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Las Vegas Estate Planning Law Blog

Advantages of using an attorney instead of DIY estate planning

You understand the importance of making final arrangements for your estate, and online companies that offer do-it-yourself will or trust creation might appear tempting. Working directly with an attorney, however, could offer you many advantages, staring with personal service and an in-depth analysis of how Nevada law might apply to your estate.

Secondly, the cost of our services at Cassady Law Offices P.C. might compare quite favorably, and we will research how to craft your documents to safeguard your distribution decisions. We could tailor strategies meant to protect your heirs from estate taxes or control distributions to beneficiaries who are irresponsible with money. If you own a business or other property, we could guide you through decisions about how to transfer real estate and other assets.

Protecting assets now so you can avoid a dispute in the future

Protecting your assets is a critical effort, both for your protection now and in the years to come. While it is impossible to predict the future, you may feel that a divorce could be a major threat to your financial future. Fortunately, with a strong estate plan and asset protection plans in place, you can have security in the years ahead. 

By utilizing both traditional and newer methods for asset protection, you will be less likely to suffer financially or lose your hard-earned assets in a Nevada divorce. The effort to protect your assets is not something that is necessary only for the wealthy, but can be a smart and practical endeavor for individuals of any income level.

Understanding irrevocable trusts

People in Nevada can use irrevocable trusts keep control of assets that have been intended for their loved ones. Irrevocable trusts offer multiple advantages, such as tax savings, and may be more beneficial to use than revocable trusts or wills.

It's important to note that irrevocable trusts have permanent terms that do not allow for any changes. In contrast, revocable trusts permit the individuals who create them to modify the terms or end the trusts as they choose.

Picking the right trustee is important

Many Nevada residents like to plan ahead to make sure their heirs are taken care of after they have died. As part of the estate planning process, they may need to decide if a will or trust is the best way to handle the distribution of their assets.

If they decide a trust is the best route for them to take, then they will need to decide who is the best person to administer that trust for their heirs. Obviously, they will want to pick someone that is qualified.

Where will your assets go if you die intestate?

Commonly, many Nevada residents mistakenly believe that they do not need to create an estate plan. However, those individuals also may not know what happens to an estate when no will or other related documents exist. If you find yourself considering the possibility of skipping the estate plan, you may want to find out more information on what could happen to your property when you die intestate, or without a will.

Though intestate probate administration laws vary in specifics from state to state, many of the same general guidelines apply to the process when it comes to distributing assets. Typically, the state considers the surviving family and uses a tier-type system when allocating who should receive what. If the state cannot locate surviving family, the estate will simply go to the state.

Mistakes when drafting a will

Nevada residents are not required to have a licensed attorney draft their will. However, for people who choose to write their own, they should take care to avoid certain mistakes.

When a will is drafted, it should include a family tree with the names of living and deceased spouses, children, siblings and parents as well as the addresses of the living relatives. This allows the court to notify any next of kin who want to contest the will that they have been disinherited. Not including the disinherited relatives does not make the will more effective.

Unmarried couples benefit from estate planning

Unmarried couples in Nevada and throughout the United States might not prioritize estate planning. The most common reasons people give for not doing so is not having children and not being married. It turns out that estate planning is just as important for people who are not married, especially if they are committed to their long-term relationship.

Without a will, a person dies intestate. This means that state law governs the distribution of that person's assets. The first person to receive the assets of a deceased person is usually the spouse, but if the person was unmarried and without children, then the next beneficiary would be the person's siblings, and after that his or her parents. In other words, the decedent's partner would have no legal right to any of the assets. Therefore, estate planning is crucial for unmarried couples, because it allows them to make it clear to whom they wish to have their resources distributed after death.

How a charitable split-interest trust works

A charitable split-interest trust is one way that Nevada residents can donate to charity as well as providing an income for beneficiaries. These types of trusts have several other advantages as well. They can create income from properties that are not profitable because property can be placed in the trust and sold as tax-exempt. There are income tax exemptions for a charitable trust, and it can also result in a reduction in estate tax and gift tax.

A charitable split-interest trust can be set up as a charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust. In the former case, the trust is set up to pay a noncharitable beneficiary a regular income for a certain amount of time up to 20 years or the lifetime of the beneficiary or creator of the trust. After this time, the remaining assets in the trust go to the charity. In the latter case, the situation is reversed with the charity receiving regular distributions over a fixed time period and the remainder going to another party.

4 questions you may have about estate planning

At some point in your life, you have likely considered the inevitability of your own demise. Though this type of idea can sometimes prove difficult to think about, death happens to everyone. Because of this natural and unavoidable outcome, you may have also wondered how your surviving family would get on in your absence and whether you could potentially take steps to better ensure their financial stability.

Luckily, estate planning can easily help you detail your wishes and explain what steps can help address the closing of your estate. Of course, you may not feel entirely familiar with the planning process, and as a result, you may have put off the process because you feel uncertain when it comes to where to begin. Therefore, you may wish to consider the following questions.

How an IRA trust can protect assets

Nevada residents who are creating an estate plan may want to consider setting up an IRA trust for their retirement account. An IRA trust can protect an account from creditors. It can also specify how distributions are made to beneficiaries. This may be useful if the beneficiaries are likely to be irresponsible with money or if they are very young. For example, a person who inherits a retirement account at the age of 18 or 21 may not know how to effectively manage money.

Other types of retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, have different rules associated with them, but they can also have an IRA trust as a beneficiary. Another consideration in making the beneficiary of an retirement plan an IRA trust is its worth. If the retirement account is worth more than $500,000, an IRA trust might be important for asset protection.