Deadline For Starting A Probate

In Nevada there is no time limit or statute of limitations to do a probate.

However, it is possible for a stranger (no relation to the decedent) to start a probate. This may be done because a lawyer or realtor is looking to make a fee, or a creditor to get paid. This is not typical but we have had clients call about this situation.

Also, if a person is claiming under a Will and this person would get a smaller amount or nothing in the absence of the Will, failure to timely file the Will (within 30 days after death) could cause a probate to proceed under the law providing for who gets what when there is no Will. See Filing A Will.

Examples Of When A Probate May Occur Years After

  • Example 1:
    Suppose Husband owns a house in his own name only, or, suppose by some screw-up the home is titled to him and his wife as tenants in common instead of as joint tenants (see Probate Terms & Definitions). He dies. The Wife continues to live in the house and pays the mortgage and the taxes and the HOA fees, if any, and keeps up the property so that no governmental agency issues citations. No one interferes with her occupation of the house. Then the Wife dies 20 years later. Now there will have to be a probate involving the long dead husband, along with a probate involving the wife's property.

    Please Note: It would appear that the wife "got away with" not doing a probate on her husband's estate for 20 years. However, if she had insurance on the house and had to make a claim for damages, she might have had her claimed denied since the policy would be in the name of the husband and he's obviously not around to make the claim.
  • Example 2: An Asset Might Not Be Discovered Until Years After Death
    For example, a man had a savings account, dies and the account just sits in the bank with none of the heirs knowing about it.

Practical Reasons To Probate Promptly

There are usually practical reasons to do a probate fairly promptly.

  • Heirs may want to get to financial assets that have to go through probate.

    In the above example of the wife living in the husband's house after his death, suppose there is an accidental fire that destroys the house. Even if the wife has paid the annual insurance premiums addressed to her dead husband, the insurance company may balk at paying the claim since the dead husband, not the wife is the "insured."

    Or, suppose the decedent left only a parcel of real estate that isn't worth much and none of the heirs shows any interest in the real estate. Taxes will become due and if no one pays the taxes, the real estate will eventually be sold for the taxes due.

  • Another heir could petition the court to act as the personal representative.
    This issue may arise if the person most entitled to begin the probate process (the person named as the executor in the will, or the closest relative entitled to do the probate if there is no will or living named executor who will serve) never gets around to beginning the probate.