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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.

Many individuals enlist the help of a financial estate planner in addition to the help of an attorney when creating an estate plan. This can protect the person against the potential loss of assets, especially if a marriage fails or an illness results in long-term care expenses. It is also recommended that the resident name a representative whom they trust to grant power of attorney to in the event that they should fall ill. The representative can handle any financial affairs and provide direction for loved ones.

Finally, it is recommended that residents have conversations with their family members regarding any potential inheritance. For example, making the decision about who may receive a home or a business can keep family members from arguing in the future. The resident should ensure that the beneficiaries are updated to reflect these decisions. If no decisions are made, the court will make the decisions, which could leave some family members unhappy.

Creating an estate plan can be difficult, especially if there are numerous decisions regarding property and end-of-life care that must be made. An estate planning attorney can help a person create a will. Additionally, they may assist with naming an executor of the estate and determine who will inherit what property or assets. The attorney can also help their client name a health care representative to grant power of attorney.

Source: USA Today, "Big retirement mistake: Boomers with no estate plan," Rodney Brooks, April 8, 2015

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