Nevada Estate and Trust Attorney

How to Transfer a House after Death in Nevada?

Use a Nevada Transfer on Death Deed to Avoid Probate

Deed Upon Death Nevada

What happens to real property upon the death of the owner? Did you know that transferring a house after death in Nevada can be a complex and confusing process? Or it can be fairly simple.  It depends upon how title is held at the owner’s death . 

In fact, there are several legal requirements and options to consider. So, if you’re curious about how to navigate the intricacies of transferring real property in Nevada on the death of the grantor, keep reading.

I hope to provide you with some important information that could make a significant difference in ensuring a smooth transfer on death of property and peace of mind for your loved ones.

Passing real property with a deed upon death is one way for the owner of the property to avoid probate. But may not be the best. 

Understanding When Property Must Pass Through Probate

To understand how property is transferred after death, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the probate laws. The probate process refers to the legal procedure that takes place after someone passes away owning an interest in the property. It involves the court overseeing the administration and distribution of the deceased person’s assets, paying off any outstanding debts and taxes, and ultimately transferring the remaining property to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries that inherit the property.

Whether property must go through the probate court process or not, depends on how it is titled at death. A property will be subject to probate if title to the property is solely in an individual’s name.  

Jointly Held Property – Is It With Rights of Survivorship?

If the property is held as community property with right of survivorship or as joint tenants, the property will pass to the surviving spouse or joint tenant by operation of law.  When one of the owners dies, an affidavit of death or affidavit terminating the joint tenancy is recorded in the recorder’s office of the county where the property is located.

Holding property as tenants in common, although a form of jointly held property, does not avoid probate. This is because the tenants in common form of ownership does not include “rights of survivorship”. 

Similarly, if the deed says that spouses hold title to the property as “community property” and does not include the rights of survivorship language, the deceased spouse’s interest in the property will be subject to probate estate administration.

Using a Living Trust to Transfer the Property

Of course, if the title to the property upon someone’s death is a living trust, it does not pass through probate. This is simply because the property is already out of the decedent’s name. The trust will either hold the property for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries, or the beneficiaries will take title to the property outright, depending upon the terms of the trust.

Using a trust is an excellent method of avoiding probate.

Exploring Deeds Upon Death

If you want to transfer property after death and avoid probate, one option to explore is the use of a deed upon death. Deeds upon death, also known as transfer-on-death deeds or beneficiary deeds, are legal documents that allow the transfer of property rights to a designated beneficiary upon the owner’s death. This can be an efficient and cost-effective way to transfer property without going through the traditional probate process.

The transfer of real estate in Nevada with a deed upon death is governed by NRS Sections 111.655 et seq.

Using a deed upon death can simplify the inheritance process and provide greater control over the distribution of assets. It’s important to note that these deeds are part of an overall estate plan and should be executed with the assistance of an attorney to ensure they meet all legal requirements.

It’s important to understand the potential tax implications of using a deed upon death. It’s recommended to seek professional advice to fully understand the tax implications and make informed decisions. But, in effect, since the property transferred at death is in the grantor’s taxable estate, it will receive a stepped-up basis for capital gains tax purposes.

It should also be noted that a beneficiary taking title to property pursuant to a deed upon death, takes title as her sole and separate property without the need of a quitclaim deed or disclaimer by the beneficiary’s spouse.

Requirements for a Nevada Transfer on Death Deed

To meet the legal requirements for a conveyance of real property pursuant to a deed upon death, certain criteria must be met. Here is what you need to know:

In order to create a valid TOD deed, you must have a legally enforceable document that complies with Nevada state law. This document should clearly identify the property being transferred.

– Beneficiary designation:

You’ll need to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries who’ll receive the property upon your death. While this is usually one or more individuals, the beneficiary could be even an organization, such as a charity.

– Nevada real estate:

How to transfer a house upon death

The TOD deed can only be used for real estate located in Nevada. If you have property in other states, you’ll need to follow the laws of those states for transferring ownership, and few states at the time of this article allow for conveying property on death with this type of deed.

– Ownership rights:

The TOD deed becomes effective only upon the property owner’s death. Until then, you, as the owner, retain full control and ownership to the property. This means you can sell or mortgage it as you wish.

The property owners may also revoke the deed upon death at any time by recording the appropriate revocation.

– Death certificate:

When you pass away, the beneficiary will need to record a Death of Grantor Affidavit with a certified copy of the death certificate to the county recorder’s office where the property is located. This is necessary to initiate the transfer process and officially transfer ownership.

– Notice to Creditors:

After recording the Death of Grantor Affidavit, Nevada law requires the beneficiary to publish a 90-day notice to creditors. This notice must also be sent to any known creditors.

Nevada TOD Deed With a Mortgaged Property

If you have a mortgaged property in Nevada and want to transfer ownership using a TOD deed, there are specific considerations you need to be aware of.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the mortgage implications of transferring a property through a TOD deed. When you transfer a mortgaged property, the beneficiary who receives the property at the death of the owner doesn’t automatically assume the mortgage.

The lender may require that the outstanding loan balance be paid in full because of the due on death or due on transfer clause in the mortgage.  Or the beneficiary will need to qualify for the loan in order to get the lender’s approval to assume the loan.

Furthermore, beneficiary, as the new owner, should be aware of any foreclosure process. If the property is facing foreclosure at the time of the owner’s death, the lender can still proceed with the foreclosure process. The beneficiary named in the TOD deed won’t be able to prevent the foreclosure by bringing the loan current or assume responsibility for the mortgage.

In addition to knowing whether a mortgage exists on the property, it’s important to consider the tax implications of transferring a mortgaged property through a TOD deed. Consult with a tax professional to understand potential tax consequences, such as capital gains tax or inheritance tax, that may arise from the transfer.

Should I Use Joint Ownership or a Nevada TOD Deed?

Issues with Joint Tenancy

Sometimes clients are tempted to just add their child as a joint tenant on their property, with rights of survivorship of course. Joint ownership can have both benefits and disadvantages when it comes to transferring a house after death. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • “Avoids” probate: When one joint owner passes away, the property automatically transfers to the surviving owner without the need for probate. However, you have not really avoided probate, but rather delayed it until the remaining joint tenant dies. You have essentially just kicked the can down the road.
  • Continuity of ownership: Joint ownership ensures that the property remains in the hands of the surviving owner, allowing for seamless management and use. The surviving joint tenant just has to record an affidavit terminating joint tenancy along with a copy of the deceased tenant’s death certificate.
  • Lack of control and potential for conflict: Remember, when you add a child as a joint tenant, she has equal rights to the property, which means that decisions must be made jointly. Disagreements between joint owners can arise, leading to disputes and complications.
  • Creditors: If your child is a joint tenant on your home, that child’s creditors may look to your home to satisfy the child’s obligations. You would not want to lose your home just because your child got into financial trouble and a creditor obtained a judgment against him or her.

Alternatives to joint tenancy:

Nevada TOD deed: As explained above, this type of deed allows for the transfer of real property at death to a designated beneficiary, bypassing the probate process.

Living trust: You can also use a living trust to hold title to your property, which can then be managed and distributed according to your wishes upon your death without probate.

It is important to remember that proper estate planning is crucial in Nevada. By creating a comprehensive plan, you can ensure that your property is transferred smoothly and according to your wishes after your passing.

TOD deed to convey property

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Potential Tax Implications of Transferring a House After Death?

When transferring a house after death, it’s important to be mindful of potential tax implications. These may include estate taxes if the decedent’s estate exceeds a certain amount, and tax basis adjustments for capital gains tax purposes. It’s crucial to understand the financial implications involved.

Can a Nevada TOD Deed Be Revoked or Modified After It Has Been Executed?

A Nevada TOD deed is revocable and once it has been executed, revoking or modifying it can accomplished by recording the proper revocation or new deed. Recording a new transfer on death deed revokes all prior deeds. 

How Long Does the Transfer Process Typically Take When Using a Nevada TOD Deed?

The initial transfer process when using a Nevada TOD deed typically takes a couple weeks. This is to prepare the affidavit of grantor’s death and waiting to obtain the death certificate.

And then there is the notice to creditor’s period discussed above that takes 90 days.  It’s important to understand the timeline and navigate the process carefully in order for the new beneficial owner to sell the property without any problems.

Are There Any Restrictions on Who Can Be Named as a Beneficiary on a Nevada TOD Deed?

Not really.  However, the beneficiary should be the age of majority. If a minor is named as beneficiary, a guardian of the child’s estate would need to be appointed in order to receive title to the property. 

Can a Person Designate Multiple Beneficiaries for Their Nevada TOD Deed?

Yes, you can designate multiple beneficiaries for your Nevada TOD deed. This is an important aspect of estate planning as it allows for proper property division and ensures everyone’s inheritance rights. 

The property can be transferred to multiple beneficiaries as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, as tenants in common, or as community property with rights of survivorship if the beneficiaries are married.

Does a TOD Deed Beneficiary have to Accept the Property?

No, a beneficiary cannot be forced to accept the property.  The beneficiary may disclaim any interest in the ownership of the property by recording a disclaimer with the county recorder’s office.

What is the Drawback to a Deed Upon Death?

If you name individuals as beneficiaries, a potential problem with a TOD deed is that you are assuming the order of death.  What if the beneficiary dies before the property owner? Then it is as though no beneficiary existed and the property passes through probate.

The solution is to us a revocable living trust to hold title to the property. It is much easier to build contingent distribution options into the planning in case the primary beneficiary passes away first.


So, if you’re looking to transfer a house after death in Nevada, there are a few options available to you. To ensure a smooth transfer, proper legal documentation is crucial. It’s important to consult with an attorney to draft and execute a valid TOD deed that complies with Nevada state laws.

One interesting statistic to note is that according to a 2023 study, only about 46% of adults in the United States over the age of 55 have a will or any estate planning documents in place. This highlights the importance of understanding the probate laws and utilizing tools like Deeds Upon Death or Living Trusts to ensure a smooth transfer of property.