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April 2015 Archives

Wills can be a touchy subject

As they age, Nevada residents may find that it is difficult or intimidating to focus on issues related to final estate matters. A recent survey indicates that more than half of parents in the nation have failed to create the documents needed to clarify their final wishes. In some cases, the documents may exist, but those who need to know what is in them and where they are located are uninformed. In other cases, final plans are left up in the air, resulting in situations such as probate for handling estates later on.

What are the common steps to create a will?

Nevada residents may be interested in some information on how to get started with estate planning. Generally, the first document to create is a will. A will directs how a person's assets should be distributed when they die, and it typically includes provisions for family, friends and charitable gifts. Without a will, the person's property goes through the court-supervised probate process and the assets may be distributed in a way contrary to the person's wishes.

Gifting rules and powers of attorney in Nevada

A power of attorney is a very common estate planning document that people have in place in order to allow another person to make financial or other decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated. If the person becomes incapacitated, the person who has been appointed as the agent under the power of attorney will then be tasked with making decisions regarding taxes, gifting and other important legal and financial matters.

The importance of drafting an estate plan

Most Nevada residents who are preparing to retire or have already retired know just how important it is to plan for the future. Many residents, however, often neglect to create an estate plan. An estate plan assists surviving family members with their wishes regarding medical decisions, inheritance and finances.

Thinking beyond usual Nevada estate planning options

As estate tax cutoffs continue to climb, estate planning is no longer as beholden to potential tax liabilities as it once was. For Nevadans, this affords more options concerning how and where estate funds may be distributed. This, in turn, permits those entering estate planning to think beyond the usual triad of taxes, charity and family for end-of-life gifts and inheritance and opens other avenues beyond conventional and basic estate planning options.

Judge gives Robin Williams' feuding widow and children deadline

When a celebrity passes away, media outlets generally run two kinds of stories. The first deals with how beloved the athlete or entertainer was while listing their honors and achievements, and the second concerns their estate planning acumen or lack thereof. Nevada residents will likely have read about the estate planning gaffes of the actors James Gandolfini and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and they may have learned recently about the prudent use of living trusts by the legendary basketball coach Dean Smith. However, the feud between the widow and children of Robin Williams over the contents of a California residence does not fit neatly into a good or poor estate planning narrative.