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Inheritance protection v. legal venues

Asset protection can be achieved for Nevada residents when planning ahead. This statement is especially true for individuals with large estates and significant amount of wealth accumulated throughout their lives. Proper steps have to be taken to distribute the assets among the family members, friends, charities or business partners.

Taking care of the loved ones may be accomplish in a variety of ways including a living trust (inter vivos trust) such as revocable or irrevocable trusts. The allocation of funds and property is decided by the owner of the estate and may be protected even after the person's demise.

Choosing the correct venue of wealth protection greatly depends on the wishes of the person who owns the assets. A revocable trust shields private information and can help in protecting the reputations as the information is not available to the public. An irrevocable trust is frequently used for low-capacity adults and children. In both situations, a living trust does not typically go through the probate process.

The legal advisors recommend that the appointed trustee of the estate should be bonded. Although required, this prerequisite is often waived when the trustee does not qualify. In many situations, grown children try to protect their inheritance by asking their elderly parents to create an irrevocable trust and appoint them as trustees. The goal is to protect the wealth from a parent's future nursing home expenses and medical bills. Some decide to put the assets away for a period of five years to ensure their parent's qualification for Medicaid when the time comes. The disadvantage is losing the access to these assets during the appointed time.

Estate planning may be of concern to many people regardless of the amount of assets they have. Understanding the laws and possible venues of asset protection and distribution may avoid unnecessary legal complications in the future.

Source: NBR, "A matter of trusts: Benefactors, heirs and their advisors", Maureen Nevin, August 04, 2014

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