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Estate planning protects assets and relationships

Over the years, family relationships have changed. The traditional two parent household with two children has shifted in a variety of ways. Today's family often consists of a parent, step-parent, his kids and her kids. Additionally, at times, this relationship is legally recognized through a marriage; in other cases, cohabitation exists. For Nevada residents who find themselves in a family such as one of these, estate planning can be essential in making sure that the individual's wishes are met.

First of all, an estate plan can help spell out exactly which items should go to the individual's children from a previous relationship. Exact items such as jewelry and property can be itemized. Without an estate plan, it is possible that these items would go to the current spouse, and it would be up to him or her to honor what he or she believes the individual's wishes were.

Secondly, if the relationship is one of cohabitation rather than marriage, an estate plan along with a will can help protect the loved one. These documents will help ensure that the desired individual receives what was intended. Without these documents, other beneficiaries and relatives may have claims to assets, and it would be up to the courts to decide who should receive what.

Today's new family makes is necessary for Nevada residents to use estate planning tools to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of. Otherwise, assets could easily be distributed in a manner other that what the individual desired. The creation of an estate plan and will can help protect the family and assets.

Source:, Estate planning basics, Kent McDill, March 20, 2014

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