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December 2014 Archives

Why it is vital to update a will

Because circumstances in life often change, residents of Nevada may wish to review their wills from time to time to keep it current. Events such as a marriage or the birth of a child can be cause for minor to major changes in a person's will and estate plan. Keeping a will current assures that the testator's assets will indeed go to the desired beneficiaries upon death.

More states permit asset-protection trusts

Nevada and 12 other states provide various legislation to help individuals protect their assets through the use of trusts. More states have begun to embrace these special kinds of trusts in order to build upon existing financial planning methods and to attract foreign capital. Asset protection trusts do not actually hide assets or avoid income taxes. However, they may be able to reduce the impact of income taxes in certain limited circumstances or in conjunction with other estate planning methods.

Avoiding common estate planning mistakes

While parents likely have good intentions in mind when setting up a willing and leaving inheritances, common estate planning mistakes can make a process that is already difficult for some to talk about more complicated. Those in Nevada who have started considering their estate plan may be able to avoid complications by considering a few possible issues.

Various types of trusts for Nevada residents to consider

For many individuals, estate planning and trusts can be confusing. The idea of avoiding probate is attractive, but reviewing types of trusts may seem challenging, especially as special needs trusts are researched. For many, a revocable trust is the most appropriate option. This type of situation is ideal for safeguarding an estate while allowing the testator to maintain control of the assets. Other types of trusts should be researched based on unique family dynamics or financial concerns.

Trustee responsibility for debts and expenses

Individuals in Nevada who are estate planning may wonder about the role of trustees and how they will handle debts and expenses. The trustee must take responsibility for valuing all assets as soon as possible after an individual's death as well as for assessing all debts. A trustee also acts as a fiduciary and may be a beneficiary as well.

The importance of health care directives

As medicine and technology advance, life expectancies in Nevada and throughout the United States are increasing. Along with longer lifespans come increasing complexities. For instance, it is likely that at some point, most people will need to make an important medical decision. In some cases, the person may not be able to express his or her own wishes concerning medical care. One way to deal with this situation is to grant a trusted relative or friend power of attorney to make medical decisions on an individual's behalf. This person is known as a health care proxy, and these advance preparations are known as health directives.

Grounds for challenging a will

Individuals in California may not realize that a will does not necessarily stand as written but can be challenged. It is a rare occurrence that rarely occurs, but there are a few grounds upon which a will may be successfully challenged.