What is a Summary Administration in Nevada?

By January 17, 2017Probate
Judge's Gavel in Summary Administration Probate Proceeding

This is part of our blog series on the types of probate proceedings in Nevada.

In a previous blog article, 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 second-highest level of probate, which is known as a “Summary Administration”. If you have lost a loved one and have questions about probate, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.

What is Summary Administration?

“Summary Administration” is a type of probate proceeding in Nevada that exists as an alternative to the full probate proceeding known as a “General Administration.” It’s intended to help modest sized estates avoid some of the cost and delay of general administration.  Summary Administration is available only to probate estates that have less than $300,000 of assets (when added together).  Keep in mind that you are allowed to subtract any liabilities (such as a mortgage or a car loan) when determining the value of the assets in the estate.

Summary Administration Differences

Although the summary administration in Nevada is meant to provide a quicker and cheaper alternative to full probate, the benefits are unfortunately quite minor.  Many of the same rules and requirements of general administration also apply to the summary administration.  This means that the two proceedings are very similar. The two big exceptions are the notice requirements and the period for filing creditor claims, discussed below.

Summary Administration Petition

Every probate probate proceeding (with the exception of very small estates that can use an Affidavit of Entitlement) starts with the filing of a Petition in probate court. The Petition provides the court with information on the decedent, as well as the decedent’s estate.  Petitioners are fairly similar regardless of the proceeding and need to include the following information:

  • The decedent’s name, marital status, and county of residence
  • Whether the decedent left a Last Will and Testament
  • The names, ages, and addresses of the Decedent’s heirs and devisees (typically these are the decedent’s family members, plus anyone who is supposed to receive property under his or her Will)
  • A description of the character and estimated value of the decedent’s property
  • The Executor’s name, address, and statement that the Executor has never been convicted of a felony
  • A request for the Court to waive bond (optional)
  • Lastly, the Petition must be “verified.”  This is done by attaching to the Petition a signed and notarized statement from the Petitioner swearing that everything contained in the Petition is true to the best of his or her knowledge.

Notice Requirements

The Petitioner must mail a copy of the petition and a notice of hearing to all interested persons in the estate 10 days prior to the hearing, including Nevada’s Medicaid Recovery Unit. Note: In a summary administration, the notice of hearing does not have to be published in a local newspaper, which is the case in a general administration. 

One of the primary functions of the probate process is to allow creditors of the decedent to come forward and have their debts paid out of the estate.  For this reason, after the Executor of the estate is appointed, he or she will need to publish a Notice to Creditors in a local newspaper. The cost is usually around $250. The notice will also need to be sent to any known creditors of the estate.

Creditor Claims Period

In a summary administration, creditors have 60 days to file to come forward and file a claim against the estate (in most cases).  Note: this time limit is 90 days days in a general administration.  In both types of proceedings, if the creditor fails to come forward within the time limit, then the debt is forever barred.

Inventory and Appraisement

Within 60 days of appointment, the Executor must file an inventory with the Court that lists all of the property in the estate. If there is any real property, the inventory must also include a written appraisement of the value of the property. Many counties in Nevada accept the Assessors property tax valuation, including Washoe County.

Accounting and Final Distribution

Once expenses and debts of the Estate have been paid and any property needing to be sold has been sold, the Executor will prepare and file an accounting with the Court. This is usually included in the Petition for Final Distribution of the Estate. The accounting must account for every penny that has come and gone from the Estate.

The Petition for Final Distribution will detail the proposed distribution of the estate. If granted, the Executor will be permitted to transfer the property of the estate to the proper heirs. A receipt for such property will need to be signed and filed by each beneficiary, along with a request to discharge the Executor once administration of the estate if finished.

Conclusion

The summary administration procedure is considered slightly more streamlined and efficient than a general administration.  However, most of the same rules apply to both types of proceedings, with the exceptions noted above.  So, it may be worth your while to read our article on general administration probate in Nevada. If your still have questions about probate, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with Reno probate attorney.