Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Nevada
My father recently passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was married to a very uncooperative woman, so I have no way of knowing if my father had a will, life insurance, etc. I also believe he had taken out a policy on me when I was a child. Is there any way to find out if any of the above documents even exist without her cooperation? Thank you.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Legally, if there is a will in the wife's possession she must file it with the Clark County court. However, wills are usually not filed unless someone needs to file the will to begin a probate proceeding. Often there is no need to do a probate since all of the property that has a title or a name (cars, bank accounts, real estate, etc.) may be in some form of joint ownership that avoids probate. There is no criminal penalty for failing to file the will.
If the wife starts a probate proceeding you are legally required to be given notice.
If the wife does not start a probate you can start a probate, but the downside of this is that as you have described the circumstances it is not clear if there is any money in the estate you will need to pay an attorney up front to start a probate proceeding that may or may not result in any money.
If your father took out a policy "on you" then he would be the beneficiary if you died.