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Important aspects of estate planning

It may be particularly important for women in Nevada to ensure that their estate plan is in order since women often live longer than men and may outlive their husbands. Women should make sure that there is adequate life insurance for them to cover expenses if their spouse does die first. They might also want to consider purchasing a life insurance policy themselves to cover any expenses that may arise in their own estate.

People should inventory assets and understand their worth. These assets could include retirement accounts, investment accounts and checking and savings accounts. Estate planning involves preparing for how those assets will be distributed. A person may also want to make plans that account for the possibility of being mentally or physically incapacitated.

Necessary items include a last will and testament, a living will and a health care power of attorney. A will describes how a person's assets will be distributed. A living will, also known as an advance directive, expresses how a person wants end-of-life care handled. A health care power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions if a person becomes incapacitated.

Another document that a person might want to consider is a financial power of attorney. This appoints someone to handle a person's finances if the person is incapacitated. It may be best to create an estate plan with the help of an attorney to ensure that documents are prepared correctly. An attorney may also be able to offer solutions to estate planning issues. For example, many people may not realize trusts have many uses. A trust can be set up to manage an inheritance for an irresponsible heir, give to charity or to provide support for a relative with special needs without affecting the government benefits that relative receives.

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