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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

What is a child entitled to when a parent dies without a will?

Updated: 2 days ago

It's already challenging and painful to lose a loved one. However, in situations where there isn't a well-defined strategy for asset distribution, things might get considerably more difficult. In Nevada, if a parent dies without leaving a will, the court decides how the remaining family members will get the estate. This blog article will address the potential rights of a child in such a scenario and examines the consequences of Nevada's intestacy legislation.

Understanding Nevada Intestacy Law

If a parent dies without leaving a will, the court will divide their estate according to Nevada law. The division of assets under intestacy law is contingent upon whether the deceased parent had separate or community property and is referred to as "intestate succession."

Community Property

In Nevada, community property generally refers to assets acquired during the marriage, and it generally belongs to both spouses equally. According to the law, community property typically passes to the surviving spouse when a parent dies without a will. The surviving spouse will have the right to inherit the entire community property, including possessions and financial assets.

Separate Property

Separate property refers to assets owned solely by the deceased parent and acquired before the marriage or through individual means during the marriage. Without a will, separate property becomes a matter of division between the surviving spouse and the child or children.

Distribution of Separate Property

In the case of separate property, Nevada law mandates that the surviving spouse receives a specific portion of the estate, known as the "statutory share." The statutory share varies depending on whether the deceased parent has surviving children. If there is one surviving child, the spouse is entitled to one-half of the separate property, while the remaining half is divided equally among the children. If there are more than one surviving children then the spouse is entitled to one-third of the separate property and the children received two-thirds. If there are no surviving children, the surviving spouse will inherit the entire separate property.

Considerations for Children

When a parent dies without a will, the rights and entitlements of children are taken into account. The specific amount and distribution will depend on the property type and whether there is a surviving spouse.

Losing a parent is never easy, and the legal complexities surrounding the division of assets can further add to the emotional burden. In Nevada, when a parent dies without a will, the court relies on intestacy laws to determine the distribution of their estate.

While community property generally goes to the surviving spouse, separate property is divided between the spouse and children. Understanding the process and seeking legal guidance during such difficult times is crucial to ensure a fair and smooth distribution of assets.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as legal advice. For specific advice regarding your situation, it is recommended to consult with a qualified attorney specializing in estate planning and probate laws in Nevada.

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