What is General Administration?
“General administration” is a type of probate proceeding in Nevada used for estates that have a value of more than $300,000. When determining the value of your loved one’s estate, keep in mind that you are allowed to subtract mortgages and liens (such as car loans).
Our Reno probate attorney handles general administrations throughout Nevada, not just Reno. Schedule a free consultation or continue reading to learn more about general administrations in Nevada.
What is the process for doing a General Administration?
General administration has a strict set of procedures established by statute, which include mandatory court filings and hearings, as well other actions that must be taken by the Personal Representative. Generally, an attorney is needed to represent the estate during the general administration process, as well as provide advice to the Personal Representative on other aspects of the estate’s administration. A general overview of these procedures is provided below.
General administration starts with the filing of a “probate petition” in the county where the decedent was a resident at the time of death. The petition is typically filed by the person who is nominated in the decedent’s will to serve as the executor of the estate, but it can also be filed by the decedent’s surviving spouse, an adult child, or other relative. The person who files the petition is referred to as the “Petitioner.”
The petition provides the court with information on the decedent, as well as the decedent’s estate. Nevada law requires the initial 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 Personal Representative’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.
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. The Petitioner must also publish the notice of hearing in a local newspaper.
There is a $574.50 filing fee for a general administration petition in Washoe County. The fee is slightly lower in other Nevada counties.
After the probate petition is filed and accepted by the court, a hearing will be held to appoint the Personal Representative of the estate. The Personal Representative is the person who will administer the deceased person’s estate throughout the probate process. It’s a position that carries a lot of responsibility and potential liability for mistakes, so becoming the Personal Representative is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Note that in Nevada, the term “executor” is used only if the Personal Representative was nominated by the deceased’s will. If there is no will, then the Personal Representative is referred to as an “administrator.”
As long as no one appears at the hearing to contest the petition, the Court will grant the petition and appoint the Personal Representative.
Administering the Estate
After appointment, the Personal Representative will be in charge of administering the decedent’s estate. This includes keeping estate property safe and secure through out the probate process. Other important steps that need to be taken during the administration include:
- Obtaining an EIN for the estate from the IRS (available for free at IRS.gov)
- Opening an estate bank account
- Making arrangements to file the decedent’s final tax return
- Making arrangements to file an estate tax return (if necessary)
- Filing and publishing a “Notice to Creditors.” This is a very important step in the general administration process because any creditors who do not come forward within 90 days are forever barred.
- Obtaining an appraisal of the decedent’s real estate.
- Preparing and filing an inventory that lists all of the property in the estate.
- Selling the decedent’s personal property and real estate (subject to court approval)
- Preparing and filing a detailed accounting of the estate.
- Paying valid creditor’s claims (may require court approval)
Closing the Estate
Once all creditors with valid claims have been paid, all necessary tax returns have been filed, and any lingering disputes have been resolved, the Personal Representative will proceed with distributing the remaining property in the estate to the decedent’s heirs. This is done by a Petition for Final Distribution seeking approval for the proposed distributions. Similar to the initial petition, a hearing will be scheduled and the Personal Representative must provide a Notice of Hearing to all interested parties.
The Petition for Final Distribution will provide a detailed report of the Personal Representatives actions in administering the estate, as well as full accounting of each item of income and expense of the estate. The court will review the Petition and the accounting to make sure that everything was handled properly and no money or other property was misappropriated.
Upon approval of the Petition, the Personal Representative can distribute the assets to the appropriate recipients.
The final step is to file a Petition for Discharge with the court, explaining that all assets have been distributed and there are no further actions that need to be taken by the Personal Representative. Receipts from each recipient will need to be included with this petition. Upon approval by the court, the estate is deemed closed and the probate process is finished.
How long does it take to complete?
General administration is not a very quick process. The amount of time it takes to complete ultimately depends on the complexity of the estate and whether anyone contests some aspect of the estate administration, such as the validity of the decedent’s will.
A quick general administration proceeding will typically take about 9 months. If anything happens to delay the proceeding, such as a contested will or difficulty paying creditors, the timeline can easily exceed one year.
How much are attorney’s fees for general administration?
Attorneys fees are often a significant part of the cost of doing a general administration in Nevada. This is because a general administration requires numerous legal filings and court appearances throughout the process. Like most other probate attorneys in Nevada, we follow the statutory fee guidelines laid out in NRS 150.060, which are based on a flat percentage of the estate’s value:
- For the first $100,000, at the rate of 4 percent;
- For the next $100,000, at the rate of 3 percent;
- For the next $800,000, at the rate of 2 percent;
- For the next $9,000,000, at the rate of 1 percent;
- For the next $15,000,000, at the rate of 0.5 percent; and
- For all amounts above $25,000,000, a reasonable amount to be determined by the court.
Note that the above fee schedule does not include costs such as filing fees and appraisal reports, which are extra. Also, the above fee schedule does not include “extraordinary services” which typically includes will contests or litigation of creditor claims.
As long as the estate has sufficient assets, we do not require any payment upfront and will receive our attorneys fees at the end of the probate process during the final distribution.
The bottom line
General administration in Nevada is a long and expensive process. However, it is designed to make sure that everything in the decedent’s estate is handled fairly and correctly. If you need assistance with your loved one’s estate, please schedule a free consultation by filling out the form below.
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