What happens if there is no will? Intestate succession is the process of distribution when the Decedent dies without a will. Under these circumstances, the first determination that needs to be made is whether the property is classified as “community property” or “separate property”. Property acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage or property acquired by gift or devise or an award for personal injury damages after the marriage is separate property of that spouse. All other assets are considered community property.
Community property assets vest in the surviving spouse. Separate property assets are distributed in accordance with the Nevada Revised Statutes. If there is a surviving spouse and one child, the assets are distributed in equal shares. However, if there is more than one child, then the surviving spouse receives one-third of the estate and the balance is distributed in equal shares to the children. The statutes address different scenarios as well when someone dies without a will, for example, no surviving spouse, no surviving spouse or children, etc. In the event no family members can be located, the Estate may escheat to the State of Nevada.