Nevada probate law goes out of its way to protect the rights of surviving spouses and families. Death, unexpected or not, can be financially devastating to families. Modest estates are immediately distributed to the family through a “Nevada Set Aside Without Administration.”
Normal Nevada Probate Process
Normally, the Nevada probate process involves an initial petition to begin the process. The Personal Representative notifies creditors of the probate proceedings. Creditors have a limited period of time to file claims. The Personal Representative then either accepts or rejects the creditor claims. Meanwhile, the Personal Representative has a duty to keep and provide accountings to the Court. Finally, the Personal Representative distributes the estate assets according to an order of the Court.
This process can take several months if there are no complications. In extraordinary circumstances, the probate administration may take years. The Nevada probate process will usually cost several thousand dollars in attorneys fees.
Nevada Set Aside Without Administration
The Nevada Legislature has devised a plan to avoid all of this. Estates worth less than $100,000.00 are “set aside” to the surviving spouse and/or minor child. This is what it means to have no administration.
If the decedent is survived by a spouse or one or more minor children, the court must set aside the estate for the benefit of the surviving spouse or the minor child or minor children of the decedent, subject to any reduction made pursuant to subsection 4 or 5. The court may allocate the entire estate to the surviving spouse, the entire amount to the minor child or minor children, or may divide the estate among the surviving spouse and minor child or minor children.
This is known as a “Nevada Set Aside Without Administration.” The entire estate is immediately distributed to the surviving spouse and/or minor children.
This rule is absolute. Even if there are valid creditor claims, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse and/or minor child. The Nevada Legislature has decided that it’s more important to protect the financial interests of families than creditors. Even if the Decedent (person who died) executed a valid will giving his/her estate to someone else, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse and/or minor children. For example, let’s say John executed a will giving his entire estate to his best buddy Karl. When John passes away, the will will be overridden and the entire estate will go to John’s surviving spouse and/or minor children. The Nevada Legislature has decided that it’s more important to protect the financial interests of the surviving spouse and/or minor children than to follow a Decedent’s will.
Set Aside: No Surviving Spouse/Minor Children
If the estate is worth less than $100,00.00 and there isn’t a surviving spouse or minor child, the procedure is a little different. In this scenario, the estate pays funeral expenses and creditors. If there is a will, the estate is distributed according to the terms of the will.