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Factors to consider when writing a will

When it comes to estate planning in Nevada, many people don't understand that it's an ongoing process and that it requires careful thought and planning. It's not enough to simply create a will and trust that the property will be divide in accordance with the plan. The state may step in and have the estate go into probate, and this can become an expensive process for the heirs. One solution is to invest in a revocable trust and have assets retitled into the name of the trust. With the additional measure of a "pour over" will, additional assets such as jewelry and cars can be gathered into the revocable trust and allocated in accordance with the decedent's wishes.

Wills are often treated at static documents when in fact they should be treated as living documents that require regular attention. As financial situations, assets and even heirs change, a will should be updated to reflect changes in the distribution. One example is with the guardians that are named to care for children in the even that both parents die. Over time, friends may lose touch, the needs of children may change, and individuals may find that they need to choose different legal guardians for one reason or another. This is the type of information that may be updated by making changes to the will.

Fairness should never outweigh the facts of a matter and the needs of the minor or adult children that will be left behind. While it may be standard to divide the assets in an equitable manner, this may not be realistic if there is a special needs child who will require more assistance and care. A special-needs trust can be created to ensure that the individual receives the quality of care that the parents desire.

There are many considerations to look at when drafting a will. An experienced attorney can help people avoid the cost of probate and spare their families and heirs the frustration that comes with a drawn-out process. They can also help people avoid some of the common problems associated with wills, trusts and probate.

Source: MSN Money, "Steer clear of the 8 biggest estate-plan mistakes", Barry Glassman, October 22, 2014

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