When someone who owns real estate dies, transferring the real estate typically requires the estate to go through a court process called probate. Probate is time-consuming, requires court appearances, and can be expensive. Here is what you should know about Ancillary Probate in Nevada.
Ancillary Probate defined:
Ancillary probate in Nevada occurs when real estate properties, including timeshares located in Nevada, are owned by a decedent who did not reside in Nevada.
Transferring real estate assets after the owner dies requires the estate to go through the probate process in each state where real estate is owned. States only have the authority to transfer ownership of property within their borders.
For example, if your parents are residents of Florida and they purchased a vacation home in Palm Springs, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, you would need to go through probate in three separate states to settle the estate.
How much does Probate Cost in Nevada?
The cost of probating an estate in Nevada varies. The following fees can be charged:
- Up to 4% on the first $100,000
- Up to 3% on the next $100,000
- Up to 2% on the next $800,000
The statutory rate is based on a percentage of the value of the estate (value of property less liens and encumbrances).
Once someone passes away, the opportunity for advance planning that would lower the cost and make the transfer of real estate and other assets easy is gone. The best time to plan is before death is expected.
Nevada does not have a streamlined process to probate real estate owned by a non-resident. The probate process to transfer real estate in Nevada is the same whether or not the deceased is a resident.
Is Ancillary Probate in Nevada Private?
Ancillary probate creates public records that anyone who is interested can look up. They can learn what you owned and who inherited your assets.
If your life has been complicated a trust can maintain the privacy of what you leave to each of your heirs.
What can you do to Avoid Ancillary Probate in Nevada?
Multiple strategies help your heirs avoid ancillary probate. They can, however, create additional issues so you should consult a qualified Estate Planning attorney to review all your options. Strategies to avoid Ancillary Probate include:
- Create a Living Trust and put the property into the trust.
- Properly execute a Deed Upon Death and have it recorded.
- Set up a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to hold the property.
- Add a co or joint deed holder commonly referred to as JT with rights of survivorship. (This doesn’t avoid the problem at the time of the second deed holder’s death).
- Transfer the property before death (a life estate can be used to retain control during life).
- Sell the property before your death.
The right estate planning strategy for you depends on your specific situation. Failing to plan for the easy transfer of real property is almost never the best strategy.
Most of the strategies don’t change anything other than the legal ownership of the property. Your ability to use the property, sell it, rent it, encumber it with a mortgage, or other actions you could take before changing the title remain intact.
If you have investment properties, an LLC offers added protection for liability that could arise if someone is hurt on your property. If you are a public figure, a Nevada LLC can lower your ownership profile from prying eyes.
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.