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Las Vegas Estate Planning Law Blog

Digital assets and estate planning

Nevada residents who are putting together an estate plan should remember to include digital assets. These may include everything from music to Bitcoins to domain names. While some digital assets are mainly of sentimental value, such as photographs, the average worth throughout the world of an individual's digital assets ranges from $35,000-$55,000.

Digital assets must be documented in different ways depending on how the estate plan is set up. For example, if the owner's estate goes through probate, it is necessary to list the assets and their value for inventory. For an estate or generation-skipping tax return, these assets must also be listed.

What not to omit from a will

Creating a will is something that Las Vegas residents can do whenever they want. Regardless of when it is written, it should be as comprehensive as possible and provide alternative options should unexpected events occur. For instance, it may be a good idea to include an alternate beneficiary in a will in case the primary beneficiary passes away.

Adding an alternate beneficiary may also be a good idea if the primary beneficiary is currently a minor or otherwise unable to manage assets independently. A will should also include provisions that deal with digital assets such as a social media account or an online bank account. Ideally, someone will be named who has the authority to access accounts and close them if needed. It may also be a good idea to name someone as a caregiver to a pet.

Appointing care agents may be in your best interest

Throughout your life, you likely have become ill or injured multiple times. During these times, you probably had a family member or other loved one available to help take care of you. On the other hand, you may have provided the care for a sick or injured loved one. As a result, you undoubtedly understand the importance of proper care.

Because older individuals often fall more susceptible to serious illnesses or mental degradation that could result in incapacitation, many family members want to ensure that their older loved ones have the care they need. Of course, planning ahead can allow your loved one to have a say in their care.

Unraveling false ideas concerning probate

For more than a decade, the attorneys at Cassady Law Offices, P.C., have been assisting clients from the greater southern Nevada area with their estate planning needs. Throughout that time, we have seen that there are many false ideas floating around regarding probate. Our job is to unravel this complex issue by explaining it in layman's terms to ensure our clients fully understand the process, which can greatly benefit them in estate planning matters.

One misconception is that probate is so expensive, it will wipe out all of your assets. However, this is seldom true, since people can entirely avoid probate by placing all their assets in a revocable living trust instead of in their name.

How to keep an estate out of probate

Probate is a procedure that is designed to ensure that a deceased person's will is being honored. However, it can be a lengthy and costly process. Residents in Nevada who want their beneficiaries to access to their assets without any hassle after they die may want to know what to do in order to prevent their estates from having to go through probate.

Establishing a living trust can protect an estate from probate since it will transfer ownership of a person's assets to it. In other words, instead of an individual owning assets, the trust technically does. When the creator of the trust dies, the assets automatically pass to the beneficiaries of the trust without having to go through the lengthy probate process.

The complexities of trust administration

Nevada residents who are responsible for administering trusts may find it to be confusing. It may be very complex, and designated trustees may find it to be overwhelming. If you are a trustee, your responsibilities include managing and distributing the assets held in the trust to the designated beneficiaries in a way that is both efficient and cost-effective.

If you are not familiar with the trust administration process, tax law and financial management, the tasks involved with serving as a trustee may be concerning to you. You will need to follow the trust's provisions, file required tax returns and address any concerns that the beneficiaries might have.

Considerations when creating an estate plan

Although many people in Nevada would rather avoid thinking about what will happen after their death, it's important for individuals to have a will drawn up. When creating an estate plan, there are several ways to make the process easier and to ensure that a person's actions will provide the largest benefit to their heirs. These include making a complete list of assets and deciding how beneficiaries will receive those assets.

Individuals should determine exactly what property and assets they have and make a list. This will allow a person to be aware of what they have to pass on to their heirs, and it will also be helpful to the executor of the estate when it comes time to dole out property to beneficiaries.

Taking care of your loved ones is not a DIY project

Everyone loves a good do-it-yourself project, but there are some things in life that are too important to do on your own. One of these things is estate planning. Despite the advertisements for kits and websites that claim to help you build your own will and create an estate plan quickly and cheaply, there is nothing that can replace the guidance of a knowledgeable legal ally.

Estate planning is an essential step for everyone. By making the effort to ensure that you have the right protections in place, you are not only providing assurance and security for your Nevada family, you are giving yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing your interests are protected.

How to be the executor of a parent's will

Being the executor of a parent's will is an emotional as well as administrative task. It involves handling financial obligations, attending any necessary court hearings and managing assets until the estate has been settled. Nevada residents who have been named as executors of their parents' last wishes should know that there are many steps involved in this process.

Individuals who have been designated as executors should consult with their parents, if possible, to make sure they fully understand their loved ones' wishes. Questions should be asked to clear up any uncertainty.

The responsibilities of estate administration

People in Nevada who have been designated as executors of their loved ones' estates might be wondering about the responsibilities it will entail. The first thing an executor should do is order at least 10 death certificates from the funeral director because this document will be essential when administering the estate or trust. A will may need to go through probate, and if there is a trust and the executor hadn't been established as a trustee, he or she will have to sign a Consent to Act and Certificate of Trust.

When executing a loved one's estate, a person must also take inventory of all the assets. This itemized list needs to include the value of all the items on the date of the decedent's death. Executors should also keep careful records of any expenses and avoid paying for them out of pocket.