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Thinking beyond usual Nevada estate planning options

As estate tax cutoffs continue to climb, estate planning is no longer as beholden to potential tax liabilities as it once was. For Nevadans, this affords more options concerning how and where estate funds may be distributed. This, in turn, permits those entering estate planning to think beyond the usual triad of taxes, charity and family for end-of-life gifts and inheritance and opens other avenues beyond conventional and basic estate planning options.

Many people are looking further afield in deciding where and to whom to bestow bequests. While charitable donations, tax withholding and inheritances for children and spouses remain commonplace, more people are naming close confidantes such as trusted employees, caregivers and friends as beneficiaries in will planning. A common rationale for this type of bequest is that these people are often closer to and know the primary party or parties better than the family does.

Tax considerations while the primary party is still alive may change the complexion of tax or charitable withholding as structured in the will as well. States with lower income and estate taxes are often considered more desirable in estate planning, but this is not always the case. In addition, tax planning is still a crucial part of drawing up a will to help alleviate strain on the beneficiaries and the executor of the estate.

When a client wishes to make a last will and testament, an attorney might begin by asking what sort of legacy the client wishes to leave and in what proportions. The goal is for the final will to reflect the client's final wishes as accurately as possible and minimize the risk of the will being challenged in probate. Therefore, the attorney might ask the client which beneficiaries and charitable interests they wish to note.

Source:, "Beyond the Traditional Estate Planning 'Choices'," Patricia Angus, April 2, 2015

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