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How to file for letters of special administration without knowing estate value in Washoe County, NV

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Junior Member
We are trying to petition the court for letters of special administration in Washoe County Nevada so that we can discover the value of a relative's estate. He left no Will and since he was banking electronically we have absolutely no records of his bank accounts and his ex-employer won't reveal information about life insurance policy or remaining paychecks. However, in order to petition for special letters of administration, the clerk in the probate office told me we have to state the value of the estate on the first page of the petition. I said that my understanding was that is what letters of special administration are for, so that we can make that determination. When I asked how we're supposed to determine the estate value without them, the clerk told me that is our problem.
Washoe county courts charge a fee for letters of special administration according to the value of the estate. But if the value of the estate is not known, how is one supposed to file?


Junior Member
We can certainly take a wild guess based on the lifestyle of the deceased. When I brought that up, the clerk was not happy, but would not indicate what else one can do in such a situation.

The question then is, what happens when you file in one category, let's say estate < $20K, but then discover the estate is in the $20K to $200K category for which the court charges $274?

To file for letters of special administration via an attorney costs over $1000. That would not make sense for what is supposed to be a very simple petition that has personally taken me, a complete newbie, 2 hours to fill out. It would make more sense to hire an attorney once we know the value of the estate.


Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Then pay for the $20k-$200k so you can cover your bases.

FYI: You're not paying just to have the attorney fill out the forms...you're paying for his knowledge of how to fill them out.

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Clerks are restricted in what information they can give out to applicants and frequently tell people that they need to consult an attorney since clerks are not allowed to give out legal advice.

After you get the letters testamentary and get a certified copy to present to the employer, he should be more forthcoming in revealing the life insurance and paycheck information.

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