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February 2016 Archives

The benefits of using a trust for children

Nevada residents may have negative connotations associated with "trust fund children," but the trust is a useful tool that many might want to consider during the estate planning process. The amount of wealth and assets one has is part of why a trust may be merited. There are some other reasons a trust could be necessary.

Speculation on writer Harper Lee's estate plan

Nevada fans of author Harper Lee may wonder who might inherit her estate following her recent death. It is not known what the estate is worth, but in 2009, according to paperwork from one of those lawsuits, in a six-month period, she made $1.7 million. Her second book was expected to make $40 million in sales.

Dealing with a poor estate executor

There are a number of ways that the executor under a Nevada testator's will might misuse or abuse that position. In some cases, it may simply be due to a failure to act promptly. An executor who procrastinates on actions such as paying taxes, selling a house or updating insurance coverage puts those assets at risk and also costs the estate money. For example, as long as the house is not sold, it is necessary to pay for utilities and upkeep. This in turn can be harmful to the beneficiaries.

Things to think about when handling estate planning

Many Nevada residents put off preparing their estate plans because they do not want to think about their death. Some may also assume that based on their age or their current level of assets, they do not need to create a will. However, even younger individuals, especially if they have a family, can benefit from a will that lays out how to distribute their assets and ensures that their children or spouse will be taken care of if something happens to them.

Nevada residents may be able to forego probate

Nevada residents who are in the process of creating their estate plans may be able to improve their chances that the administration of their estates will proceed in a timely manner and in accordance with their wishes after they die. The secret lies in taking steps to prevent estates from entering probate. The typical costs and delays associated with this form of administration can make estate distribution and inheritance harder for families, and it may even compromise their privacy.

When a person should create or update a will

Having a will is important because it not only determines how someone's assets will be distributed upon their death, but it can also be used to name a person to take care of an individual's children. A Nevada resident who dies without a will is considered to be intestate, and these matters are decided based on state and federal law. Although most adults need to have a will, it's particularly important to create or update one when people marry, divorce or move to a new state.

Executors must avoid these errors

Nevada residents who have been named as an executor under a person's will may wonder what kind of responsibilities and pitfalls may arise. One common mistake is failing to approach paying the estate's debts in an organized manner. An executor might begin paying debts as soon as they come in, but credit card bills and the like should be set aside as low-priority. Other bills, such as tax liabilities and funeral expenses, must take precedence, and an executor may be personally liable if the priority bills are unpaid.

The importance of updating beneficiary designations

Family changes can happen unexpectedly, and Nevada residents who fail to update beneficiary designations after such occurrences could create unfortunate results for their heirs. It is not enough to simply update a will or other parts of an estate plan without also taking time to review accounts that require the listing of a beneficiary. A beneficiary designation will override any details in one's will.

Handling an inheritance amid resentful family members

As Nevada residents may know, conflict often arises among siblings when a parent dies and leaves all his or her assets to only one child. This is especially true when the estate consists of a large sum of money, valuable property or costly personal possessions. As a result, those left out of the will have feelings of anger and resentment. In fact, this kind of trouble oftentimes divides families.