- What types of deeds are recognized in Nevada?
- What types of estate planning deeds does Nevada use?
- Where are deeds filed in Nevada?
- What is the cost to file a Nevada deed?
- What is Nevada’s transfer tax?
- Which deeds are exempt from Nevada’s transfer tax?
- Methods for Multiple Owners to Hold Title to Nevada Real Estate
- Spousal Ownership of Real Estate in Nevada
- Nevada Deeds to and From Trusts
- Nevada Deeds to and from Corporations
- Nevada Deeds to and from LLCs
What types of deeds are recognized in Nevada?
A conveyance of Nevada real estate must be evidenced by a deed signed by a property owner of lawful age or by the owner’s authorized agent or attorney.1 Nevada law assumes that a deed transfer’s the owner’s entire interest—including any water rights or after-acquired title—unless the deed expressly limits the transfer.2
Nevada law recognizes three general types of deeds for transferring real estate: a general warranty deed form; a grant, bargain, and sale deed form; and a quitclaim deed form. These three forms vary according to the guaranty the current owner provides—if any—regarding the quality of the property’s title.
Nevada General Warranty Deed Form
A Nevada general warranty deed form—often shortened to warranty deed—conveys real estate with complete warranty of title. The current owner guarantees that the deed transfers good marketable title, free of liens and adverse claims. The new owner can seek compensation from the current owner through a lawsuit for breach of warranty if a problem arises with the property’s title.3
Nevada law acknowledges warranty deeds but has no authorizing statute with model warranty-deed language or implied covenants.4 A property owner’s right to transfer title with a warranty deed arises from common-law principles and the general power to make covenants regarding a property’s title.5 Warranty deeds are relatively uncommon in Nevada compared to most other states.
Nevada Grant, Bargain, and Sale Deed Form
A Nevada grant, bargain, and sale deed form is authorized by statute and is the deed form most commonly used to transfer Nevada real estate.6 Nevada law assumes a deed is a grant, bargain, and sale deed if its conveyance language includes the phrase “grant, bargain, and sell.”
When a property owner “grants, bargains, and sells” Nevada real estate to a new owner, the current owner makes two implied promises. The current owner promises:
- That the current owner has not conveyed the real estate or any interest to another person prior to the new owner; and
- That there are no problems with the property’s title that occurred while the current owner held title.7
The current owner and new owner share the risk of unknown problems with the property’s title. The current owner is responsible for title problems that arose while the current owner held title, and the new owner bears the risk of any problems arising earlier.
The term grant, bargain, and sale deed is not ordinarily associated with states other than Nevada. Other states use limited warranty deed, special warranty deed, covenant deed, or grant deed to describe deeds with the same essential function. Bargain and sale deeds—in states where they are used—are more similar to Nevada quitclaim deeds than to grant, bargain, and sale deeds.8
Nevada Quitclaim Deed Form
A Nevada quitclaim deed form is a deed that transfers whatever interest in real estate the owner holds—if any—with no promises.9 The current owner does not warrant or covenant that the title is valid or free of liens. The new owner assumes all risk of problems with the current owner’s title.
A quitclaim deed is essentially a release to a new owner of whatever claim on real estate the signer has when executing the deed. Some states use the term release deed as a synonym for quitclaim deed. Like warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds are recognized by Nevada law but not authorized by any specific statute.10
Depending on the form of deed, either or both parties may wish to purchase title insurance as protection against unknown problems with a property’s title. A title insurer accepts a premium payment in exchange for assuming the financial risk of title defects—like unknown liens or mortgages, an unmarketable title, or a third-party claim on the property.11
What types of estate planning deeds does Nevada use?
Nevada recognizes several additional forms of deeds created for specialized purposes or settings. The following deed forms are often relevant to financial management and estate planning.
- Nevada Transfer on Death Deed Form (Deed Upon Death). A Nevada transfer on death (TOD) deed form—which the Nevada statute calls a deed upon death—is authorized by the Nevada Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (URPTDA).12 A transfer on death deed allows a property owner to designate a beneficiary to take title to real estate when the current owner dies. Nevada law treats a transfer of title under a TOD deed as a “nonprobate transfer” that occurs independently of the owner’s will.13 A TOD deed does not affect ownership rights during the owner’s life, and—at death—the property does not pass through probate.14
- Nevada Life Estate Deed Form. A Nevada life estate deed creates an ownership interest that lasts until the death of the interest holder—or life tenant.15 When the life tenant dies, title passes to the holder of a remainder interest named in the deed.16 The downside of life estate deeds compared to TOD deeds is that a life tenant’s rights in the real estate—such as the right to sell or mortgage the property—are limited by the remainder interest.
- Deed of Trust and Trustee’s Deed. A deed of trust is a recorded instrument—similar to a mortgage—under which real estate is transferred in trust to secure a debt or other obligation.17 A trustee’s deed is a deed a trustee delivers to a purchaser following a foreclosure sale under a deed of trust.18 Nevada also authorizes deeds in lieu of foreclosure—under which an owner of secured real estate voluntarily transfers title to the creditor without going through the normal foreclosure process.19
Where are deeds filed in Nevada?
Each Nevada county has a county recorder’s office responsible for maintaining the county’s land records.20 A person who wishes to record a deed submits the original deed to the recorder’s office for the county where the property is located.21 A recorded deed serves as constructive notice of the transaction to third parties—including subsequent purchasers, creditors, and mortgagees.22
The Nevada Legislature has authorized electronic recording of deeds in participating counties.23 A deed in electronic format with an electronic signature qualifies as an original, signed document in counties that accept electronic filings. Not all Nevada counties have adopted electronic recording. Counties that accept electronic filings must still accept deeds for recording in paper format.24
What is the cost to file a Nevada deed?
Nevada law requires payment of a recording fee at the time of filing a Nevada deed.25 The statutory deed-recording fee starts at $25.00.26 Nevada statutes authorize additional state-level recording fees, and individual counties may enact ordinances assessing local recording fees.27 The fee amount varies by county—typically ranging from $40.00 to $50.00.
An applicant for recording must also pay Nevada’s transfer tax unless the deed is exempt.28
What is Nevada’s transfer tax?
Nevada’s Real Property Transfer Tax is a fee due when recording a deed that transfers ownership of Nevada real estate.29 The transfer tax applies to deeds conveying real estate to a new owner for greater than $100.00 in consideration.30 The amount of the tax is based on the transferred property’s value, as identified in a declaration of value accompanying the deed.31
The Nevada Tax Commission publishes a declaration of value form available online, and individual counties provide editable versions with instructions.32 The form requests information about the transfer—such as the parties, assessor parcel number, and type of property. The form calculates the transfer tax due or identifies the claimed exemption if the deed is exempt. At least one party must sign the completed form.
Nevada’s transfer tax rate varies by county.33 In counties with populations above 700,000, the state-level transfer tax rate is $2.55 per $500.00 of the property’s value. The state-level rate in counties with populations under 700,000 is $1.95 per $500.00 of value. Individual counties may impose local transfer taxes at rates up to $0.10 per $500.00.34
The buyer and seller are jointly and severally liable for payment of the transfer tax.35 Parties to a deed may contractually agree that one party or the other will pay the tax, but an agreement of that type does not bind the county recorder.36
Which deeds are exempt from Nevada’s transfer tax?
Nevada’s transfer tax statute sets forth a list of fourteen categories of exempt deeds.37 The declaration of value accompanying an exempt deed must identify the exemption by statutory section. The following deeds are exempt:
- Deeds reflecting only a change in identity, form, or place of organization—such as deeds between affiliated business entities with identical common ownership;
- Deeds to governmental agencies;
- Deeds conveying title to recognize the real estate’s true ownership—such as a transfer according to a previously recorded land sale contract;
- Deeds from one co-owner to another for no consideration;
- Deeds conveying title to a close family member of the current owner;
- Deeds between former spouses under a divorce decree;
- Deeds to or from trusts without consideration and presented with a certificate of trust;
- Deeds transferring unpatented mines or mining claims;
- Deeds to a business entity if the person making the transfer is the 100% owner of the entity;
- Transfer on death deeds;
- Deeds transferring title under a plan of reorganization in bankruptcy or receivership proceedings;
- Deeds to educational foundations;
- Deeds to university foundations; and
- Deeds to library foundations.
Methods for Multiple Owners to Hold Title to Nevada Real Estate
Joint owners of Nevada real estate have several options for holding title to a property. A deed through which co-owners acquire title should specify the parties’ intended joint-ownership form.
- Tenancy in Common. Owners of a property held in tenancy in common are called tenants in common or co-tenants. Each tenant in common owns a distinct fractional interest in the property–which they can transfer independently by deed or by will.38 Tenancy in common is the default form of co-ownership in Nevada because co-owners are deemed tenants in common unless the deed through which they take title declares a different ownership form.
- Joint Tenancy. Owners of a property held in joint tenancy are called joint tenants. Joint tenants hold identical interests in real estate with the same rights of possession.39 Rather than owning separate fractional interests, joint tenants hold complete title together. Joint tenancy includes a right of survivorship—which means a deceased owner’s interest vests in a surviving owner automatically at death.40 Transfer to the surviving owner is formalized by the survivor recording an affidavit with the county recorder.41
- Ownership in Trust. Co-owners can also hold title to Nevada real estate through a trust. The property’s current owner executes a trust instrument—which names a trustee and the co-owners as beneficiaries.42 The owner then records a deed conveying the real estate to the trust—after which the trustee manages the property for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries.43
- Community Property. Nevada does not recognize tenancy by the entireties—a form of spousal co-ownership with right of survivorship recognized by many other states. Nevada, though, is a community property state and authorizes community property with right of survivorship.44
Spousal Ownership of Real Estate in Nevada
Nevada has special rules for ownership of Nevada real estate by married persons. Married property owners should consider Nevada’s spousal rules when preparing deeds or organizing one or both spouses’ estates.
Nevada Community Property Law
Under Nevada’s community property system, most property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage—including real estate but excluding gifts and inheritances—is considered community property.45 Each spouse holds a one-half interest in the couple’s community property—which a spouse can transfer by will. A surviving spouse inherits a deceased spouse’s community property interest if the deceased spouse leaves no will.
A married couple can choose to hold community-property assets in Nevada as community property with right of survivorship (CPWROS). If a married couple holds real estate as CPWROS, a surviving spouse automatically receives a deceased spouse’s one-half interest in the property—similar to a joint tenancy. A deed conveying real estate to spouses must expressly declare that the spouses own the property as community property with right of survivorship.46 Nevada law assumes that a qualifying homestead owned as community property is CPWROS.47
Nevada Spousal Homestead Rights
A Nevada homestead is a structure used as a dwelling place plus the surrounding land attached to the structure.48 Nevada law protects homesteads against creditor claims and acknowledges a non-owner spouse’s interest in the couple’s homestead. Both spouses must sign a deed that transfers a homestead—even if only one spouse holds title to the property.49 A Nevada homestead owned as community property is assumed to have a right of survivorship between the spouses.50 A right of survivorship in non-homestead real estate—by comparison—must be expressly declared in the deed through which the spouses took ownership.51
Nevada Deeds to and From Trusts
Express trusts can hold title to Nevada real estate—as can business trusts authorized by Chapter 88A of the Nevada Revised Statutes.52 Business trusts exist as distinct entities under Nevada law and must be registered with the Nevada Secretary of State.53
A trust that owns Nevada real estate must be evidenced by either (1) a written trust instrument signed by the trustee or (2) a written deed or other instrument signed by the trust’s settlor conveying title to the real estate.54
Nevada law does not require that a deed conveying real estate to a trust identify the trust’s beneficiaries. A trustee or other party may provide notice of the trust by recording the trust instrument with the county recorder of the county where the trust owns real estate.55
Deeds to and from trusts are exempt from Nevada’s transfer tax if the conveyance is made without consideration and “if a certificate of trust is presented at the time of transfer.” 56 A certificate of trust is a document confirming the trust’s existence and identifying:
- The trust instrument’s date of execution;
- The names of the settlor and acting trustee(s);
- The trustee’s powers and restrictions;
- The trust’s status as revocable or irrevocable;
- The trust’s state of domicile and governing law; and
- The form in which trust assets are titled.57
The trustee executes a deed conveying real estate from the trust to a new owner.58
Nevada Deeds to and from Corporations
Nevada corporations are authorized to hold title to real estate.59 An out-of-state corporation has the same power to hold title to Nevada real estate as a Nevada corporation.60
A Nevada corporation acts through its directors or through representatives to whom the directors delegated authority.61 Officers granted authority under corporate bylaws typically execute Nevada deeds on behalf of corporations.62 Nevada law does not require that any specific officer execute a deed. The signature block of a deed from a corporation should identify the person signing for the corporation and the signer’s title or capacity. Nevada does not require corporations to affix corporate seals to deeds.63
Nevada Deeds to and from LLCs
Nevada’s Limited Liability Company Act expressly authorizes Nevada LLCs to own real estate.64 Company-owned real estate must be titled and conveyed in the company’s name.65
The individuals empowered to execute a deed on behalf of a Nevada LLC depend on the company’s management structure. A manager signs on behalf of a manager-owned LLC.66 A member signs on behalf of a member-managed company.67 An officer, employee, or another representative may execute a deed for an LLC if the representative is authorized to act for the company by the operating agreement or a written document created by the LLC’s manager or members.68
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.105.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.070(2); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.160; Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.167.
- See Thomas v. Palmer, 248 P. 887 (Nev. 1926).
- See, e.g., Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.312(3)(c).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.100 (abolishing lineal and collateral warranties and permitting covenants relating to real estate).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.170.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.170(1)(a) and (b).
- See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-30-113(1)(c); Tuttle v. Burrows, 852 P.2d 1314, 1316 (Colo. App. 1992) (describing the difference between quitclaim deeds and bargain-and-sale deeds in Colorado).
- Nev. Admin. Code § 375.100.
- See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.312(3)(b).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 681A.080.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 111.655, et. seq.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.721.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.677(1); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.671.
- Admin. Code § 375.090.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.365(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 107.020.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 107.080(10).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.311.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.315; Nev. Rev. Stat. § 247.200.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 247.120(1)(a).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.320; Nev. Rev. Stat. § 247.190.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.366.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.3687(1)(d).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 247.120(1)(a).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 247.305(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 247.305(2 – 4).
- See Nev. Rev. Stat., Chapter 375: Taxes on Transfers of Real Property.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.020.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.020(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.020(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.060.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.020(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.026.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.030(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.030(4).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.090(1 – 14).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.060.
- Admin. Code § 375.067.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.060.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.365(1).
- See Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 163.002 – § 163.006 (governing creation of Nevada trusts).
- See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 163.008.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.064(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 123.250.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.064(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 115.060(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 115.005(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 115.040(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 115.060(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.064(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 88A.030.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 88A.210.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 163.008.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 163.008(2).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 375.090(7).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 164.410; see also Nev. Rev. Stat. § 88A.210.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 163.270; Nev. Rev. Stat. § 163.410.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 78.070.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 111.055.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 78.115.
- See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 78.135.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 78.065.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 86.281(3).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 86.311(1).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 86.311(1)(a).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 86.311(1)(b).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 86.311(1)(c) and (d).