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Choosing a trust over a will

Many Nevada residents prefer using a trust instead of a will as their primary estate planning document. There are several reasons why people use a revocable trust when planning on how to dispose the assets of their estate after they die. However, it's important for people to remember that, if a revocable trust is used, property transferred into it will have to be retitled into the name of the trust.

In contrast to a will, a revocable trust does not have to be filed with probate court, making the document inaccessible to the public, and ensuring privacy. Revocable trusts allow grantors to change the terms of the document at anytime if they are still living. After the grantor dies, however, the trustee must abide by the terms of the trust as they existed on the date of death.

Unlike a will, a revocable trust has the power to protect its beneficiaries against a legal judgment or adverse actions by creditors. Such a vehicle also provides the grantor with more control over how and when distributions to beneficiaries are made after death. It can also be a useful tool to put a check on the distribution of assets from IRAs and other retirement accounts, helping to ensure that a beneficiary does not incur a significant tax burden with a premature withdrawal.

Those who are interested in learning more about trusts as part of a comprehensive estate plan may find it helpful to meet with an attorney who has experience with these matters. Legal counsel can review the client's stated goals and preferences and design documents that are most appropriate.

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