Close Menu

Las Vegas Probate & Trust Administration Attorneys

The death of a loved one is an overwhelming experience made more complicated by trying to administer a probate or a trust. For more than four decades, Robert L. Bolick, Ltd. has assisted individuals and families throughout Nevada to navigate the complexities of the probate and trust administration process. This experience allows the attorneys at Robert L. Bolick, Ltd. to simplify and efficiently complete the administration of a probate or trust for their clients-making it less stressful and more affordable.


The attorneys at Robert L. Bolick, Ltd. serve clients in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Southern Highlands, Henderson, and throughout Nevada.

Call the office today at 702-690-9090 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.


What Is the Probate and Trust Administration Process?

When a person dies owning assets in Nevada, a legal proceeding is often necessary to accomplish two important objectives: 1) transfer legal title of the assets to the beneficiaries, and 2) resolve any outstanding debts. This process is called “probate.”

If the deceased person left a trust, then a similar process occurs without court involvement, making it more efficient. Through a probate or a trust administration, a deceased person’s assets are collected and managed, appropriate expenses and debts are paid, and the proper heirs or beneficiaries are legally determined, and the assets are distributed as required.


Probate Administration in Nevada

In Nevada, the value of the decedent’s assets will determine whether the probate process is relatively straightforward or extremely complex. For estates where the net value of the assets exceeds $300,000, a full probate is required (known as a general administration).

If the estate assets are valued at $300,000 or less, a “Summary Administration” is available, which is a somewhat abbreviated probate process compared to a general administration.

For estates with a net value between $25,000 to $100,000, a “Small Estate Set Aside” allows the estate to be distributed without undergoing the full probate process.

Lastly, if the net value of the estate does not exceed $25,000 (and does not include real property), an Affidavit of Entitlement may be presented to claim assets without court involvement.

The probate process begins when a petition for probate is filed and a copy of the will is lodged with the court. If there is no will, only the petition will be filed.

The petition must include a declaration of the character and estimated value of the estate. The petition will also include the names and addresses of the beneficiaries and whether they are minors or adults, the names of any beneficiaries who predeceased the decedent, and the name and address for each person requesting appointment as personal representative.


Who Will Serve as Personal Representative?

If the decedent died “testate,” (meaning died having executed a valid Last Will and Testament), the person nominated in the will as the executor is generally entitled to serve as personal representative over an estate.

Determining who will serve as personal representative is trickier where the decedent died “intestate,” (meaning he or she died without a Last Will and Testament). When there is no will, Nevada law sets out the priority to determine who is entitled to serve as the personal representative:

A person cannot serve as personal representative if that person: (1) has been convicted of a felony; (2) is disqualified due to a conflict of interest or inability to perform the duties; or (3) is under the age of 18 years. If the individual is not a resident of Nevada, they can only serve as personal representative if they are nominated in the will or they serve with a co-personal representative that is a resident of Nevada.


Who Must Pay for the Decedent’s Debts?

Once the Court appoints the personal representative, he or she must publish a “Notice to Creditors” in a newspaper published in the county where the estate is being administered. In addition to the published notice, the personal representative must serve the Notice to Creditors directly on all known or readily ascertainable creditors.

The purpose of this requirement is to put all the decedent’s creditors on notice that an estate proceeding has been initiated, and that each creditor has a limited time frame within which to file a claim against the estate.

If a creditor does not file a claim in the probate proceeding within the creditor period (or within 30 days from direct service of a Notice to Creditors, whichever is longer), that creditor’s claim is forever barred.

A common question of our clients is whether they will incur any liability for serving as the personal representative of the estate, and whether a child, for example is personally liable for his or her parent’s debts.  The good news is that the personal representative is not personally liable for any debts or obligations of the estate.  The estate alone is liable to the payment of creditor claims to the extent that the estate’s assets are sufficient to satisfy such claims.

It is the Personal Representative’s responsibility, however, to assess the validity of each creditor claim—only valid, timely filed claims against the estate are required to be satisfied or compromised.


Final Order of Distribution

After all valid and timely filed creditor claims have been resolved, assets have been gathered, beneficiaries have been identified, and the administration of the estate is otherwise complete, the personal representative will petition the court for a final order of distribution. The order generally provides for the payment of any outstanding administrative expenses of the estate, the payment of the personal representative’s fees, and directs the personal representative to distribute all assets remaining in the estate to the beneficiaries pursuant to the decedent’s will. If the decedent died without a will, the Final Order of Distribution will distribute the assets of the estate to the decedent’s heirs pursuant to Nevada’s Intestacy Statute.


Nevada Trust Administration

A trust involves a relationship between the person who creates the trust, commonly referred to as the “grantor”; the person for whose benefit the trust has been created, the “beneficiary”; and, the person or entity who will be in charge of administering the trust, referred to as the “trustee”. The grantor will appoint a trustee to oversee its management.

A trustee is a fiduciary who must act with the utmost care and honesty in carrying out the wishes of the grantor as expressed in the trust instrument. Nevada law requires a trustee to administer a trust in good faith according to its terms and the duties set out in the Nevada Revised Statutes.  Provided the trust instrument does not contain language to the contrary, certain specific duties are imposed on trustees pursuant to both Nevada law and common law. Included among those duties are a duty of loyalty, a duty to keep and render accounts, a duty to furnish information, a duty to exercise reasonable skill and care, a duty to invest prudently, a duty to control and preserve trust property, a duty to defend, a duty to not commingle trust funds, a duty with respect to financial deposits, a duty to diversify investments, a duty to make trust property productive, a duty to deal impartially with beneficiaries, as well as other duties imposed under law.

Given these duties as well as certain complexities associated with each trust document, the role of a fiduciary calls for good judgment and discretion. It is imperative that a trustee receive accurate guidance and legal counsel so as to properly administer a trust to the benefit of the trust and its beneficiaries.

With over 55+ years of experience, the attorneys at Robert L. Bolick, Ltd. have worked to earn the confidence of their clients in managing their estates and trusts. Given their deep knowledge and wealth of experience, the attorneys at Robert L. Bolick, Ltd. guide clients on complex trust matters to help them complete trust administrations effectively, efficiently, and in the most cost-effective manner.


Call the office today at 702-690-9090 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Schedule a free initial consultation with Robert today.

Call our office at 702.690.9090, or reach us online.

Bolick Attorney
Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn