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May 2015 Archives

What happens if I die without making a will?

For one reason or another, many people never get around to making a will. If this happens, the state takes over distribution of property in a process called intestate succession. The point of this is to pass on assets in a way the average person would. Each state has their own laws surrounding intestacy.

How the cy pres doctrine affects charitable trusts

A charitable trust is a special kind of trust that allows you to donate significant funds to a charity without diminishing your estate. Not only does the charity receive the benefits of the trust, but you and your heirs also receive significant tax benefits. You, as the trustor or creator of the trust, get to choose which charity or charities you want to name in the trust. But what happens if the charity becomes defunct? Nevada courts may then use something called a cy pres doctrine.

What is a holographic will?

Second only to seeing that a testator's wishes are followed upon his or her death, perhaps the second-most essential aspect of a will is to ensure that it is enforceable and can survive a legal challenge. This second consideration underlies the requirement under Nevada law that a will be signed in the presence of two valid witnesses. But is it possible to make a valid will without any witnesses? Any if so, is it advisable to make such a will?

A spendthrift trust can protect your family if properly written

We all have them in our families: give them $100 and they spend $110 within an hour after you give it to them, usually on some extravagance that they don’t really need. One word for this type of person is spendthrift. And, whether a spouse or a child or other relative, since it is difficult to control their spending during your lifetime, how could you possibly control it after you are gone?

What are digital assets and why are they important to my heirs?

So you are filling out a questionnaire to start thinking about your estate plan and you see a question asking you to list your "digital assets."  What are those? I have a digital clock and my computer has digital data. Is that what it means? The latter is closer to the meaning of the term.

What are grounds to challenge a will in Nevada?

In the majority of cases wills are either not challenged upon execution, or the challenge is difficult to prevail upon. This is by design, as the legal presumption is that the will is the expression of the now-deceased testator who cannot be present to rebut claims against his or her wishes. Nonetheless, occasionally grounds do exist to challenge a will. This post will briefly consider some of the most common ways that such challenges may arise.

The importance of hiring an attorney to help plan your estate

Many people in Nevada are under the false impression that do-it-yourself estate planning kits cost less than working with an attorney. Not only can the prices of these kits be more expensive or comparable to an attorney's fees, creating estate planning documents on self-help websites can end up costing your beneficiaries more down the line.