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December 2016 Archives

Creating an estate plan without a spouse's cooperation

Some Nevada residents may face the challenge of trying to create an estate plan with a reluctant spouse. While nagging rarely works, it may be possible to persuade the spouse to participate in estate planning, and in the meantime, there are steps people can take on their own to be better prepared.

Why estate plans are important in blended families

Up-to-date estate planning may be particularly important for people in Nevada with blended families. The first step is to update beneficiary designations. These should be reviewed regularly because they override what is written in a will. Therefore, if a person's former spouse is listed as the beneficiary on their life insurance policy or retirement account, the current spouse might not receive anything even if a will says otherwise. Multiple beneficiaries are also an option with each person receiving a designated amount.

Common misconceptions about the probate process

After the death of a loved one, it is possible that his or her estate will go through the probate process. Probate establishes the validity of a will, identifies the assets included as part of the estate, appraises the value of the property and pays outstanding debts. There can be misconceptions regarding the probate process in Nevada, and if you believe that you have a rightful claim to a portion of an estate, it is wise to understand how probate works.

The importance of planning who will inherit property

Nevada landowners might try to take a shortcut in their estate planning because the process seems stressful and complicated. They might think that writing a will that leaves their property to be divided equally among their heirs is sufficient. However, a problem can arise if there is a piece of property that the survivors will own as tenants in common.

Adding a special needs trust to an estate plan

Many people in Nevada who plan their estates create a plan that will benefit their children. If a person has a child with a mental or physical disability, it may be especially important to create an estate plan for the benefit of the special needs child. For that reason, parents have the option of creating a financial document called a special needs trust.

Prince's estate valued at approximately $200 million

Many Nevada music fans in Nevada were saddened in April 2016 when it was reported that Prince had passed away at the age of 57. The prolific songwriter and performer was a leading music industry figure for more than three decades, and it was widely reported that he had left behind a valuable estate and no will. A December court filing reveals that Prince's music catalog, Minnesota recording studio and other assets are worth an estimated $200 million, and they are expected to be divided equally between his five half-siblings and younger sister.

How to preserve wealth for future generations

Nevada residents may be interested to hear that baby boomers will pass down an estimated $30 trillion in wealth in the coming decades. However, these individuals will have to plan properly to ensure that rising long-term care costs don't take away everything inside of their estates. Buying a long-term care insurance policy is seen as a particularly smart decision despite the cost of paying for it.

Determining the lifespan of a trust

A trust may be an effective tool for Nevada residents to manage their assets well into the future. However, a trust can end for a variety of reasons. First, the trust may end because the assets inside of it have been used up. This may happen if money has been paid out to a beneficiary or the property titled to the trust has been destroyed.