PROBATE & TRUST RULES OF
PRACTICE FOR THE EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA

APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEVADA

Effective March 1, 1994 and Including Amendments Through
September 1, 2014

PART IV. PROBATE; TRUSTS AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES

 

Editor Note: This page only contains local probate rules. The entirety of the Rules of Practice for the Eighth Judicial District can be found here. These rules are current as of November 7, 2015.  This page is not published, maintained or endorsed in any way by the any court or government agency.  It is provided as a public service by Nevada probate attorney Thomas R. Grover, Esq.  Use of this website is subject to the terms of this disclaimer

Rule 4.01. Scope of rules.

Rule 4.02. Probate judge.

Rule 4.03. Probate commissioner, generally.

Rule 4.04. Authority of the probate commissioner.

Rule 4.05. Probate commissioner’s reports and recommendations.

Rule 4.06. Objections to probate commissioner’s reports and recommendations.

Rule 4.07. Judicial review by probate judge of probate commissioner’s
reports and recommendations.

Rule 4.08. Transfer to the probate judge.

Rule 4.10. Calendars.

Rule 4.11. Filings of matters before probate court and
assignment of case numbers.

Rule 4.13. List of approved, deficient and heard
matters.

Rule 4.14. Approved matters.

Rule 4.16. Contested matters.

Rule 4.17. Discovery in contested/litigated matters.

Rule 4.18. Discovery disputes.

Rule 4.19. Settlement conferences.

Rule 4.20. Continuances.

Rule 4.30. Consolidation/Coordination with the lowest number.

Rule 4.40. Petitions for probate of wills and/or codicils.

Rule 4.50. Content of probate orders.

 

 

 

Rule 4.01. Scope of rules.

Part IV governs the practice and procedure of all proceedings under Title 12 and chapters 162 through 167 of Title 13 of the NRS.

 

Rule 4.02. Probate judge.

The chief judge for the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada shall be designated as the probate judge. The chief judge may, however, in the chief judge’s discretion, appoint one district court judge to serve as the probate judge in the chief judge’s stead. The chief judge shall also have the discretion to designate one or more additional district court judges as alternate probate judge(s) to hear probate matters in the event that the probate judge is disqualified from hearing a matter or if
the probate judge is unable to accommodate a matter for any good cause in the discretion of the probate judge.

 

Rule 4.03. Probate commissioner, generally.

(a) All probate and trust proceedings under Title 12 and chapters 162 through 167 of Title 13 of the NRS are automatically referred to the probate commissioner. subject to Rule 4.08. The probate commissioner shall be deemed a special master as governed and defined under NRCP 53 and these rules.

(b) A district court judge may refer any other matter to the probate, commissioner for recommendation unless prohibited by law. Such referral may be by application of a party to the action or on the judge’s own initiative.

(c) In any civil action in which the capacity or standing of a party to represent a decedent or an estate is in question, any district court judge may refer the matter to the probate commissioner for
determination of standing or capacity. The probate commissioner shall conduct a review of all necessary documents, conduct hearings as needed, prepare and file a written report containing findings, conclusions, and a recommendation for resolution as provided under these rules.

(d) The probate commissioner shall hear and make recommendations on all matters assigned to the probate commissioner, except those matters that require disqualification or those matters that are referred or removed to the probate judge or the chief judge’s designee as provided under these rules. The probate commissioner shall disclose on the record the basis of the probate commissioner’s disqualification and shall ask the parties and their lawyers to consider, out of the presence of the probate commissioner, whether to waive disqualification. If, following disclosure of any basis for disqualification other than personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, the parties and lawyers all agree that the probate commissioner should not be disqualified, and the probate commissioner is willing to participate, the probate commissioner may participate in the proceeding. The agreement shall be incorporated in the record of the proceeding.

 

Rule 4.04. Authority of the probate commissioner.

(a) The probate commissioner shall have the following authority on those matters heard before the probate commissioner:

(1) To receive oral, documentary, and tangible evidence and to establish a record;

(2) To make findings of fact, recommended conclusions of law, and recommendations for the provisions and enforcement of any order; and

(3) To exercise any other power or duty contained in an order issued by the probate judge.

(b) The probate commissioner may recommend a district court judge to make an immediate determination of appropriate sanctions for contemptuous behavior, issue a bench warrant, quash a warrant, or release persons arrested thereon.

(c) The probate commissioner may perform the duties of any other duly appointed master or commissioner as the administration of justice may require and as authorized under Rule 53(c) of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d) The probate commissioner may make appropriate sanctions for a party’s failure to comply with the applicable statutes or rules of the court.

 

Rule 4.05. Probate commissioner’s reports and recommendations.

(a) Within a reasonable time after the evidence presented is closed in a contested matter that is heard by the probate commissioner, the probate commissioner shall file his or her report
setting forth written findings of fact, recommended conclusions of law, and recommended form of order, which shall also be served on the parties entitled to notice.

(b) The probate commissioner may direct counsel for a party to prepare the report. which shall be delivered to the probate commissioner no later than 10 judicial days after the probate commissioner so directs, unless the probate commissioner shall designate some other time period. In contested proceedings, such attorney shall serve a copy of the proposed report upon counsel for all parties who have appeared at the hearing and are affected by the report, unless otherwise directed by the
probate commissioner, and submit proof of such service to the probate commissioner with the proposed report. Except ,when the probate commissioner believes it is appropriate to immediately enter the report, the probate commissioner will wait 5 judicial days before entering the report to enable the submission of a competing report by counsel for another party.

(c) Promptly upon the probate commissioner’s execution of the proposed report, the attorney charged with drafting the report shall serve a copy of the report on all parties. If the probate commissioner drafts the report, the probate commissioner may effect service or direct one of the parties to perfect service of the same. The report is deemed received 3 judicial days after mailing to a party or a party’s attorney or on the day a copy of the report is hand-delivered to a party or a party’s attorney as demonstrated by an executed receipt.

(d) The parties may stipulate to immediate entry of an order on the probate commissioner’s recommendation.

 

Rule 4.06. Objections to probate commissioner’s reports and recommendations.

 (a) Within 10 judicial days after being served with a copy of the report, any party may file with the clerk of the court and serve on the probate judge and the other parties a written request for judicial review of the matter by the probate judge, together with specific written objections to the recommendations set forth in the probate commissioner’s report and any additional points and authorities. Such judicial review will be subject to review by the probate judge. A courtesy copy of the written request or objection shall be delivered to the probate judge at the time of service on all other parties.

(b) Upon filing of a timely request for judicial review, the matter will be transferred to the probate judge and be placed by the clerk of the court for hearing before the probate judge. Unless otherwise ordered by the probate judge, the hearing shall be set on the next available probate calendar but no less than 20 days from the date of filing the request.

(c) Within 10 judicial days after the service of the written objections, the opposing party may file an opposition thereto, together with a memorandum of points and authorities, if any, stating reasons showing why the relief requested should be denied. A moving party may file a reply memorandum of points and authorities not later than 5 judicial days before the matter is set for hearing.

(d) Failure to file and serve such request and written objections within the 10-day period will result in the automatic affirmance of the probate commissioner’s recommendation by the probate judge.

 

Rule 4.07. Judicial review by probate judge of probate commissioner’s reports and recommendations.

(a) Judicial review of a final recommendation of the probate commissioner will be confined to the record. together with the specific written objections.

(b) On judicial review of cases concerning alleged irregularities in procedure of a contested probate matter heard by the probate commissioner that are not shown in the record. the probate judge may receive evidence concerning the alleged irregularities. including allegations of ex parte communications between the probate commissioner and a party or any other irregularities that would tend to diminish the public’s confidence In the court’s independence, impartiality, and/or integrity.

(c) Pending the probate judge’s review of any objection to the probate commissioner’s report, parties shall refrain from taking any action inconsistent with the probate commissioner’s
recommendations. unless otherwise ordered by the probate judge. The probate judge may affirmatively enforce the probate commissioner’s recommendation pending the probate judge’s review.

 

Rule 4.08. Transfer to the probate
judge.

In any matter referred to the probate commissioner, each party is entitled, as a matter of right, to have any contested matter heard before the probate judge provided that the probate commissioner has not made any ruling on such contested matter or commenced hearing such contested matter. A party wishing to exercise such right shall make the request to the probate commissioner in writing or orally prior to commencing the hearing on any contested matter. The probate commissioner shall
place the matter on the probate judge’s calendar for hearing before the probate judge at the probate judge’s next available hearing date. The probate judge may, upon resolution of the contested matter, return the case to the probate commissioner’s calendar or retain the case at the discretion of the probate judge.

 

Rule 4.10. Calendars.

Subject to change by order of the chief judge, the probate calendar will be heard every Friday at 9:30 a.m. If a legal holiday falls on a Friday, the probate calendar for that week will be heard at such time as set by the probate judge or probate commissioner, as approved by the probate judge. All papers filed before the probate commissioner shall indicate “PC1” in the
department designation (e.g. Department No. PC1) and the hearing date noticed (e.g .. Hearing date: mmldd/yy).

 

Rule 4.11. Filings of matters before probate court and assignment of case numbers.

(a) All matters filed in probate court shall begin with the letter “P,” followed by the assigned case
number, followed by an “E” for estate matters or a “T” for trust matters by the clerk of the court (e.g P-123456-E or P-123456-T).

(b) Each trust over which the court is requested to assume jurisdiction must be filed as a separate case number absent an order from the probate judge permitting otherwise. This rule does not
apply to subtrusts created under a trust (e.g a survivor’s trust and a marital trust under a family trust).

(c) Petitions related to a decedent’s probate estate administration may not the
filed in the same case as matters involving an inter vivos trust established by, or for the benefit of the decedent absent an order of the probate judge permitting otherwise.

 

Rule 4.13. List of approved, deficient and heard matters.

 (a) Under the supervision of the probate judge. the probate commissioner must prepare a list of probate matters that are scheduled for hearing. Such list shall be finalized and posted on the
probate court’s official website prior to 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to hearing.

(b) The list shall designate each matter as being “approved” or requiring a hearing that is designated
as “court’s discretion.” The list shall also indicate whether the hearing has been continued and the new hearing date.

(c) In addition to the above, the list may, in the discretion of the probate commissioner, identify those cases scheduled for hearing that are deficient for hearing or determination and the basis for such deficiency to allow parties to correct such deficiencies prior to 12:00 p.m. on the day prior to hearing. The probate commissioner may then designate such matters as “approved” or as requiring a hearing.

 

Rule 4.14. Approved matters.

(a) Any matter designated as “approved” on the list described in Rule 4.13 may be heard without an
appearance by the parties and/or their counsel. In order to be approved, the following shall be strictly observed:

(1) All petitions must be verified.

(2) The petitions filed must be without objection.

(3) Death certificates, where applicable, must be attached to the initial petition as an exhibit.

(4) Where a bond is required, the petition must set forth with particularity the personal property
of the estate together with the estimated amount of annual income from all
sources.

(b) The original proposed order, together with any copies to be conformed, shall be delivered to the probate commissioner not later than 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday of the week the matter is to
be heard. For failure to comply with this rule, the probate commissioner may, in the probate commissioner’s discretion. continue the hearing for 1 week from the noticed hearing date or vacate the hearing to enable compliance with this rule.

(c) Proof of service through an affidavit of mailing or certificate of mailing must be filed contemporaneously or immediately after the actual mailing has taken place. All proof of service
and proof of publication must be filed no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Thursday of the week the matter is to be heard.

(d) At the time of the hearing, the probate commissioner shall read the docket of all cases and matters scheduled for hearing that have been designated as “approved” and inquire as to whether there are any persons present wishing to object to such approved matters. If no objections are so made, the probate commissioner will recommend, approval to the probate judge without further
hearing on such matters. If, however, any person appears and indicates a desire to contest or object to the relief requested the probate commissioner may take the following actions:

(1) If the petitioning party and such party’s counsel are not present, the probate commissioner will ordinarily continue the matter to the next appropriate probate calendar date, if necessary, to allow all interested parties to be noticed of the objection. The probate commissioner may also direct the objecting or contesting party to file a written objection to the petition prior to the continued hearing date and may thereupon grant or otherwise act upon the petition if such written objection is not so timely filed.

(2) If the petitioning party or his or her counsel is present, the probate commissioner may elect to hear the matter at such time to determine whether the matter is the proper subject of objection, whether the matter may in fact be ruled on at such time, or whether a continuance of the matter is appropriate. Subject to the provisions of Rule 4.08, the probate commissioner may, as appropriate, thereupon hear the matter, continue the matter, impose a briefing schedule, set a discovery schedule as set forth under Rule 4.17, direct the parties to a settlement conference as set forth under Rule 4.19, and/or otherwise process the matter.

 

Rule 4.16. Contested matters.

At the time of the hearing, the probate commissioner shall consider the matters set to be heard. The probate commissioner may, as appropriate, hear the matter. continue the matter, impose a briefing schedule, set a discovery schedule as set forth under Rule 4.17, direct the parties to a settlement conference as set forth under Rule 4.19, and/or otherwise process the matter.

Rule 4.17. Discovery in contested/litigated matters.

(a) In contested matters. before the probate commissioner involving disputed issues of material fact. the probate commissioner shall set an evidentiary hearing date and a discovery schedule
after receiving input from the attorneys for the parties and any unrepresented parties. Such settings shall be made at the time of the hearing on the initial petition commencing the litigation or at the request of any party thereto. In matters that have been transferred to the probate judge pursuant to Rule 4.08. the probate judge may set the hearing date and a discovery schedule under this rule on its own initiative or at the request of any party.

(b) The probate commissioner or the probate judge may. as appropriate limit the time to:

(1) Complete discovery obligations:

(2) Join other parties and to amend the pleadings: and

(3) File and hear dispositive motions.

(c) The probate commissioner or the probate judge, where appropriate, may set any additional deadlines provided for under NRCP 16 and 16.1 as deemed necessary or appropriate based on the nature and scope of the contested issues to be determined at the evidentiary hearing.

 

Rule 4.18. Discovery disputes.

(a) In contested matters before the probate commissioner, all discovery disputes must first be heard by the probate commissioner, his or her designee, or a special master approved by the parties, unless otherwise ordered by the probate judge.

(1) Upon reasonable notice. the probate commissioner may direct the parties to appear for a
conference with the probate commissioner concerning any discovery dispute. Unless otherwise directed. points and authorities need not be filed prior to a conference noticed by the probate commissioner. Counsel may not stipulate to vacate or continue a conference without the probate commissioner’s consent.

(2) The probate commissioner may shorten or extend any of the times provided for in Rule 2.20 on any discovery motion.

(3) Discovery motions may not be filed unless an affidavit of moving counsel attached thereto setting forth that after a discovery dispute conference or a good faith effort to confer, counsel have been unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily. A conference requires either a personal or telephone conference between or among counsel as provided in Rule 2.34. Moving counsel must set forth in the affidavit what attempts to resolve the discovery dispute were made, what was resolved and what was not resolved, and the reasons therefore. If a personal or telephone conference was not possible, the affidavit shall set forth the reasons. If the responding counsel fails to answer the discovery, the affidavit shall set forth what good faith attempts were made to obtain compliance. If, after request, responding counsel fails to participate in good faith in the conference or to answer the discovery, the court may require such counsel to pay to any other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure. When a party is not represented by counsel. the party shall comply with this rule.

(4) The probate commissioner may stay any disputed discovery proceeding pending resolution by the probate judge.

(5) Following the hearing of any discovery motion. the probate commissioner must prepare and file a report with a recommendation for the court’s order in accordance with Rule 4.05. Within 10 judicial days after being served with a copy of the report, any party may file with the clerk of court and serve on the other parties a written request for judicial review of the matter by the probate judge in accordance with Rule 4.06.

(6) Papers or other materials submitted for the probate commissioner’s in camera inspection must be accompanied by a captioned cover sheet complying with Rule 7.20 which indicates that it is being submitted in camera. All in camera submissions must also contain an index of the specific items submitted. A copy of the index must be furnished to all other parties. If the in camera materials consist of documents, counsel must provide to the probate commissioner an envelope of
sufficient size into which the in camera papers can be sealed without being folded.

(b) In contested matters before the probate judge all discovery disputes must first be heard by the discovery commissioner) and the parties shall resolve such disputes in accordance with Rule 2.34 unless otherwise ordered.

 

Rule 4.19. Settlement conferences.

At the request of any party or on the court’s own motion. the probate judge or the probate commissioner may direct the parties to participate in a settlement conference in the manner set
forth under Rule 2.51.

Rule 4.20. Continuances.

(a) For good cause. the probate commissioner has the discretion to vacate or continue matters.

(b) At the call of the calendar, if a matter is not ready for hearing or approved, it may be continued from week to week for not more than 4 weeks. After the fourth continuance, it will be ordered off calendar unless a motion for further continuance is granted by the court. If a continuance is requested, the probate commissioner must be notified not later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday of the week the matter is to be heard. A later request will be considered only by the court upon a showing of good cause.

(c) At the call of the calendar, if objection or exception is taken to any matter on the approved list, and petitioner or petitioner’s counsel is not present, the court shall continue the matter and provide notice thereof to petitioner or petitioner’s counsel in any case wherein the court may effect a substantial change in the relief prayed for unless the probate commissioner determines that the objection is not meritorious or otherwise not grounded in applicable law.

(d) If an objecting party fails to file a written objection to a matter set for hearing or files and serves a written objection to a petition later than 4:00 p.m. on the Wednesday of the week the matter is to be heard, the non-objecting party may, as a matter of right, request to continue the matter for 1 week to allow the non-objecting party to file a written response to the objection. If a continuance is
requested in the manner so provided herein, the probate commissioner must grant such continuance unless it would be manifestly unjust to do so.

 

Rule 4.30. Consolidation/Coordination with the lowest number.

 (a) Whenever it appears that two or more petitions with different numbers have been filed with reference to the same probate or trust matter, the court may on its own motion consolidate or
in its discretion coordinate, all of the matters with the matter bearing the lowest number.

(b) Where a complete consolidation of proceedings is ordered, the clerk, unless otherwise ordered by the court, must file such consolidated proceeding and all subsequent papers relating thereto under the number assigned to the case which was filed first.

 

Rule 4.40. Petitions for probate of wills and/or codicils.

(a) When a petition for probate of a will and/or a codicil is filed and the original of the instrument being offered for probate is not already lodged with the clerk of the court, it must be lodged concurrently with the filing of the petition. If the instrument is holographic, a typewritten copy of the instrument must also accompany the petition. The caption must clearly indicate the nature of the petition filed; e.g., Petition for Probate of Will and for Issuance of Letters Testamentary; Petition for Probate of Will and for Issuance of Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed; Petition for Letters of Administration.

(b) In addition to lodging the original instrument with the clerk of the court, copies of any documents offered for probate must be attached to the petition for examination by the probate commissioner.

 

Rule 4.50. Content of probate orders.

 All orders or decrees in probate or trust matters shall set forth completely all matters actually passed on by the court and shall not merely refer to corresponding provisions of the petition. Probate or trust orders should be so drawn that their general effect may be determined without reference to the petition on which they are based. Orders must not be drawn so that only the signature of the court, or the date and signature, appear on a page, nor may any matter appear after the signature of the court, except that the name, address, and signature of the submitting attorney must appear on all orders below the judge’s signature line.