada Probate Attorneys Fees

Nevada Probate Attorneys Fees

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Special Administrator Can’t Sell Property

NOTE:  This post is co-authored with probate real estate agent Steve Hoopes and probate attorney Thomas R. Grover, Esq.  

We were sitting together in Clark County Probate Court a few weeks ago when we witnessed a completely avoidable mess.   An Estate had petitioned for the court to approve the sale of real property.  A buyer was present and willing to proceed.  The only problem?  The Estate had no authority to sell the property!

How could this be?

The person attempting to sell the property on behalf of the estate was a Special Administrator, not a Personal Representative. The difference is huge.

Steve Hoopes is a Las Vegas real estate agent who specializes in probate sales in Clark County Probate Court. He can be reached at 702-340-1545.

Steve Hoopes is a Las Vegas real estate agent who specializes in probate sales in Clark County Probate Court. He can be reached at 702-340-1545.

In Nevada, a Personal Representative has expansive powers to act on behalf of the Estate.  Many of those powers are enumerated in NRS Chapter 143.  “The personal representative who has full authority has the power to sell or exchange real property of the estate.” NRS 143.405.  Even then, however, the Court must approve (or “confirm”) any proposed sale of real property. “…all sales of property must be reported to the court and confirmed by the court before the title to the property passes.” NRS 148.060(1).

Unlike a Personal Representative, the powers of a Special Administrator are limited to the scope of their appointment. “A special administrator may exercise such other powers as have been conferred by the order of appointment.”  NRS 140.040(2)(c).

In the hearing on Friday, a Special Administrator attempted to sell real property of the Estate.  The Special Administrator came to court with a buyer who had already signed a purchase contract (subject to Court confirmation).  The buyer was expecting to have the sale confirmed.  However, it wasn’t because the Special Administrator didn’t have authority to sell property.

The following paragraph is from the order appointing the Special Administrator.  It defines the scope of the Special Administrator’s authority to act on behalf of the Estate:

The scope of appointment of the Special Administrator.

The scope of appointment of the Special Administrator.

As you can see, the Special Administrator didn’t have authority to sell real property. This could have created all kinds of problems for the Special Administrator and the real estate agent who listed the property. The most obvious problem is that the Estate could lose the buyer. There are, however, worse problems that could result. If the sale fails, the seller could sue the Special Administrator individually for fraud.

The broker – innocently enough – went along with the Special Administrator’s desire to list and sell the property but the broker should have insisted on written verification and proof (by way of court order) that the person signing the listing agreement indeed HAS the authority to do so. In this case, Letters of Special Administration would do the trick.

04/08/2016 9:30 AM

Return Of Sale Of Real Property And Petition For Confirmation And Petition To Set Aside Estate Without Administration ALSO PRESENT: [Buyer] and the [Buyer’s Agent].   COMMISSIONER NOTED that if a Special Administrator is appointed, the powers are usually strictly limited unless specifically prayed for within the Petition and granted. [Attorney for the Special Administrator] was questioned as to his justification for coming in with a confirmation of sale. He explained that at first they did not realize there was a house with a mortgage loan in the form of a reverse mortgage with a debt of $230,000.00. The appraised value was about $130,000.00 and he recommended that the house be allowed to be foreclosed upon and nothing further done with that asset. He also noted that the Medicaid lien was negotiated. He later learned that one of the heirs and the Personal Representative had listed the house that was supposed to be foreclosed on and they had a Buyer for the house, under contract. At that time he became concerned about the liability to the Estate because the Personal representative [actually, Special Administrator] had signed the contract. To avoid liability to the Estate was to Notice it for a sale even though not originally authorized. COMMISSIONER ADVISED that things were done without the power and authority as a Special [Administrator] and were powerless per se. COMMISSIONER ADVISED that, given the circumstances, he will go ahead a take the bids but WILL NOT ACT ON THE SET ASIDE because that has to be reported back as the Special Administration as part of the set asides. COMMISSIONER NOTED this is a Short Sale. Commissioner called for bids. Hearing none, SALE APPROVED. [Attorney for the Special Administrator] confirmed he will submit a new order.

By listing the property in the Multiple Listing Service and offering a sales commission, the listing broker is representing to the REALTOR community that he/she has a valid listing contract with the “authorized” seller. The commission offered by the listing broker through the MLS is something of an “assurance” that a buyer’s broker will be compensated at the successful close of escrow.

Had the Probate Commissioner unraveled this sale, not only would it be a set back to the estate and the buyer, but the buyer’s broker may have also faced losing a commission on the sale – not to mention the negative impact on his relationship with his buyer-client.

Under a cross section of NRS 645, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors MLS Policies Rules & Regulations and, Article 17 of the REALTOR Code of Ethics, the buyer could hold the estate, the Special Administrator and the listing broker responsible to some degree for the misrepresentation broadcast through the MLS. The buyer’s broker could hold the listing broker responsible the commission owed.

The whole situation was a big ugly mess that could have easily been avoided by a “trust but verify” standard of practice adopted by the listing broker. It didn’t help the fact that a seemingly overzealous yet well intentioned Special Administrator wasn’t properly educated by counsel.

 

A Special Administrator who does not have authorization to sell real property of the Estate exposes himself/herself, the Estate and the real estate agent to liability.

A Special Administrator who does not have authorization to sell real property of the Estate exposes himself/herself, the Estate and the real estate agent to liability.

 

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Bankruptcy & Nevada Probate

Nevada probate law and bankruptcy (“BK”) law often interact, and, at the surface may seem contradictory. After all, probate matters are governed by state law while bankruptcy falls squarely within the powers of the federal government under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution (“The Congress shall have Power To…establish …uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.”) In contrast, because probate is not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, the states retain sovereignty.

Nonetheless, from a 30,000 foot level, there are some interesting parallels.  In both areas, a third party, either a personal representative or a trustee, has a duty to marshal assets of the estate.  In both areas, creditors must file claims within a limited period of time, and of course, some, none or all of the claim may nor may not be paid depending upon the circumstances.  So what happens when a probate estate becomes insolvent?  Can a probate estate declare bankruptcy?  And what happens when a bankruptcy debtor dies?  Do the federal bankruptcy proceedings stop and transfer to state probate court?

A bankruptcy estate may proceed to probate, but a probate estate may not seek bankruptcy protection.

A bankruptcy estate may proceed to probate, but a probate estate may not seek BK protection.

When A Debtor Dies in Bankruptcy

“Death’s got an Invisibility Cloak?” Harry interrupted again.
“So he can sneak up on people,” said Ron. “Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking…”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Death sneaks up at inopportune times, sometimes while a person is in the middle of a bankruptcy.  So what happens?  At the outset, it’s important to understand that family, beneficiary and heirs are not personally responsible to pay the debts.

Bankruptcy Rule 1016:

Death or incompetency of the debtor shall not abate a liquidation case under chapter 7 of the Code. In such event the estate shall be administered and the case concluded in the same manner, so far as possible, as though the death or incompetency had not occurred. If a reorganization, family farmer’s debt adjustment, or individual’s debt adjustment case is pending under chapter 11, chapter 12, or chapter 13, the case may be dismissed; or if further administration is possible and in the best interest of the parties, the case may proceed and be concluded in the same manner, so far as possible, as though the death or incompetency had not occurred.

First, the BK doesn’t necessarily stop or terminate.  A Chapter 7 BK involves liquidation of the debtors assets.  In Chapter 7, the debtors assets are liquidated to pay creditors.  Some property, like pensions, the residence of the debtor and vehicles, are exempt from liquidation.  Thus, under Bankruptcy Rule 1016, if the debtor is in Chapter 7, the BK must continue and complete.  Of course, even after a Chapter 7 BK there may be exempt property remaining.

Exempt property may include:

  • Home equity, up to a certain value.
  • Vehicles, up to a certain value.
  • Pensions
  • Personal items (clothing, jewelry, household items)
  • Personal Injury Claims

The exempted property left over after the death of a debtor in Chapter 7 BK may need to be probated.  I say may because often, exempted property won’t have much value.  If the value of the property is greater than $25,000.00, or there is real property in the estate, probate proceedings will be necessary.  If the value of the estate is less than $25,000.00, the estate may be administered by affidavit without court intervention.

While a Chapter 7 BK must continue after death of a debtor, a Chapter 13 BK may, but does not have to, continue.   In Chapter 13, the debtor is put on a monthly payment plan, lasting 3-5 years.  If the debtor dies while in the middle of this plan, one of four things can happen.  First, the BK estate could be dismissed. Anytime a debtor stops making monthly payments, the bankruptcy estate will be dismissed.  The personal representative could choose this option.  However, because dismissal ends bankruptcy protection, creditors could come after the estate in probate proceedings.  Second, the personal representative of the probate estate could ask the bankruptcy court for a hardship discharge. This would result in wiping out the creditors, which would prevent them from coming after assets in the probate estate.  Third, the personal representative could ask the bankruptcy court to convert to a Chapter 7 (liquidation).  Finally, the personal representative could continue making payments in Chapter 13.

Why A Probate Estate Isn’t Entitled to Bankruptcy Protection

A probate estate can’t seek bankruptcy protection.  That is, while bankruptcy protection may be sought before death, as described above, once a person is dead it is too late to obtain such protection.  That may seem counter intuitive given that a bankruptcy estate can proceed to probate.

Under 11 U.S.C, § 109(a), only a “person” can file for bankruptcy protection.  Courts have ruled that a probate estate cannot seek such protection because it is not considered to be a person.  “A probate estate…is not an individual person within the meaning of Bankruptcy law and and such a probate estate, albeit an insolvent one, must be administered pursuant to the laws of the decedent’s local jurisdiction.” In re Estate of Brown, 16 B.R. 128 (Bankr. D.D.C. 1981)

This, even though insolvency is extremely common in probate estates.   People often die with more liabilities than assets.  So how is the insolvency resolved?

Nevada probate law has a statutory scheme to resolve insolvent estates, much in the same way the federal bankruptcy code accomplishes the same result.

NRS 147.195:

NRS 147.195  Debts and charges of estate: Priority of payment.  The debts and charges of the estate must be paid in the following order:

      1.  Expenses of administration.

      2.  Funeral expenses.

      3.  The expenses of the last illness.

      4.  Family allowance.

      5.  Debts having preference by laws of the United States.

      6.  Money owed to the Department of Health and Human Services as a result of the payment of benefits for Medicaid.

      7.  Wages to the extent of $600, of each employee of the decedent, for work done or personal services rendered within 3 months before the death of the employer. If there is not sufficient money with which to pay all such labor claims in full, the money available must be distributed among the claimants in accordance with the amounts of their respective claims.

      8.  Judgments rendered against the decedent in his or her lifetime, and mortgages in order of their date. The preference given to a mortgage extends only to the proceeds of the property mortgaged. If the proceeds of that property are insufficient to pay the mortgage, the part remaining unsatisfied must be classed with other demands against the estate.

      9.  All other demands against the estate.

Most creditors will fall into NRS 147.195(9).  Where the value of allowed claims in subsection (9) exceeds the remaining assets, those claims will be paid on a pro rata basis.  Thus, a probate estate doesn’t need bankruptcy protection because Nevada probate law already has a system in place to resolve insolvency.

 

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In Nevada, Can a Lender Invoke the “Due On Sale” Clause and Foreclose on a Home After the Owner Dies?

Lenders are not necessarily allowed to foreclose on real property following death of the owner.

Even with a “due on sale” clause, lenders are not necessarily allowed to foreclose on real property following death of the owner.

Most mortgages include a due on sale clause (sometimes also called an “acceleration clause” that says whenever the property is sold or transferred, the entire balance of the mortgage automatically becomes due.  What happens to a mortgage when the owner dies? Can the bank/lender immediately come in and foreclose on the property?

It really depends on the situation. Often, lenders are prohibited by federal law for foreclosing on real property following the death of the owner.

From 12 U.S. Code § 1701j–3:

(d) …With respect to a real property loan secured by a lien on residential real property containing less than five dwelling units, …a lender may not exercise its option pursuant to a due-on-sale clause upon—


(3) a transfer by devise, descent, or operation of law on the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety;

(5) a transfer to a relative resulting from the death of a borrower;

Due on Sale Clause: Joint Tenancy

Most often, when a married couple holds title to real property, especially their residence, they do so in joint tenancy.  This is what is contemplated in section (d)(3, quoted above.  In joint tenancy, all of the owners own the property collectively and entirely.  When one owner dies, the property transfers automatically to the remaining living owners.  Thus, when one spouse dies, ownership of the real property automatically passes to the surviving spouse.  Even though ownership automatically transfers, a formal change of title still must be made.  This happens through an “Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant,” in which the surviving tenant (surviving spouse) signs an affidavit affirming the death of the joint tenant and attaches a Death Certificate.   The Affidavit of of Death of Joint Tenant is then recorded by the county recorder in the same way that a deed would be.  Under 12 U.S. Code § 1701j–3(d)(3)

Due on Sale Clause: Deed Upon Death

Subsection (d)(5) contemplates a situation where property is transferred to a family member through what’s called a “deed upon death.”

NRS 111.617:

The owner of an interest in property may create a deed which conveys his or her interest in property to a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries and which becomes effective upon the death of the owner. A deed created pursuant to this section must be known as a deed upon death.

The owner records the “deed upon death” with the county recorder while s/he is alive.  However, because s/he is alive, the dead doesn’t transfer ownership or title of the property.  When the owner dies, the title and ownership then automatically passes to the person(s) named in the Deed Upon Death.  Under 12 U.S. Code § 1701j–3(d)(5) quoted above, when a Deed Upon Death transfers title to property to a family member, the transfer cannot trigger a “due upon sale” clause within the mortgage contract.

Foreclosure in Nevada Probate

That said, it is not uncommon for foreclosure to become an issue in probate where 12 U.S. Code § 1701j–3(d)(3) is not applicable.  Sometimes a mortgage is in arrears or even in default prior to the death of the owner.  Other times, there may not be sufficient liquid assets in the estate to make mortgage payments through the approximately six month (or longer) probate process.  What then?  Usually, the attorney for the estate can contact the lender and explain that while there aren’t assets to pay the mortgage now, upon completion of administration of the estate, there will be.  The lender then voluntarily agrees to forestall foreclosure proceedings.  Most lenders are very reasonable in this situation as long as you can show them that their position is secure.  However, sometimes a lender won’t agree to forestall foreclosure proceedings against property in a probate estate.  In this case, your probate attorney can file for an injunction against foreclosure in the Clark County Probate Court.   Over the years, I have filed for several of these and they are almost always granted. Usually, the Court will enter an order forbidding foreclosure of the property for 60-90 days.  If, for some reason, the time period needs to be extended, you can petition the court for that as well.

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Notice to Creditors in Nevada Probate

Notice to creditors must be made by the personal representative under Nevada probate law.  NRS 147.010 (“A personal representative shall publish and mail notice to creditors…”). When a person dies (called the “Decedent”), they almost always leave some unresolved debts behind.  Those obligations may be as simple as monthly utility bills or may include more serious, complicated liabilities.

Nevada probate law requires the personal representative to give notice to creditors.  Creditors then have a limited time to file a claim against the estate.  Claims are filed with the Clerk of the Court.   In estates worth less than $300,00.00, creditors have 60 days to file claims. NRS 147.040(4), NRS 145.060(1). For estates worth more than $300,000.00, the window is 90 days.  NRS 147.040(1). Claims not filed within a prescribed time period are forever barred.  As I’ve blogged about previously, this deadline is strictly enforced by the courts, even if the creditor does not receive formal notice.

There are two types of creditors: known creditors and unknown creditors.

Unknown Creditors in Nevada Probate: Publishing Notice to Creditors

I always tell clients to gather the records of the Decedent at the beginning of the Nevada probate process. Even when a personal representative diligently gathers records, some creditors may not be discovered.  Nevada probate law gives notice to these creditors, called “unknown creditors,” through publication in the newspaper.

The notice in the newspaper, must by statute (NRS 155.020(4)), follow this form:

NOTICE TO CREDITORS

       Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has been appointed and qualified by the (giving the title of the court and the date of appointment) as personal representative of the estate of ………………………….., deceased. All creditors having claims against the estate are required to file the claims with the clerk of the court within ………. (60 or 90) days after the mailing or the first publication (as the case may be) of this notice.

       Dated ………………………………

This notice must be published three times over a period of at least 10 days.  The dates of the first and last publication do not count toward the 10 day period.  “Every publication required by this section must be made in a newspaper published in the county where the proceedings are pending, but if there is not such a newspaper, then in one having general circulation in that county.”  NRS 155.020(2).

An affidavit must be filed with the court proving the notice to creditors was, in fact, published.  NRS 155.080. Here is an example:

This is an example of an Affidavit of Publication for a Notice to Creditors in Nevada probate.

This is an example of an Affidavit of Publication for a Notice to Creditors in Nevada probate.

Known Creditors in Nevada Probate: Publishing Notice to Creditors

Known creditors are entitled to individualized notice by mail.  Once appointed by the court, the personal representative, must “mail a copy of the notice to those creditors whose names and addresses are readily ascertainable…” NRS 155.020(4).

Some personal representatives may be tempted to perform a less than diligent search of the Decedent’s records.  This, in hopes of avoiding giving notice to known “readily ascertainable” creditors.  This is a bad approach.  If the creditor can show it did not know of the Decedent’s death, they may be able to file a late claim.  Sending a creditor notice starts the clock ticking.

Sometimes, specific creditors are discovered for the first time after notice to creditors has been given.  In this situation, the personal representative is required to mail notice to the newly discovered creditor. “ If before the last day for the filing of a creditor’s claim under NRS 147.040, the personal representative discovers the existence of a creditor who was not readily ascertainable at the time of first publication of the notice to creditors, the personal representative shall immediately mail a copy of the notice to the creditor.” NRS 155.020(5).

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In the Estate of Leroy G. Black, Deceased, 132 Nev., Advance Opinion 7 (2016)

willcontest

Appeal from a district court order dismissing a will contest.
Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County; Gloria Sturman, Judge.

Vacated and remanded.

Goodsell & Olsen, LLP, and Michael A. Olsen and Thomas R. Grover, Las Vegas, for Appellant.

Clear Counsel Law Group and Jonathan W. Barlow and Amy K. Crighton,
Henderson, for Respondent.

BEFORE PARRAGUIRRE, C.J., DOUGLAS and CHERRY, JJ.

OPINION

By the Court, PARRAGUIRRE, C .J.:

Under NRS 137.090, an individual filing a petition to contest the validity of a will must issue citations to the estate’s personal representative and the will’s devisees within three months of the will being admitted to probate. In this appeal, we are asked to determine whether a failure to timely issue citations results in dismissal of the will contest and whether a petitioner can move to enlarge the time to issue citations pursuant to NRCP 6(b) or EDCR 2.25. We hold that a failure to timely issue citations deprives the court of personal jurisdiction over those to whom the citations are to be issued. Additionally, we hold that NRCP 6(b) does not apply to statutory time limits. However, we further hold that the district court erred in failing to determine whether petitioner demonstrated excusable neglect under EDCR 2.25 when requesting an enlargement of time to issue the citations. Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s order and remand the matter for further proceedings. [1]

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Appellant William Fink filed a post-probate will contest within days of the statute of limitations expiring but failed to timely issue a citation to Phillip Markowitz, respondent and executor of the estate, in accordance with NRS 137.090. Fink filed a petition to enlarge time for issuing citations, and the probate commissioner recommended the petition be granted, concluding that (1) NRCP 6(b) and EDCR 2.25 granted the court discretion to extend the time limit for issuing citations, and (2) Fink demonstrated excusable neglect as required by both rules. Upon Markowitz’s objection, the district court dismissed the will contest, explaining that NRCP 6(b) does not apply to statutory time limits. The district court did not address whether EDCR 2.25 applied in this matter. Fink now appeals.

DISCUSSION

On appeal, Fink argues the district court erred by: (1) concluding his failure to timely issue citations as required under NRS 137.090 justified dismissing the will contest, (2) holding NRCP 6(b) did not apply to the statutory time limits imposed by NRS Chapter 137, and (3) failing to extend time under EDCR 2.25. This court reviews a district court’s interpretation of a statute de novo. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 123 Nev. 468, 476, 168 P.3d 731, 737 (2007). Language in a statute must be given its plain meaning if it is clear and unambiguous. Id. “A statute is ambiguous if it is capable of being understood in two or more senses by reasonably well-informed persons.” Id.

A failure to issue citations in accord with NRS 137.090 constitutes grounds for dismissal of a will contest

Fink argues his failure to timely issue citations pursuant to NRS 137.090 does not require dismissal of his will contest. We disagree and hold that a failure to timely issue citations deprives the court of personal jurisdiction over adverse parties.

“After a will has been admitted to probate, any interested person. . . may, at any time within 3 months after the order is entered admitting the will to probate, contest the admission or the validity of the will” by filing a petition with the court. NRS 137.080. NRS 137.090 states that a citation “must be issued” “within the time allowed for filing the citation.” (Emphasis added.)

“‘Must’ is mandatory, as distinguished from the permissive ‘may'” In re Nev. State Eng’r Ruling No. 5823, 128 Nev., Adv. Op. 22, 277 P.3d 449, 454 (2012). Therefore, the statute’s clear and unambiguous language requires citations to be issued within three months after the will is admitted to probate. However, these statutes do not specify what happens in the event one fails to timely issue citations.

A citation in a will contest is equivalent to a civil summons in other civil matters. See In re Estate of Kordon, 137 P.3d 16, 18 (Wash. 2006). As defective service of process deprives a court of personal jurisdiction, see Gassett v. Snappy Car Rental, 111 Nev. 1416, 1419, 906 P.2d 258, 261 (1995), superseded by rule on other grounds as stated in Fritz Hansen A/S v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 116 Nev. 650, 654-56, 6 P.3d 982, 984-85 (2000), so too does a failure to issue citations in a will contest, see In re Estate of Kordon, 137 P.3d at 18 (holding that a “failure to issue a citation deprives the court of personal jurisdiction over the party denied process”); see also 95 C.J.S. Wills § 578 (2011) (“A court acquires personal jurisdiction over an adverse party to a will contest by issuance of a citation. A will contestant’s failure to issue a citation on the decedent’s personal representative deprives the court of personal jurisdiction over the personal representative.”). Therefore, we hold that a failure to issue citations in accord with NRS 137.090 constitutes proper grounds for dismissal.

However, just as Nevada district courts have discretion to enlarge time for service of process upon a showing of good cause, see Saavedra-Sandoval v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 126 Nev. 592, 596, 245 P.3d 1198, 1200 (2010); see also NRCP 4(i), we see no reason to prohibit a district court from enlarging time to issue citations if such discretion is permitted under a procedural rule. Therefore, we now address Fink’s claim that NRCP 6(b) or EDCR 2.25 should have been applied to enlarge time to issue the citations.

NRCP 6(b) does not apply to statutory time limits

Fink contends NRCP 6(b) grants district courts the discretion to enlarge time to issue citations under NRS 137.090. We disagree.

This court reviews a district court’s legal conclusions regarding court rules de novo. Casey v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 128 Nev., Adv. Op. 64, 290 P.3d 265, 267 (2012). “[T]he rules of statutory interpretation apply to Nevada’s Rules of Civil Procedure.” Webb ex rel. Webb v. Clark Cty. Sch. Dist., 125 Nev. 611, 618, 218 P.3d 1239, 1244 (2009). Furthermore, in interpreting the language of a rule or statute, this court has repeatedly held that “the expression of one thing is the exclusion of another.” Galloway v. Truesdell, 83 Nev. 13, 26, 422 P.2d 237, 246 (1967).

NRCP 6(b) provides, in relevant part, as follows:

When by these rules or by a notice given there under or by order of court an act is required or allowed to be done at or within a specified time, …the court for cause shown may at any time in its discretion … upon motion made after the expiration of the specified period permit the act to be done where the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect, (Emphasis added.)

Under the rule’s plain language, a court has discretion to enlarge time when an act is “required … to be done at or within a specified time” under “these rules or by a notice given thereunder or by order of court.” NRCP 6(b). The rule does not mention acts to be done pursuant to statutes, and thus, we conclude NRCP 6(b) unambiguously does not apply to statutory time limits. [2]  See Galloway, 83 Nev. at 26, 422 P.2d at 246; cf. Romaine v. State Farm Mitt. Auto. Ins. Co., 87 Nev. 257, 258-59 & n.2, 485 P.2d 102, 103 & n.2 (1971) (holding NRCP 6(a) applied to a statute of limitations period under NRS 11.190 where the rule, by its plain terms, applied to statutory time limits). Therefore, the district court did not err when it held that NRCP 6(b) did not apply to NRS 137.090‘s
time limit.

The district court erred in failing to consider whether to extend time pursuant to EDCR 2.25

Fink also argues that the district court should have considered whether to extend time to issue citations pursuant to EDCR 2.25. We agree.

EDCR 2.25 governs the form of a motion to extend time and states “[a] request for extension made after the expiration of the specified period shall not be granted unless the moving party. . . demonstrates that the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect.” EDCR 2.25(a).

Further, EDCR 2.25 expressly applies to will contests. EDCR 2.01 (“The rules in Part II govern the practice and procedure of. . . all contested proceedings under Titles 12 and 13 of NRS.”). Unlike NRCP 6(b), EDCR 2.25 does not contain any implicit limitation on the rule’s application. Furthermore, Eighth District Court Rules “must be liberally construed . . . to promote and facilitate the administration of justice.” EDCR 1.10. This court has also long recognized “the basic underlying policy to have each case decided upon its merits.” Hotel Last Frontier Corp. v. Frontier Props., Inc., 79 Nev. 150, 155, 380 P.2d 293, 295 (1963). In light of these principles, we conclude the district court erred by failing to consider whether to extend the time to issue the citations pursuant to EDCR 2.25. Whether extending time is appropriate based on excusable neglect is a factual inquiry that the district court must undertake. See Moseley v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 124 Nev. 654, 668, 188 P.3d 1136, 1146 (2008).

CONCLUSION

We conclude that failing to issue citations in a will contest deprives the court of personal jurisdiction over the parties denied process. Furthermore, we hold that the district court properly concluded NRCP 6(b) does not apply to statutory time limits. However, the district court erred in failing to consider whether to enlarge the time to issue the citations pursuant to EDCR 2.25. Accordingly, we vacate the order of the district court and remand for further proceedings.

[1] Pursuant to NRAP 34(1), we have determined that oral argument is not warranted in this appeal.

[2] Although NRS 155.180 states “the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure … apply in matters of probate, when appropriate,” we hold it would be inappropriate to apply NRCP 6(b) to statutory time limits where subsection (b) omits any reference to statutes, in marked contrast to subsection (a). Cf. NRCP 6(a) (“In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by the local rules of any district court, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act. . . shall not be included.” (emphasis added)). Furthermore, we conclude such a construction best harmonizes NRS 155.180 with NRCP 6(a) and (b).  See State, Div. of Ins. v. State Farm Mitt. Auto. Ins. Co., 116 Nev. 290, 295, 995 P.2d 482, 486 (2000) (stating this court seeks to harmonize rules and statutes). However, we note that NRS 155.180 may still apply NRCP 6(b) to probate matters where the action in question is made pursuant to rule, rather than statute.

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Contesting a Will in Nevada Probate

Contesting a will in Nevada probate may be done by alleging undue influence, lack of capacity or improper execution.

Contesting a will in Nevada probate may be done by alleging undue influence, lack of capacity or improper execution.

Nevada probate law allows “interested persons” to object to the admission of a will to probate.  A will is admitted to probate after a party petitions the probate court to accept the will.  The validity of a will may be challenged before the will is admitted (accepted) by the probate court or for a very limited time after the will has been admitted.

Contesting a Will: Standing

Do you have the legal right to contest the will? This is known as standing.  “The Attorney General or any interested person, including a devisee under a former will, may contest the will by filing written grounds of opposition to the probate thereof at any time before the hearing of the petition for probate.” NRS 137.010(1).  As I’ve discussed previously, a lot of people qualify as an “interested person.”   “Interested person” is defined in NRS 132.185:

“Interested person” includes, without limitation, an heir, devisee, child, spouse, creditor, settlor, beneficiary and any other person having a property right in or claim against a trust estate or the estate of a decedent, including, without limitation, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services in any case in which money is owed to the Department of Health and Human Services as a result of the payment of benefits for Medicaid. The term includes a person having priority for appointment as a personal representative and other fiduciaries representing interested persons. The meaning as it relates to particular persons must be determined according to the particular purposes of, and matter involved in, a proceeding.

Expansive!

Contesting a will before probate is a right which belongs to anyone with any kind of claim to the estate or familial relationship to the Decedent.  This means that persons explicitly disinherited in a will, or persons not mentioned in the will, may have a right to contest it before probate.

Contesting a Will: Improperly Executed Will

A will may be contested prior to probate if it was not executed properly. If a will has not been properly executed, it cannot be used to probate the assets of the Decedent. Under the Nevada probate code, a valid will is “in writing and signed by the testator, or by an attending person at the testator’s express direction, and attested by at least two competent witnesses who subscribe their names to the will in the presence of the testator.” NRS 133.040.  A party contesting a will may do so by alleging that the will was improperly executed.  NRS 137.020(2).

An “attending person at the testator’s express direction” anticipates situations where the testator (author of the will) is of sound mind, but physically unable to sign their name to the document.  This allows a person under the direction of the testator to execute the document on their behalf.

The witnesses must see the testator sign the will and they, themselves must sign as witnesses in the presence of the testator.    Bequests made to a witness are voided without two additional, disinterested witnesses.  “All devises in a will to a subscribing witness are void unless there are two other competent subscribing witnesses to the will.” NRS 133.060.  These requirements are a guard against fraud.   They ensure that at least two financially disinterested parties provide evidence of the authenticity of a document.

There is an exception to the witness requirement: a holographic will.  “A holographic will is a will in which the signature, date and material provisions are written by the hand of the testator, whether or not it is witnessed or notarized.”  NRS 133.090. Holographic wills are uncommon.

An improperly executed will cannot be probated in Nevada.  A party contesting a will before probate for improper execution will need to show that one of the requirements discussed above was not met.

Contesting a Will: Undue Influence

A party contesting a will may allege undue influence. NRS 137.020(2).  In simple terms, undue influence occurs when one person controls another person.  The Nevada Supreme Court has defined undue influence this way:

In order to establish undue influence under Nevada law, “it must appear, either directly or by justifiable inference from the facts proved, that the influence . . . destroy[ed] the free agency of the testator.” In re Estate of Hegarty, 46 Nev. 321, 326, 212 P. 1040, 1042 (1923). The influence that may arise from a family relationship is only unlawful if it overbears the will of the testator. Id. at 328, 212 P. at 1042. Moreover, the fact a beneficiary merely possesses or is motivated to exercise influence is insufficient to establish undue influence. Id. at 326, 212 P. at 1042. Finally, a will cannot be invalidated simply “because it does not conform to ideas of propriety.” Id. at 327, 212 P. at 1042.

Caraveo v. Perez (In re Estate of Bethurem), 313 P.3d 237 (Nev. 2013).  A party objecting to a will based upon undue influence will need to show that the “free agency” of the author of the will was “destroyed.”

Contesting a Will: Lack of Capacity

A party contesting a will may do so based upon a lack of sufficient mental capacity of the testator (author).

A testator is of sound and disposing mind and memory if, at the time of making his will, he has sufficient mental capacity to be able to understand the nature of the act he is doing, and to understand and recollect the nature and situation of his property and to remember, and understand his relations to, the persons who have claims upon his bounty and whose interests are affected by the provisions of the instrument.

Estate of Lingenfelter, 38 Cal. 2d 571, 582 (Cal. 1952)(cited favorably by the Nevada Supreme Court in  In re Estate of Mallas v. Mallas, 2012 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 1481 (Nev. 2012))

Summarizing the above, a will contest based upon a lack of capacity will need to show the testator (author):

  1. did not comprehend the nature of the act of signing a will;
  2. did not recollect or understands the nature of his property; and
  3. did not recognize and/or understand his relations to the persons who would inherit or be affected by execution of the will.

For purposes of an undue influence will contest, the contesting party only needs to show one of three above.   Often, these types of disputes involve reviewing the medical history of the Decedent.  Medical records will be subpoenaed and the Decedent’s physicians may be called to testify about their knowledge of the Decedent’s capacity at the time the will was executed.  Normally, these kinds of medical records and testimony from physicians are privileged.  However, a will contest falls within an exception to the privilege and is allowed.  NRS 49.245(3).

What about No Contest Clauses?

As a probate litigator, I am often asked about no contest clauses.   Virtually every will contains a no contest clause.  A typical no contest clause might look something like this:

If any beneficiary under this will contests this will or any of its provisions, any share or interest in my estate given to the contesting beneficiary under this will is revoked and shall be disposed of as if that contesting beneficiary had not survived me.

Sounds absolute, doesn’t it?

Think about it, though.  If a no-contest clause were absolute, what would be the counterbalance to fraud, undue influence or lack of capacity?  How would good faith disputes over the interpretation and application of terms of a will be resolved?

The answer is found in NRS 137.005(4):

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the will, a devisee’s share must not be reduced or eliminated under a no-contest clause because the devisee institutes legal action seeking to invalidate a will if the legal action is instituted in good faith and based on probable cause that would have led a reasonable person, properly informed and advised, to conclude that the will is invalid.

In other words, so long as a will contest is brought in good faith, the no contest provision cannot be invoked against a party that contests a will.   This protects the wishes of the Decedent/testator (author) against unwarranted and baseless litigation, but also protects against fraud and other improper or negligent conduct in the administration of the probate estate.

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Nevada Probate 2015 Year in Review

Nevada probate wasn’t boring in 2015. I love practicing probate in Nevada. As we begin a new year, this post will review some of the more interesting and important events from Nevada probate in 2015.

$10 Million Auction in Clark County Probate Court

It’s not unusual for real property to be sold in the Nevada probate process. When a person dies, and they leave behind real property in their own name, it is sold at public auction in the Clark County Probate Court. Almost all of the real property auctioned off are modest, middle class homes ranging from $100,000 – $300,000. That’s why heads turned on February 27, 2015 when a 60% interest in the legendary Peppermill on the Las Vegas Strip was auctioned off in public for $10,650,000.00. Normally, properties of that magnitude and prominence would be held by a trust or corporation and never end up in a Nevada probate court. The sale was covered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and I was quoted:

Local probate attorney Thomas Grover of Goodsell & Olsen said he was watching the public auction of properties Friday morning when the sale came up, amid auctions of $150,000 and $350,000 homes.

It’s unusual to see a commercial property with the Peppermill’s value in a court auction, Grover said. Such properties are usually held in trusts or corporations and bypass probate court.

“It’s interesting nobody showed up, because it’s such a prime piece of real estate,” Grover said. “If someone had showed up and outbid (the Doumanis), they could have ended up with a majority co-owner not of their choice, which would have made it really interesting.”

Summary of Clark County Probate Court Real Estate Auctions in 2015

The Hoopes and Norton Team specializes in Nevada probate real estate sales.

The Hoopes and Norton Team specializes in Nevada probate real estate sales.

$73,997,603.00 of real property was auctioned off in Clark County Probate Court in 2015, according to data compiled by Nevada probate real estate agent Steve Hoopes. In total, 355 separate pieces of real property were sold, or approximately 7 every Friday.

If you remove the Peppermill sale, mentioned above (because it is such an outlier), $63,347,603.00 of real property was auctioned off in Clark County Probate Court in 2015. For the year, the average sale price was $178,443.95 (not including the Peppermill) and the median sale price was $169,500.00.

In 2014 336 properties were sold at auction, the average sales price was $160,474.50 and the median sales price was $143,000.00.

As mentioned, these statistics were compiled by Steve Hoopes, a real estate agent who specializes in Nevada probate sales. I recommend Steve to all my clients because it is crucial to use an agent who is familiar with the Nevada probate process. Real estate agents unfamiliar with the special Nevada probate procedures and requirements can do a lot of damage. Steve is also just a great, hard working agent which is why I used him for my personal agent when I bought a home last year. You can contact Steve at HoopesandNorton.com or you can call him at 702-340-1545.

Next Monday I’m going to provide some more in depth analysis of the real estate sales in 2015 based upon the data that Steve so meticulously gathered this past year.

Changes to Nevada Probate Law in 2015

There were important changes to Nevada probate law in 2015:

  • The ceiling for Summary Administration is now $300,000.00.
  • Estates may be administered by affidavit up to $100,000.00 if there is a surviving spouse and no real property (up from $20,000.00).
  • Estates may be administered by affidavit by non-spouses if there is no real property and the estate is worth less than $25,000.00 (up from $20,000.00).
  • Though already the practice (and arguably the law), a bill was signed into law which explicitly stated that wills lodged with the court are a public record open to inspection by anyone.

Clark County Probate Court Moves

Clark County Probate Court is now held every Friday at 9:30 am in Courtroom 3F of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89155.

Clark County Probate Court is now held every Friday at 9:30 am in Courtroom 3F of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89155.

For many years, the Clark County Probate Court was held every Friday in Courtroom 9 at the Family Courts and Services Center at 601 N Pecos Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89101. The Clark County Probate Court has moved to the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas at 200 Lewis Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89155. Clark County Probate Court is still held every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., now in Courtroom 3F of the RJC.

Probate Commissioner Wesley Yamashita also moved his chambers downtown to the Phoenix Building, which is across the street from the Regional Justice Center. For purposes of mailing or providing courtesy copies, the address of the probate office is 330 S 3rd Street Suite 1060, Las Vegas, NV 89101.

 

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