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Estate planning is important for everyone

Some Nevadans may believe that they do not need estate plans because they do not have large estates. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. Estate plans really involve planning for death and the future of one's personal assets. They can also help people to decide in advance on the type of care they want to receive and who will handle their affairs if they become incapacitated.

As people are living longer, wills may not be sufficient by themselves. People may want to plan for their care if they become disabled before they die. A good estate plan may include advanced directives, which allow the person to control the type of medical care he or she will receive, living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders and powers of attorney.

Many people want to be able to pass on their assets without having to worry about subjecting their beneficiaries to probate court. Trusts are flexible estate-planning instruments that may be used to handle a variety of different family situations. For example, a spendthrift trust can be used to pass money and assets to a loved one who is poor at handling money. A special-needs trust may be established to support an adult child who is disabled without interfering with the person's ability to receive his or her disability benefits.

Estate plans can be as unique as the people who draft them. A person who has special family circumstances may want to discuss their situation with an estate planning attorney. The lawyer may then recommend the types of estate planning documents that can most benefit the client's goals and familial needs.

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