Las Vegas, NV asked in Probate for Nevada

Q: Does NRS 134.160 apply to my situation?

NRS 134.160  Kindred of half blood.  Kindred of the half blood inherit equally with those of the whole blood in the same degree, unless the inheritance comes to the decedent by descent or devise from an ancestor, in which case all those who are not of the blood of the ancestor are excluded from the inheritance.

Mom & dad shared joint tenancy of our family home. When mom died, dad & I paid off the mortgage. A year later dad died w/out a will. Since dad inherited mom’s share of the house through joint tenancy, does NRS 134.160 apply to my half-sister, (dad’s daughter)? Is my half sister excluded from inheritance? I don't have current contact info for half-sister, only that I think she lives in Oklahoma.

Since I don't have current contact info for her do I still need to publish notice?

The home is only thing in mom & dad’s estate there's no outstanding debt that I am aware of for either of my parents. Probate was not done for my mom, will I need to do a separate Probate for her?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Jonathan Craig Reed

Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in Nevada

A: The easy answer is that if the house was truly held in joint tenancy by Mom and Dad, Dad owns the whole house upon Mom's death. (You or your lawyer can file an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant with attached death certificates on both to move the ownership from joint to your father's estate.)

The second easy answer is that at least as to your father's half of the house, his daughter, your half sister, is entitled to share equally with you.

The hardest question to answer is whether the portion of the house owned by your mother (not the mother of your half-sister) goes entirely to you. Honestly, I have not had a case in Nevada where this issue was raised.

Yes, you will have to publish a Notice of the Hearing if you cannot serve your half-sister by mail. (If the net value of the estate is $300,000 or more you will have to publish anyway.)

Further complicating matters you say when your Mom died, you and your Dad paid off the mortgage. If your half sister appears wanting her share I think a fair approach might be to suggest you take half the value of the mortgaged house when your Mom died plus the amount you gave your Dad to pay off the mortgage and that you split the rest with your half-sister.

Lawyers could make other division arguments. However, if you can work out a deal with your half-sister you can negotiate a discount for the probate with a lawyer like me, whereas if you and your sister each hire a lawyer to fight over this, you will be surprised by how much of the estate can be eaten up by lawyers' fees when the clock is ticking at a few hundred buck per hour for each lawyer.

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