Nevada law discriminates against out of state administrators but not against out of state executors. Executors are people named in a will (and then appointed by the Court) to handle the estate after death. Administrators handle the estate if there is no will or if no Executor named in the will is willing or able to serve.
The rationale for this is that if a person writes a will and says John Doe is to be trusted to handle my estate, that is good enough for the court. But if a person dies without a will (and thus without having named a trustworthy person to handle the estate) the Court wants someone who lives in state to be held accountable. You might wonder if there is only one heir, for example an unmarried parent dies leaving only one adult child as the person who inherits without a will, can this person, say Jane Doe in Ohio, the sole heir, act as administrator since "she could only cheat herself" if she didn't do her job correctly. But, Probate Courts also view their job as protecting estate creditors, so even in this example, Jane cannot serve as the sole Administrator because she is not a Nevada resident.
3 Choices To Handle The Estate
If we get a call from this hypothetical Jane we can offer Jane three choices as to how to handle the estate:
- Find A Person In The State Trusted to be Co-Administrator
Usually the relative wants to be a hands on administrator, coming to Nevada to sell the estate property. If this is the case with Jane Doe we will ask her if she has a person in Nevada she trusts who could be the Nevada Resident Co-Administrator. It might be that there was neighbor who was friends with her dad that Jane trusts and the neighbor will be willing to serve as Nevada Resident Co-Administrator along with Jane.
- Use A Responsible Office Person In Our Building (Not A Reed & Mansfield Employee) To Serve As Co-Administrator
Perhaps, Jane doesn't know or trust anyone in Nevada who is willing to be a Co-Administrator. If Jane will do all the work and there is no fighting involved, then we can find a responsible office person in our building (not one of our employees) who will serve as Nevada resident Co-Administrator, usually for a fee of $500 for estates under $200,000 or $1,000 for estates over $200,000. For example, in a million dollar probate the out of state co-adminstrator heir did all the work and a lady in the office building I work in (not my employee) agreed to be the Nevada resident co-administrator for a fee of $1,000. (The statutory administrator's fee for a $1,000,000 probate is $21,500 and 50% of that would be $10,750 so we were able to save the estate quite a bit of money.)
- Professional Administrator
If there are other relatives who will be making nasty calls to the Administrator or if Jane out in Ohio doesn't want to come to Nevada to clean out Dad's house and sell his tools, then the third choice is a professional administrator. Our choice of a professional administrator (in the Las Vegas area) is the Clark County Public Administrator. The Public Administrator can quickly move to secure assets, has experience in selling assets and gets things done right. The Public Administrator for estates over $100,000 will generally charge the statutory administrator's fees ($3,150 on the first $100,000 of assets, plus 2% of anything over that.) For estates under $100,000 that might be time consuming, the Public Administrator will usually charge an hourly fee. We have been impressed with the competence and diligence of the Clark County Public Administrator's office. All other things being equal, for a Clark County probate, the Public Administrator would be our first recommendation for a hands on administrator. There are also private professional administrators.
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