Chelan, WA asked in Probate for Nevada

Q: Can you sue an administrator of a probate because you were never notified of the death. They sold house.

Washoe County, dad's house prior to meeting stepmom,. 3 adult step brothers and stepmom all move in, dad died, later stepmom died and 1 by 1 step brothers die. I am the daughter that grew up in that house long before dad meet these people. I was never notified of any deaths except my dad's. Last step brother died leaves house to his niece and I again am not notified. Accidentally found out when probate is almost over and house has been sold. Any remaing items, well I don't know where my family's stuff went, the niece who's now the administrator of step bros will. Does not notify me and yes she knows who I am. She sold the home, kept all the money from the sale and won't give me things that were my family's,, I want to sue her for not notifying me and I'm a definite interested party, sue her for the proceeds from the sale of MY family's home and all the separate property that was my dad's before he married this person. What can I do to get my fair share

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kirk Kaplan
Kirk Kaplan
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in Nevada

A: I am so sorry to read what you father did to you. I suspect, but do not know for sure, you have no cause of action against the administrator. Other colleagues of mine may think differently. Here is what I think happened: Your father placed your step-mother on title as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. That way she got the house at his death. Whether you father understood his action, his naming your step-mother as a joint tenant disinherited you. By operation of law, she was the survivor, and thus received the full title to the house without probate. To check out whether my suspicion is correct, you will need to find the deed that was vested (recorded) at the date of your father's death. You can navigate to the Washoe County Assessor's office website and find the deed for the house.

Typically, people do this in order to be sure their spouse gets the residence if the other dies. Seldom do people consider the consequences to the family, people like you, for their actions. May times people similar to your father, have a belief their second spouse will take care of his children - and I sad to write, the surviving spouse typically does not. Instead the surviving spouse passes the property along to her children. People unintentionally set their family on fire because they rely upon unproven beliefs, misc information from friends or from non legal authorities, and simply to avoid paying "expensive" attorney fees. For a fee of a few thousand dollars, your father could have taken care of your mother-in-law and taken care of you - all at the same time.

If what I believe happened to you is true, the most you can do is learn from your father's mis-step and do not do follow his mistake by disinheriting your children / family.

Again, I am sorry to have read your circumstance. I wish you well.

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