In re NilssonAnnotate this Case
David and Kelli Nilsson, who were divorced, held a half interest in certain property in Reno as tenants in common. After the divorce, Kelli and the parties’ children lived on the property, and David lived elsewhere. Several years later, David filed for bankruptcy. On his schedule of real property assets, David claimed an interest in the Reno property as half-owner with Kelli. David then claimed the property as exempt from inclusion in his bankruptcy estate based in part on the homestead exemption. The bankruptcy trustee (Trustee) objected to the claimed exemption because David did not reside on the Reno property, David did not record a declaration of homestead, and David could not now record a valid declaration of homestead on the property. David responded that he could claim the exemption because his children still lived on the property. The bankruptcy court certified a question to the Nevada Supreme Court without ruling on the Trustee’s objection. The Court answered that a debtor must actually reside on real property in order to claim properly a homestead exemption for that property.