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A trust may be the best option in estate planning

The decision as to whether a trust is the appropriate move in an individual's estate planning process is an entirely personal one. Each Nevada resident makes this decision either actively or passively, depending upon his or her actions. There are a number of reasons that an individual may want to consider a trust rather than just a will and power of attorney.

One of the first items to consider in deciding if a trust is the best option is the possibility of mental incapacity. Due to the recent financial crisis that many Nevada banks and businesses have faced, they can be hesitant to honor a power of attorney in some cases. With a trust, a trustee and a successor trustee are appointed to make decisions and conduct business on behalf of the trust rather than an individual.

Another item to consider is the amount of privacy and protection the individual wishes to ensure for his or her beneficiaries. A trust is not subject to probate; therefore, its terms do not become a matter of public record. Additionally, there are times when the individual may believe that the beneficiary may be unable to make appropriate financial decisions. This could be because of age, financial management ability or addictions. In this case, a trust could offer a layer of protection with another individual as the ultimate decision maker.

In deciding whether a trust is the appropriate strategy for the individual, there are a number of questions that should be considered. Nevada residents who are in the process of making these decisions may want to discuss their options with individuals knowledgeable in trust and estate planning. Each person's circumstances are different and should be taken into account in making the final decision.

Source: thetimesherald.com, "Matt Wallace: Trusts have advantages in event of a disability", Matthew Wallace, April 5, 2014

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