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Recording Real Estate in Clark County and Other Nevada Counties:
Recording real estate deeds, probate court orders and other documents is fairly standardized in all 17 Nevada Counties. The following apply to all Nevada Counties:
- All pages of a deed must have one inch margins, top, bottom, left and right, totally free of any marks, signature flourishes, or notary stamps. If this rule is violated the recorder will charge a $25 non-conforming fee. In addition, the first page must have a totally blank three inch square in the upper right corner, or there will be a $25 non-conforming fee. Finally, the deed must be on pure white paper of ordinary thickness. If the deed is on expensive thick bond paper or on off white paper there will be a $25 non-conforming fee.
- The deed must be notarized and will probably be rejected if the notarization is "broken" by being on two separate pages.
- The deed should state where tax statements should be sent.
- There should be a declaration of value form accompanying the deed stated whether an exemption from the real estate transfer tax is claimed and if so the reason for the exemption claim. The real estate transfer tax and its exemption are explained on our page of this website: Death Transfer Fees
- If property is transferred by a probate Court Order, there is a coversheet form used and placed on top of the probate Court Order. Typically, a certified court order was required; recently, Clark County has dropped the requirement that the Court Order be certified. The Court Order is the new "deed." Although the Probate Court Order may have writings or marking within the one inch margins, these do not trigger the $25 non-conforming fee.
- When property is held by one or more joint tenants and one of the joint tenants dies, it is the nature of joint tenancy that the surviving joint tenant(s) now own the dead joint tenant's share. However, to make this official it is necessary that the surviving joint tenant(s) file an "Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant" with an original copy of the dead joint tenant attached. This affidavit can be signed either by a surviving joint tenant or a lawyer. In Nevada the best "magic words" used to create a joint tenancy that is recognized by title insurance companies is that the deed grants to John and Mary "as joint tenants." If the deed grants to John and Mary as "husband and wife" this language will probably NOT satisfy most title insurance companies. (And without title insurance the property is usually unsalable.) A deed to John and Mary as "husband and wife as community property with right of survivorship" may be considered the same as a joint tenancy deed. To fully understand the issue here you need to know that the other common way for two or more people to hold property is as tenants in common. If Bill and Dave go in fifty-fifty on a rental property and take title simply as "Bill and Dave" they hold as tenants in common and if one of them dies, their half goes to heirs of the dead tenant in common rather than the surviving tenant in common.
- Most, but not all Nevada Counties scan the document to be recorded and return the original document to the person requesting the recording.
- Recording fees vary slightly among the Nevada Counties, but exclusive of the real estate transfer tax which may or may not apply, are identical or close to the Clark County fee for recording a deed: $17 for the first page and one dollar for each additional page. (This assumes no $25 non-conforming fee discussed above.)
- Each Nevada County has a website where you can generally (and without charge) get the legal description and owner of any parcel of real estate in the county, except for timeshares. For Clark County real estate, you can quickly go online to http://www.accessclarkcounty.com/ASSESSor/ and search Clark County real estate by owner name or address. There is no charge.
- Encumbrances such as mortgages usually cannot be researched for free online.
Major Variation Among Nevada Counties:
Some Nevada County Recorders, but not the Clark County Recorder, require an additional one page form stating either that no social security numbers are in the document to be recorded or that there is a social security number and the reason for it.
Recording Deeds Transferring Real Estate into Trusts in Clark County:
If you wish to record a deed that transfers property into a trust, the recorder's office will demand to scan a copy of the trust into their computer data base. This is allegedly not a public document. Most attorneys who write trusts, ourselves included, also give the client an Affidavit and Certificate of Trust which simply states the name of the trust, its address, and who the trustee(s), including successor trustees, are. Most organizations will look at the Affidavit of Trust instead of the Trust if requested. (The inheritance plan of the Trust is not included in the Affidavit of Trust which protects privacy.) However, the Clark County Recorder's Office won't accept the Affidavit and Certificate of Trust unless it states that "the trust has not been amended or revoked so as to make the representations in this certificate incorrect". As lawyers we think this is pretty silly if one is trying to use the Affidavit of Trust to record a deed into the trust only a few days after the Trust's creation. At present they may allow the person offering the Affidavit and Certificate of Trust to hand write in, "This Trust has not been amended or revoked so as to make the representations in this certificate incorrect."
A question that often comes up is: Should the deed transfer property, say from John and Mary Doe to the Doe Family Trust, transfer the property to the trust or to the trust's trustee(s). The older style was to the trust's trustee(s). Clark County now prefers that the deed transfer directly to the trust, rather than the trustees. Probably either form will work.