Nevada Probate Disputes Other than Will Contests
In Nevada, as elsewhere, when there is no will contest [i] to resolve, administration of decedent estates still can be a difficult task. Compounding its difficulty are conflicts, disagreements, and disputes among and against prospective and actual administrators and beneficiaries and claims against the estate by creditors.
Other Probate Disputes
When there is no will to contest, the intestate decedent’s estate is nevertheless subject to probate of its assets by an administrator appointed by the probate court. But petitioners for letters of administration may face challenges from contestants: “An interested person may contest the petition by filing a written opposition on the ground that the petitioner is not qualified or may assert the contestant’s own right to the administration and request that letters be issued to the contestant. In the latter case, the contestant must file a petition and give the notice required for the original petition, and the court must hear the two petitions together.” [ii]
There must be “reasonable diligence in performing the duties of the [administrator] and in pursuing the administration of the estate,” [iii] and interested persons often raise complaints of indolence or neglect when the probate process seems to them to proceed too slowly or when they allege reasons to believe the administrator has failed to fulfill probate responsibilities.
Creditors of decedents must file their claims against the estates within “90 days after the mailing for those required to be mailed or 90 days after the first publication of the notice to creditors.” [iv] In theory, probate courts may entertain excuses for untimely claims, but the Nevada Supreme Court has encouraged their disallowance except in extraordinary circumstances of undeniable lack of notice: “The burden is upon him who seeks to file a late creditor’s claim in a probate proceeding to present facts to the trial court which justify favorable exercise of discretion.” [v]
Given the erratic record of indisputably effective notice to creditors, however, further action in pursuit of their claims — “If a claim is rejected by the [administrator] or the court, in whole or in part, the claimant must . . . bring suit in the proper court against the [administrator] within 60 days” [vi] — is available by statute and employed frequently if not regularly.
Nevada probate law can be impossible to navigate if you don’t have the right attorney working with you. Call attorney Rob Telles with Accolade Law today for more information.[i] “The Attorney General or any interested person . . . may contest the will by filing written grounds of opposition to the probate thereof at any time before the hearing of the petition for probate,” Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Section (§) 137.010; further, “After a will has been admitted to probate, any interested person other than a party to a contest before probate or a person who had actual notice of the previous contest in time to have joined therein may, at any time within 3 months after the order is entered admitting the will to probate, contest the admission or the validity of the will,” NRS § 137.080. [ii] NRS § 139.110. [iii] NRS § 143.035. [iv] NRS § 147.040. [v] Continental Coffee Company v Estate of Clark, 438 P2d 818, 821 (NV 1968). [vi] NRS § 147.130.