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May 2016 Archives

Social media and estate planning

Nevada residents may not think about social media as a part of their estate plan, but most of the major social media platforms have procedures in place to deal with a person's death. For example, a Facebook account can be deleted or memorialized. Facebook needs proof of the person's death. People can also choose what they would like done with their Facebook account and can appoint someone to manage the page using Facebook's Help Center.

Mistakes Nevada executors may make

It can be challenging to perform the duties of an executor. This is because most executors have never held this type of role in the past. Therefore, they may be prone to making simple mistakes that can have serious ramifications on the estate and beneficiaries. One common mistake is a failure to qualify him or herself as the executor in the first place.

Living trusts are not always ideal

Some Nevada residents might worry that probate will cause the value of their estate to be reduced after their death. Living trusts are often promoted as the best solution for avoiding probate activity, allowing one's heirs to directly receive prescribed assets without the publicity and cost associated with going through probate. However, there are cases in which a trust really does not have any advantage over a will.

Like Prince and Snoop Dog, most Americans do not have a will

Nevada residents may have heard that the performer Prince, who died last month, did not have a will. Now another performer has declared that he has no will. Artist and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg says he does not have a will, but that he does not think this is a problem. He admits that he expects his family to fight over his money when he's gone, but since he believes in reincarnation, he hopes to be around to witness the fighting.

The value of trusts in Nevada

When parents believe that their children will not use their inheritance in a proper manner, it may be appropriate to set up a trust. The trust can contain language that restricts how or when money or other assets inside of it can be distributed. It may be administered by a trustee who will make decisions in accordance with stipulations created by the trust's creators.

Executor responsibilities

A Nevada resident might find it appropriate to keep end-of-life matters in the family, and an appointed executor under a will in such a case could be one of the heirs as well. In such a situation, an executor can be in a delicate position because of the interest in the estate. A parent may have appointed a child to handle the estate fairly, but this could put the other heirs at a disadvantage if they are not sure of the value of the estate.

Federal laws prompt estate plan changes

Due to some changes in federal estate tax laws, Nevada residents and others across the nation have been left wondering whether they should change their estate plan. Determining whether or not to make a change to a trust, for example, depends on when the current trust was created and the individual circumstances of the grantor.

Celebrities who did not leave estate plans

Nevada fans of singer Prince might have heard that he died without a valid estate plan, but if so, he is not the only celebrity to do so. Michael Jackson's family did not find his will until several years had passed. Among other complications, the IRS argues that his estate is now worth $434 million and not the $2,105 claimed at the time of his death.

Beneficiary designations

Nevada residents who have assets such as insurance policies and retirement accounts likely filled out a beneficiary designation form when those assets were acquired. In many cases it will be the spouse who will be named, but other individuals can be beneficiaries as can trusts and charitable organizations. However, minor children cannot be named under a life insurance policy or retirement plan.