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Las Vegas Estate Planning Law Blog

How to create a trust for a beneficiary with an addiction

Some estate owners in Nevada may need to create a trust for a beneficiary who is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. This trust should have special considerations to serve the heir. In order to set up an effective trust to help a beneficiary with an addiction, however, it is necessary to understand addiction.

First, the estate owner should decide whether the trust will simply provide for the beneficiary or play an active part in the beneficiary's recovery. In the former case, distributions can be made for the beneficiary's basic support. In the latter case, distributions might only be made that are linked to the beneficiary's recovery. This might involve paying for therapists or a rehab facility. However, if this is the approach chosen for the trust, it is important to realize that recovery is not a straight path. It is likely that the beneficiary will first struggle with the decision to go into treatment and then relapse at least once.

Cryonics and the use of a revival trust

Some people in Nevada have enough faith in the future of science to consider having themselves frozen when they pass away with the hope of someday coming back. For individuals seriously exploring this option, the thought of waking up with no available assets or funds is a valid concern. Surprisingly, there's actually a trust that can address this particular unique need of people who prefer self-preservation. It's referred to as a future income or revival trust.

Specifically, what's commonly termed a revival trust allows an individual to set aside assets that would be available should they be able to live a second time. It also specifies how a trust holder's money will be administered while they are in a frozen state. There's no data available on how many people have opted to create trusts of this nature. However, some 400 humans have been cryonically preserved, and roughly 1,500 people have opted to make such arrangements to do so when they pass away.

How to handle direct inheritances to minors

Not everyone in Nevada takes the proper steps to ensure that an estate plan is correct, if one even exists. In these instances, it is entirely possible that a minor child could end up inheriting property.

While there is nothing wrong with a minor receiving an inheritance, he or she cannot take possession or control of it before reaching adulthood. Therefore, it is often up to the executor of the estate to figure out what to do with it under these circumstances.

Luke Perry had the foresight to create an estate plan

People in Nevada have likely heard of the death of actor Luke Perry. Perry died at age 52 after he suffered a massive stroke. He was placed on life support for one week, and his family made the decision to remove life support after he suffered a second stroke because it was clear that he would not recover.

As tragic as Perry's story might be, it offers some important lessons for estate planning. Perry reportedly drafted a will in 2015 after he had a colorectal cancer scare. His doctors found precancerous polyps in his colon, prompting him to complete his estate plan.

How to create a do-over trust

In the 1980s, it wasn't uncommon for individuals to create irrevocable trusts for their children or grandchildren. While irrevocable essentially means unchangeable, Nevada law makes it possible to decant a trust. This means that assets are poured out of the trust and placed into a new revocable trust. Doing so will allow a parent or grandparent to protect a beneficiary who is irresponsible with money or otherwise not fit to receive an inheritance with no strings attached.

Generally speaking, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed after it has been created. However, changes may be possible in the event that the terms of the trust are no longer in the best interest of the creator and beneficiaries. If the state where the trust was created does not allow for decanting, it may be possible to move the trust to another state. This will allow it to be governed by the laws of that state. In addition to Nevada, South Dakota and Delaware have laws favorable for decanting.

Events that should trigger a review of estate plans

Nevada residents typically feel relief and satisfaction when they complete their estate plans. These important decisions and documentation, however, might not meet their needs forever. Changing circumstances and life events could make portions of an estate plan obsolete, ineffective or inconvenient.

Marriage and divorce represent two life events that call for alterations in an estate plan. When planning a marriage, the two people can discuss their current finances and decide how to distribute their assets in the event of death. Divorce naturally prompts most people to replace their ex-spouses as beneficiaries. Overlooking important updates when marital status changes could create unwanted results like leaving the distribution of an estate up to a judge. For example, the death of a husband and father without a will might require a judge to split the estate between the surviving spouse and the children. If the children are minors, then the mother would need to become the guardian of their finances and prepare financial statements for the court every year.

Using revocable trusts

There are multiple legal documents needed to have an efficient estate plan. In addition to having a power of attorney, will and medical directive, Nevada residents should also make sure that they include a trust, such as a revocable trust, in their estate plans.

After the death of the grantor of a revocable trust, the trust will remain effective as long as necessary to have the grantor's wishes honored. If the deceased grantor was the trustee of the trust, the provisions of the trust should address who should be successor trustees. It is also important to note that at the death of the grantor, the revocable trust becomes irrevocable.

Doesn't your will handle everything after death? Not necessarily

Perhaps you heard that a will is your final chance to provide instructions to those you leave behind. In this document, you distribute your property and may even express other wishes as well.

The problem is that your will may not be the appropriate way to distribute a particular piece of property or the right place to leave certain instructions.

The multiple benefits of an estate plan

Nevada residents and others who are looking to obtain control over assets or their medical care can benefit from having an estate plan. A living will determines how assets should be used to assist an individual who has been incapacitated. It can also determine how to dispose of assets if an incapacitated individual passes on. Those who wish to provide money or other property to a charity should have an estate plan.

It may be possible to make donations through a will or through a trust. How a person chooses to make gifts as part of an estate plan depends on his or her unique goals and financial situation. Estate plans can also make it easier to distribute assets to future generations of family members. Even if a person doesn't have kids, it can still be possible to give money or other property to a niece or younger cousin.

Staying away from drunk drivers

Drunk drivers may cause accidents that result in a person being significantly hurt or killed. Those who are on Nevada roads or others in the country can take steps to protect themselves against those who drive while impaired. There are many signs that a driver is impaired such as not maintaining a lane or making wide turns. Other signs may include close calls with other vehicles or objects on the road.

A drunk motorist could also brake frequently or at inappropriate times. His or her vehicle's speed may be too fast or too slow for road conditions, and that person may have trouble processing information in a timely manner. Those who encounter a potentially drunk driver should call 911 for assistance. They should not take any action such as disobeying a traffic signal that could put themselves or others in jeopardy.