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Without an estate plan, what assets are subject to probate?


In Nevada, a probate asset refers to any asset or property that is subject to the probate process upon the death of its owner. Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s assets are distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries and their debts are settled. In other words, probate is the process by which a deceased person’s name is taken off title and the asset is passed to the beneficiary.

Here are some examples of probate assets in Nevada:

1) Real Estate: Any real property solely owned by the deceased person, such as houses, land, or commercial buildings, which are not held in a trust or subject to another form of ownership transfer.

2) Bank Accounts: Bank accounts held solely in the name of the deceased person without a designated beneficiary or payable-on-death (POD) provision.

3) Investments: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment accounts held solely in the name of the deceased person without a designated beneficiary or transfer-on-death (TOD) provision.

4) Business Interests: Any ownership interests the deceased person held in a business or partnership that is not structured to transfer automatically upon death.

5) Certain firearms: restricted firearms that require special licensing to obtain, cannot be transferred without a probate process or property gun trust.

6) Some Vehicle Titles: some vehicles exceed $25,000 in value and may not be transferable absent a court order.

It’s important to note that certain assets may be excluded from the probate process. For example, assets held in a living trust, assets with designated beneficiaries (e.g., life insurance policies, retirement accounts), jointly owned assets with a right of survivorship, and assets held in a transfer-on-death (TOD) or payable-on-death (POD) account generally pass outside of probate. Some of these techniques, such as the TOD, cause other issues.

If you have specific questions or concerns regarding a particular asset and its classification as a probate asset in Nevada, it is advisable to consult with a Surratt Law Practice attorney who specializes in estate planning to provide pointed guidance on your assets and family circumstances.

By Travis Clark. Esq.

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