An initial probate petition must contain the following information:
1. Probate Petition Jurisdiction
The probate petition must include sufficient information for the Probate Court to take jurisdiction of the Estate. That information includes the name of the Decedent, the date of death and a copy of the Death Certificate. As discussed in my last post, in order to initiate probate in Nevada, the petition will also need to assert that either the Decedent was a resident of Nevada or that the Decedent left property in Nevada. NRS 136.010. The Death Certificate will indicate whether the Decedent was a resident of Nevada.
If the will does not nominate a personal representative, or if there isn’t a will, the personal representative must be a resident of the state of Nevada. NRS 139.010(4). A non-resident may associate with a resident as co-personal representative to satisfy this requirement. NRS 139.010(4)(a).
2. Acceptance of Personal Representative
An individual cannot be forced against their will to act as personal representative, even if they have been nominated as such in the will. The petition must indicate the individual nominated to serve as personal representative is willing to accept the duties and responsibilities of that position. NRS 136.090(1)(b). Therefore, if the person petitioning to start the probate process is someone other than the nominated personal representative, it is a good idea to attach to the petition a statement from the nominated personal representative indicating their willingness to accept the position.
3. Identity of Family & Beneficiaries
The petition should list the family members and beneficiaries named in the will, whether they are over 18 years old, their relationship to the Decedent, whether they have passed away and their address, if known. NRS 136.090(1)(c). These same individuals are also entitled to notice of the petition.
4. List of Known Estate Assets
The petition must include “[t]he character and estimated value of the property of the estate.” NRS 136.090(1)(d). Often, at the point an initial petition is filed, all of the estate assets have not been identified. Therefore, the probate petition should include the estate assets as far as they are known. Later, the personal representative will be required to file a more detailed inventory as a part of the Nevada probate process.
The assets need to be listed, together with an estimated value, to know what type of administration the estate will be subject to. Estates worth less than $100,00.00 with a surviving spouse and/or minor children are “set aside” in favor of the surviving spouse and/or minor child, without administration. NRS 146.070. Estates worth less than $300,000.00 are subject to Summary Administration, an expedited process. NRS 145.040. Estates worth more than $300,000.00 are subject to General Administration. (Note, as of the writing of this blog post, the Nevada Legislature website has not been updated to reflect recent changes to Nevada probate law).
5. Whether the Personal Representative Has Been Convicted of a Felony
The probate petition must include a statement indicating whether the proposed/nominated personal representative has been convicted of a felony. Under Nevada probate law, a person convicted of a felony may not serve as personal representative, “unless the court determines that such a conviction should not disqualify the person from serving.” NRS 139.010(2).