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Estate planning in Nevada involves more that just money

An important part of estate planning that is often overlooked by Nevada residents is planning the division of their personal possessions as paintings, ornaments, crockery and other heirlooms. Conflict often arises between children after the death of a parent, and it often concerns assets other than money. This is a reminder for people to include the division of such items in their estate planning.

Many states will allow a separate list as a codicil attached to a will, specifying who will inherit specific personal items. That list may then be changed at any time without having to draw up a new will. The division process may prove to be difficult, and the best way to handle it may be to be open about it. If all parties are allowed to voice their preferences, the decision will not be left to the parent alone.

One option is to ask each child to list their favorite items and the parent can then apply that as guidance in drawing up a list of distributions. Others have been known to ask their children to place sticky dots on the items they would like to inherit. By allowing the children to voice their preferences, potential conflict may be averted.

If the children of a Nevada family do not get along, the process may produce conflict from the outset. In such circumstances, parents may want to nominate a mediator to assist in the process. The parent may include instructions in his or her will as part of their estate planning, to request that the mediator will step in if the children fail to agree within a stipulated time. Through the input of an objective third party, agreement may be reached to satisfy the wishes of all the children.

Source: consumerreports.org, "How to Spare Your Heirs a Battle Over Your Estate", , April 23, 2014

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