Lee Drizin Understanding Nevada Probate Process and Estate Laws

Probate Lawyer in Summerlin, NV – Probate Process and Estate Laws, Wills and Trusts

Howard Hughes purchased the land that became Summerlin, a master-planned community, more than 65 years ago. Summerlin is now a destination community because of the active lifestyle it provides. Whether you are attracted to the cooler air of the Spring Mountain Range, the spectacular views of the valley, or the off-strip action and luxury at Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, Summerlin is a great place to spend the rest of your life.

Estate Laws Vary by State

When you relocate to a new state, getting your estate planning documents in order is an important aspect of your move. A properly executed trust can avoid the probate process and decrease the likelihood of expensive estate litigation. Because laws vary from state-to-state, it’s important to find an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure your documents comply with Nevada law.

Advance Planning Makes a Difference

It’s sad when a neighbor in Sun City Summerlin passes but we recognize it as an inevitable part of a life well-lived. The avoidable sadness is when we see someone who lost a loved one who has failed to set up any estate planning documents. The loved one must then struggle with the estate on top of their grief because advanced planning wasn’t done.

If you relocated from another part of Nevada to join the burgeoning population in Summerlin, choosing a local law firm you can trust to handle your estate when the time comes will ease the process for your loved ones. We all know that grief affects the ability to think well. The more decisions you make about your estate ahead of time, the fewer decisions your loved ones will have to make when their grief is fresh.

The year-round fun lifestyle in Summerlin means there’s always plenty to do. Whether you begin the warm season by riding in the Annual Tour de Summerlin, walking on the Peccole Ranch Walking Trail, or you keep fit during the holidays by ice skating at Rock Rink, the active lifestyle may create the feeling that you can put off thinking about your estate plan documents indefinitely. We hope you won’t need our services for decades to come but we also know you’ll rest better knowing your plan is in place.

What if there is no will?

If you die without a Will in Nevada your assets will pass according to the intestate laws of Nevada. If you are married at the time of death, a determination is made if your property is community or separate property. Assets acquired during the marriage are considered “community property”.  Property that is received through a gift or inheritance during the marriage, that are not commingled with community assets, will be considered separate property.

Upon your death, your surviving spouse is entitled to your one-half interest in the community property.  However, if there are separate property assets, the distribution is very different. If the person passing away (the “Decedent”) leaves a surviving spouse and only one child, or the lawful issue of one child, the estate goes one-half to the surviving spouse and one-half to the child or the issue of the child.  If the Decedent leaves a surviving spouse and more than one child living, or a child and the lawful issue of one or more deceased children, the estate goes one-third to the surviving spouse and the remainder in equal shares to the children and the lawful issue of any deceased child by right of representation.  If there is no surviving spouse then the assets would be divided equally between the children and the lawful issue of a deceased child.

Planning Ahead

A few aspects of your estate plan you may want to consider in advance are:

  • Choosing a guardian in case you are temporarily or permanently unable to manage your own affairs, and
  • Whether a living trust will make your estate settlement process less expensive and more private.

With so many enjoyable activities, it’s easy for months or years to pass without thinking about probate, trusts, or estate planning. Shopping at the Boca Park Shops with your grandchildren and treating them to dinner in Tivoli Village is more fun than thinking about your estate planning needs. We don’t want to distract you from joining the Love Ride Road Bike Group for a ride in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or a spa day at Red Rock Casino but we do want to encourage you to find time to make plans that can help you and your loved ones avoid hassles later.

Current Probate Needs

If you’ve lost a loved one, a Summerlin probate attorney with experience can assist you through the difficult process. When you’re ready, you can start enjoying your life again. You may decide to attend a local grief support group or join the Lifetime Fitness A, B, C, Group Road Ride where 3-wheel bikes make it easier and safer to enjoy bicycling at mature ages. Newbies receive special attention and sharing a meal with your new friends at Vintner Grill after your ride can assist you with the grieving process.


For more than 30 years, Attorney Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.