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Considerations in writing a will

Nevada residents who pass away without valid wills are considered to have died intestate, which can create serious difficulties for surviving family members. To protect one's estate from loss through this situation, a sound estate plan is advisable. However, writing one's own will could leave some issues unresolved, which could still lead to costly probate proceedings.

There are many tools for creating a last will and testament without the help of a lawyer. Some individuals use computer programs, and others purchase forms that can be completed and notarized. However, generic tools have some drawbacks, especially those that are designed to satisfy the general needs of individuals in various states. It is important that a will complies with state laws, which makes it necessary to review the tools in question to ensure that state-specific needs are addressed. Legal execution of a self-written will is important for ensuring that it will be recognized after one's death.

The probate of a will is a public process. It can also be expensive and lengthy, which makes it wise to consider alternative options like living trusts. Although many believe that trusts are only suitable those with large estates, they can also be valuable tools when desiring to place controls on the distribution of assets to a beneficiary. This is not possible under a will, where an heir receives an inheritance in a lump sum.

In deciding between a will and a trust for handling one's affairs, people might benefit from a lawyer's evaluation of their goals. Even with a simple will, an individual working with a lawyer would be able to verify that the document is legally executed to minimize the potential for any posthumous challenges from unhappy family members.

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