Q: Can I withdraw funds from my recently deceased dad's fiduciary bank account if I'm on it & no one else will contest it?
I have been my dad's guardian for over 10 years. I am also his heir. I have one sibling who isn't interested in the account. My dad didn't have a will. He only had a bank account that has a 100k balance. He has no debt and no other assets. I am trying to avoid attorney fees, etc., when there is no one to contest anything. I don't know if I have a legal obligation to go through attorneys to close the guardianship and go through probate for the bank account or if I can withdraw the money without getting into legal trouble.
A: Appears your father died with a guardianship over his person and property. If so, final pleadings advising the guardianship court of his death. This will close out the guardianship. If your father died with the bank account you say no one else has an interest in the account, and you are not a pay on death devisee. Nevada law says the account is subject to probate, along with other assets with just his name thereon, and which have no pay on death designation. You take great risk taking the account without a court order causing significant negative effects upon you is someone does have a valid claim on your account, and where you have not paid your father's creditors. Your comment: "I am trying to avoid attorney fees, etc.,. . . " say your are stepping over dollars to save a few cents. The legal fees people spend in your position to get clear title typically go a long way to giving you peace of mind. Ultimately that is your call.
While there is no legal obligation to retain an attorney to close the guardianship, you are required to file a final account to terminate the guardianship. You should be aware that you cannot withdraw money from a guardianship account without a court order and these restrictions don't automatically terminate now that your father has passed. The Clark County District Court has a great Self-Help Center that may have the forms and provide some guidance.
In general, when an estate is $100,000 or less, you can request the estate be "set aside" without the need to complete a full probate administration. NRS 159 relates to guardianship and provides that you can even request the set aside in the final account petition. Just because your brother has indicated he has no interest in the estate, he is still an heir and would be entitled to his intestate share. However, this can be easily addressed by his execution of an Assignment of his interest to you.
Hope this helps!
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