It is probably safe to say that few people would feel good about letting the government decide how a lifetime of accumulated assets and wealth should be distributed after their death. Wills allow Nevada residents to avoid having the distribution of property and other inheritance issues decided by state law. Although they differ from one state to another, intestacy laws dictate which of a deceased individual’s next of kin share in that person’s estate.
Wills allow people to control the distribution of property they own at the time of death. Property that is owned jointly with others is not part of an individual’s estate passing to heirs under a will or through a state’s intestacy laws. Jointly-owned property passes to the surviving joint tenant upon the death of one of the owners without probate issues or intestacy laws coming into play. Property that is held in the name of one person usually becomes part of that individual’s estate at death and must be distributed to heirs according to the provisions of a will or according to intestacy laws.
Both wills and intestacy laws might result in estate assets going to the same heirs, but a will gives a person the ability to allocated the distribution of property in a way that differs from what the law would provide. For example, the assets of a divorced individual might be distributed in equal shares to the person’s adult children under a state’s intestacy laws, but a will allows the parent to customize the distribution to take into account money given to one child during the testator’s lifetime.
People may benefit from the flexibility a last will and testament offers over intestacy laws. Experienced attorneys can suggest other methods for passing on assets, including trusts.