Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Nevada

What happens after death to a single person's property that lives in an apartment? They do not have a will but they do have grown children.

Asked on 6/05/13, 2:11 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Rick Williams Law Offices of Frederick D. (Rick) Williams, Chtd.

If it is a rented apartment, and the deceased person is the only one who signed the lease contract with the owner or property manager, there generally is no legal claim by surviving relatives to the apartment, itself. The personal property contents of the home must be claimed by the relatives who can legally make such a claim, but the property may not just be sold off or disposed of by the apartment manager without giving a good faith opportunity for survivors to make such a claim on it.

Under Nevada law, if the total value of all the decedent's property is less than $20,000, the family can make such a claim using something called an "Affidavit of Entitlement." That is a pretty simple form that can be drafted by any competent estate planning or probate attorney in Nevada for a fairly minimal cost. With that in hand, the rightful heirs can go claim the apartment's contents, as well as any vehicle that may have been left behind.

Recognize that rent continues to be due and will accrue until the apartment is completely vacated and cleaned up for the next tenant. Any costs incurred by the owner in cleaning or otherwise preparing it for the next occupant will come out of the security deposit and any damages may comprise another claim by the owner that could be assessed against the estate of the former tenant. Final bills will have to be settled before the claim is completely finalized and the property properly disbursed.

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Answered on 6/07/13, 12:24 pm

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