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January 2016 Archives

More parents leaving children unequal inheritance

Parents in Nevada do not always leave their children equal shares of their estate when they die. In fact, unequal bequests have been on the rise in recent years, as more and more parents choose to leave one child a greater portion of their assets than their siblings. Researchers who conducted the Health and Retirement Study found that the percentage of parents with wills who were leaving unequal bequests increased from 16 percent to 35 percent from 1995 to 2010.

Uses of a living revocable trust

People in Nevada may find that a living revocable trust meets many of their estate planning needs. However, a living revocable trust does not eliminate the need for a will. A will can help protect assets from creditors and appoint guardians for minor children. Furthermore, a pour-over will transfers other assets. A trust also does not necessarily protect assets from state tax, but it can serve a number of other useful purposes.

Estate issues and the death of David Bowie

Nevada residents may be mourning the loss of pop artist David Bowie, who died in January 2016. Information about the 69-year-old star's estate planning may remain mostly private because of his careful attention to this interest from early on in his life. Reports indicate that the singer faced major financial challenges in the early days of his career, but after he married his second wife, he made strides to carefully manage his resources.

Anonymity and lottery winnings

While most forms of gambling are legal in Nevada, lotteries are not, which is why so many residents of the state often travel to neighboring towns in California or Arizona to buy tickets when Powerball jackpots reach stratospheric levels. While the idea of winning $1.5 billion might be someone's dream, the prospect of having this information publicized could be worrisome. In addition to receiving high levels of attention from the public, a winner could be faced with extensive requests for financial assistance. Only five of the states participating in the popular lottery allow winners to remain anonymous. However, there are some financial planning strategies that can be used to keep such a fortune private.

Nevada's favorable trust laws

Nevada is one of the states viewed as having extremely favorable laws regarding trusts. The state allows a single individual to create a trust, be the trust's beneficiary and place the assets of the trust outside their estate, which could be a particularly attractive arrangement for those wishing to keep assets out of the reach of creditors. Nevada also allows directed trusts that are able to name individuals to act as investment trustees and decide how funds will be managed.

An overview of estate administration responsibilities

Estate administration is an important process following the death of a Nevada resident. This process involves handling the decedent's belongings and accounts as creditors are paid and remaining assets are distributed to heirs. The party responsible for administrating an estate could be appointed by the court during the probate process. However, a testator will usually designate an executor in a will.

The importance of a power of attorney

People in Nevada who are working on their estate plan may want to consider including a financial power of attorney as part of that plan. A durable power of attorney grants immediate access to the principal's financial affairs while a springing power of attorney kicks in when the principal is found to be incapacitated.

Managing an inheritance

Some people in Nevada who inherit money may be surprised to learn that the inheritance does not automatically make their lives easier. In fact, in some cases, people who are unprepared might make unwise decisions about an inheritance, but there are some strategies that can help prevent this.

Using a family trust to secure wealth

People in Nevada who are preparing their estate plans may wish to preserve wealth in their families for many years to come. However, what often happens to family wealth in reality is that it often dissipates over just a couple of generations. That which is passed down is spread between more and more people, and both estate taxes and business risks also take their share.