Craig's Corner - Wealth Planning Insights

Monday, July 27, 2015

What to Expect When Probating a Multi-Jurisdictional Estate

I was named executor for my uncle, who has property not only in Nevada, but in several other states as well. How does this work? 

Serving as the personal representative or executor/executrix of a Nevada estate can quickly become an unexpectedly complex task. Oftentimes, these duties are bestowed upon families members or close friends who want nothing more than to do a thorough and timely job on behalf of their departed loved one. However, for a decedent with property scattered across the United States – or the globe – engaging in the ancillary probate process will likely require the involvement of an experienced Nevada probate attorney. 

Ancillary probate

If the deceased passed away leaving the majority of his or her property in the state of Nevada, the probate process should be commenced within that jurisdiction. To get started, the executor must appear at the County Clerk’s office within 30 days of the death of the testator (the person who made the will). If no will can be found, an adult Nevada resident (e.g., friend or family member) may appear and petition to serve as the personal representative. From there, the executor/representative will begin the process of inventorying the decedent’s real and personal property. 

All personal property (i.e., anything that is not land) is subject to probate proceedings in the state where the decedent died. Therefore, even if the decedent owned a piece of artwork or watercraft in another state, title transfer of those assets can be accomplished by a Nevada probate judge. 

Real property, on the other hand, will require proceedings known as “ancillary probate.” Every state maintains its own ancillary probate process, and will in most cases work remotely with the executor to accomplish a deed transfer pursuant to that state’s laws. During the course of the ancillary proceedings, the Nevada probate judge will also oversee the process to ensure the other jurisdiction is working in a timely manner. 

One way to avoid the hassle of ancillary probate proceedings for surviving loved ones is to place out-of-state property in trust, which will allow the property to pass seamlessly to the intended beneficiary upon the death of the grantor. For help with this, contact an experienced Nevada estate planning attorney today!

If you were recently named as an executor and would like to discuss your duties and obligations in this role, please contact the Las Vegas estate planning attorneys at the Stone Law Offices today: (877)800-3424. 

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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.

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