This is part of our blog series on the types of probate proceedings in Nevada.
Previously, we looked at probate in Nevada and learned there are four different levels of probate depending on the value of the Estate. This article will focus on the lowest level of probate, which allows an heir to avoid probate and claim the decedent’s property with a document called “an affidavit of entitlement.” If you have lost a loved one and have questions about probate, please contact us to schedule a free consultation with our probate attorney.
What is an Affidavit of Entitlement?
An “Affidavit of Entitlement” is a legal document that allows very small estates to obtain and distribute the assets of a decedent without having to go to probate court (in most cases). Only estates that have less than $25,000 of assets (when added together) and do not have any real property can use the Affidavit of Entitlement. Update: As of January 1, 2015, the surviving spouse of a decedent can use the Affidavit of Entitlement for up to $100,000 of property, but only if the decedent did not own real property.
Affidavit Of Entitlement – Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can use the Affidavit of Entitlement? Only the decedent’s proper legal heirs can use the Affidavit of Entitlement. The decedent’s heirs are determined by looking at the Last Will and Testament, or if there is no Will, at the laws of intestate succession.
- How long do I have to wait? You must wait 40 days after the death of the decedent to use the Affidavit of Entitlement.
- Do I have to file the affidavit in Court? In most cases, the answer is no. The affidavit of entitlement can bused without any court filing. However, sometimes complications can arise in transferring the property that will require you to file in probate court to resolve.
- Will there be a court hearing? In most cases, the answer is no. A hearing would be required only when an order of the court is required to resolve a problem with transferring assets.
- Can I use the Affidavit of Entitlement for a car? No, the DMV has it’s own form for transferring title to a motor vehicle. Note that the value of vehicles do not count towards the dollar limitation for using the affidavit of entitlement.
- Do I need a lawyer? Probably not. A lawyer is generally unnecessary, except for special situations. You might need a lawyer if there is a dispute about the identify of the property legal heir of the decedent.
A free affidavit of entitlement form is available HERE from the Washoe County Probate Court
If you have questions about the affidavit of entitlement in Nevada, please contact our office.