nevada laws Archives - Morris Law Center

Do Wills Help You Avoid Probate?

I receive a lot of questions from potential clients about wills and there’s a common misconception that if you have a will then you will avoid probate. That’s not necessarily true in most cases.

You wouldn’t do a will in order to avoid probate. What a will is, is a document that outlines your wishes and what will happen when you pass away. In that document, you have the ability to name―what’s called a personal representative of your estate―which is the executor of your estate or the manager of your estate. This is only a temporary position until everything has been distributed to the heirs, so it’s not a long-term commitment.

This representative will go by the terms of your will and make sure everything is distributed accordingly. So, a will gives you the ability to control where your assets go. A lot of people do this just to make sure that everything goes where they want it to because if you don’t have one of these, the court is going to have to look to the statute to determine how your assets are distributed.  This is called intestate succession. There are intestate succession statutes in every state, including Nevada, that guide the court as to who will receive your stuff when you pass away. For example, if we have a married couple that has one child and the husband passes away and there’s no will, then what’s going to happen by Nevada statute is that 100% of the community property will go to the wife, 50% of the separate property will go to the wife and 50% of the separate property will go to the child, whether the child is a minor or not.

To expand on this, Nevada is a community property state, so the community property would automatically go to the wife. But the separate property of the husband is what would be distributed 50/50 to both the wife and the child. It goes down from there. So, if you aren’t married and you don’t have any children, then it would go to your parents. If your parents aren’t alive, then it goes to any siblings you have. If you have no siblings, then it goes down the line. And at the end, if you have absolutely no heirs that the Court can determine, then the court has to give your assets to the state of Nevada. It doesn’t happen very often, but it can happen. This is why people do wills because they want to make sure that their assets go to the people, they want them to go to.

In sum, with a will you have the ability to name the manager of your estate and decide who gets what. That’s the benefit of having a will versus just going by the statute because then you have absolutely no control.

Many people also have certain heirlooms that they want to go to certain people. If that’s the case, then that’s something that you can do within will as well. You can also include lists. Let’s say you have a Rolex and you want it to go to your daughter or your son then you can include that in the will and it’ll go to the right person. The reason to do this is because it helps your heirs, in other words, the people that you leave behind. Because if you don’t, then a lot of times, unfortunately when someone passes away, everybody gets very upset and there’s inner family fighting about who gets what. So at least if you have a will in place, they have a guideline and they have to abide by it.  It prevents or at least controls some of the fighting. And that’s another reason if you do have heirlooms to go ahead and designate who they go to rather than leaving it up to everybody to decide because there may be some fighting involved.

So that is why you would want to will―it’s the most basic estate plan that you can have and most attorneys, including my firm, provide it as part of a package. If you get a will, then you’re also going to have two other documents in this package. One is called a power of attorney over health care and one is called a power of attorney over financial decisions.  I will discuss these two other documents in another blog.


For more information, please contact our Las Vegas estate planning attorney at (702) 850-7798.

Litigation: Submitting Orders Under The New Rules

At our firm, one of us is in court on almost a daily basis, and we deal with the requirement to submit proposed orders frequently. The rules of civil procedure were significantly altered recently, and those changes went into force on March 1, 2019. The way those amendments interact with the Eighth District Court Rules can be confusing at times.

The local Rules of Practice for the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada (“EDCR”) state that proposed orders should be submitted to the court within 10 days. The rule is EDCR 7.21, specifically. However, under the Rules of Civil Procedure which were in place at the time EDCR 7.21 was drafted, that referred to 10 Court days. See e.g. Administrative Order 19-03; NRCP 6(a) (2017).

The changes to NRCP which took effect on March 1st, 2019 caused the issuance of Administrative Order 19-03 which suspends some rules and directs that the rest be interpreted to reasonably comply with the revisions to the NRCP. Id. The most reasonable way to reconcile the EDCR with the revisions is to find that time to submit a proposed order is within 14 calendar days from the time of a verbal order. See ADKT 0522 (revising the NRCP and stating that in general deadlines which were for 6 to 15 days are adjusted to 14 days).

Under the new rules, in some cases, 10 judicial days can turn out to be longer than 14 calendar days when there are intervening holidays.

At Morris Law Center, we love to dig into the technicalities of the rules. As such, if you are an opposing attorney, do not expect to catch us slipping. However, if you are a fan of legal procedure, give us a call to discuss further.

6 Things You Need to Know About Nevada Marijuana Laws in 2019

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada by a ballot initiative in November of 2016, and since then, the industry has boomed. In the first year, revenue from legal sales was 25% more than initially projected[1], with total tax revenue of $69.8 million.[2] What’s more, these first-year figures are set to be surpassed by this year’s numbers.[3] Needless to say, recreational marijuana is becoming a prominent Nevada industry, and more and more average citizens are coming into contact with it. However, just because it is legal state-wide doesn’t mean there aren’t myriad restrictions to follow; marijuana is still a controlled substance. So, to help clear up the confusion, here are some basic things to know about growing, buying, and consuming recreational marijuana in Nevada:

1. Only adults over the age of 21 can legally buy, grow, and consume marijuana.[4]

CLICK HERE to read the full story on The Vegas Post.