Escheating Despite Nevada Will

When a person dies without leaving any heirs, his/her property will escheat to the State of Nevada. This can also occur (although in extreme circumstances) even if you have a Last Will and Testament. This would happen if for example all the beneficiaries in your Nevada Will died before you, or where your Will is found to be invalid, and you had no other heirs.
If a decedent’s property is escheated and an heir turns up, then there is a procedure for recovering the estate. Escheating is governed by chapter 154 of the Nevada revised statutes: NRS 154.010 When estates escheat; escheated estates must be used for educational purposes. An estate escheats to and is vested in the State of Nevada for educational purposes if any person dies or has died, within this State, seised of any real or personal estate, and leaving no heirs, representatives or devisees capable of inheriting or holding the estate, and in all cases where there is no owner of the estate capable of holding it. Any balance remaining in a retired employee’s or beneficiary’s individual account under the Public Employees’ Retirement System or the Judicial Retirement System established pursuant to chapter 1A of NRS is not an estate within the meaning of this chapter. NRS 154.060 Claimants may appear and plead to information. 1. All persons named in the information may appear and plead to the proceedings, and may traverse or deny the facts stated in the information and the title of the State to the estate at any time on or before the return day of the citation. 2. Any other person claiming an interest in the property may appear and be made a defendant, and plead as stated in subsection 1 by petition for that purpose filed within the time allowed for pleading. 3. If any person appears and pleads as stated in subsections 1 and 2, denying the title claimed by the State, or traverses any material fact set forth in the information, or issue or issues of fact to be made up, the matter must proceed as other civil actions on issues of fact. 4. A survey may be ordered, as in other civil actions, if the boundary is called into question. NRS 154.120 Proceedings for recovery of property. 1. If, within 6 years after any judgment escheating property to the State, any person claims any money or property vested in the State by the judgment, the person may file a petition in the district court of Carson City, stating the nature of the claim, with an appropriate request for the relief demanded. 2. A copy of the petition must be served upon the Attorney General before or at the time of filing. Within 20 days after service, the Attorney General shall appear in the proceeding and plead or answer the petition. If, after examining all the facts, the Attorney General is convinced that the State has no legal defense against the petition, the Attorney General may, with the consent of the court, confess judgment on behalf of the State. 3. If judgment is not confessed, the petition is at issue on the 20th day after its filing, and may be heard by the court on that day, or at such future day as the court may order. 4. Upon the hearing, the court shall examine the claim and hear the allegations and evidence. If the court finds that the person is entitled to any money, it shall, by judgment, order the State Controller to draw a warrant in favor of the claimant upon the State Treasurer for the sum specified in the order, but without interest, income or cost of any kind to the state. A certified copy of the judgment and order directing the State Controller to draw the warrant for money is a sufficient voucher to do so. 5. If any property is the subject of the trial, and the court finds the claimant entitled to it, the court shall enter an order accordingly. The order divests the interests of the State in or to the property, but no interest, income or other cost of any kind may be taxed against the State. 6. If any property has been sold as provided in this chapter after the judgment of escheat, the petitioner is entitled to the proceeds of the sale less the cost of the sale without any interest, income or other cost to the State of any kind, in lieu of the property, and the court shall enter an order accordingly. 7. All persons, except minors and incapacitated persons, who fail to appear and file their petitions within the time limited in subsection 1 are barred forever. Minors and incapacitated persons may appear and file their petitions at any time within 5 years after their respective disabilities are removed. NRS 154.140 Deposit of money from escheated estates. All money received by the State from escheated estates must be deposited in the State Treasury for credit to the Fund for Escheated Estates which is hereby created as a trust fund.

Comments are closed.