Importance of Estate Planning
A very famous probate case materialized recently with the death of the famous musician Prince. When he died, no one could find a will, a shocking development for a decedent who is extremely wealthy.
What Happened in Minnesota
Prince died in Minnesota. His sister filed a petition in the state probate court for appointment as administrator of his estate. The Minnesota court, however, appointed a third-party trust company as a special administrator in place of the petitioning family member.
The question is whether a Nevada court could appoint a third party rather than a family member to handle a decedent’s estate. The short answer is yes.
It’s important to note that in Nevada, family members of the deceased have priority for service as estate administrators.The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) give the closest relative first right to request appointment as administrators, but sometimes the family is unable or unwilling to assume the responsibility, or circumstances demand appointment of someone else.
There may be a conflict of interests between the family member and the estate, allegations that that family member has done something wrong against the estate or would not do the job with competence, or some reason to find that it would not be best to appoint a family member with presumably the highest priority to serve.  In such circumstances, a Nevada court may appoint a third party as administrator of the estate.
Two Types of Special Nevada Administrators
Unique to Nevada are elected public administrators who may serve as estate administrators when no family member is available or when there is reason for a third party to assume the position. Professional trust companies also often serve as estate administrators.
Sometimes a probate judge finds no actual applicant for appointment eligible and decides to appoint a third party, either the Office of the Public Administrator or an established trust company. All estates, large or small, regardless of simplicity or complexity of assets, are subject to such probate court appointment orders.
Consult Accolade Law
Don’t leave important decisions like who should administer an estate to a probate court judge. Call Accolade Law today to arrange a preliminary estate planning consultation. “Administration of the intestate estate of a decedent must be granted to one or more of the persons . . . respectively entitled to priority for appointment in the following order: (a) The surviving spouse, (b) The children, ( c) The father or the mother, (d) The brother or the sister, (e) The grandchildren, (f) Any other of the kindred entitled to share in the distribution of the estate, (g) The public administrator,” NRS § 139.040.  As an example, the sole next of kin may have been convicted of a felony offense. “No person is entitled to letters of administration if the person . . . has been convicted of a felony unless the court determines that such a conviction should not disqualify the person from serving in the position of an administrator,” NRS § 139.010.