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Estate planning before a second marriage

Before getting married, Nevada residents might want to review their estate plan. This may be particularly important for people who have children from a previous relationship or who have been married before. They may need to adjust their will and their beneficiary designations. If a person leaves all their property to certain people in a will but the beneficiary designations differ, the beneficiary designations take precedence over the will.

A will is also important because if a person does not have one, the state will decide how a person's property is distributed. However, a person may want to consider using a will to designate who will get sentimental property and a trust for other assets. For example, they may want to create a bypass trust that would allow their spouse to enjoy benefits from their assets but would ultimately pass those assets on to their children.

People should look over their titles and make sure that former spouses do not hold joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or other claims on the property. They should also consider whether they want their new spouse to inherit the property or if they would prefer to use a prenup, waivers or other documents to keep property separate. Finally, people may want to consider revising their powers of attorney and health care directive.

A person who does not have any of these documents in place may want to visit an attorney and discuss how to create an appropriate estate plan. One advantage of working with an attorney is that counsel may be able to suggest solutions for different situations that a person might otherwise be unaware of. For example, people might worry about leaving a lump sum inheritance to a financially irresponsible beneficiary, but an attorney may explain how a trust could provide for distributions to be made only upon the attainment of certain milestones.

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