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May 2017 Archives

Estate planning crucial for family farms and ranches in Nevada

A family's agricultural business can be a great source of pride, but these entities face challenges when passed from one generation to the next. New leadership must be chosen carefully to ensure continued business success, and the threat of estate taxes after an owner's death needs to be addressed ahead of time.

How a spendthrift trust works

Some Nevada residents who are creating an estate plan may be interested in a spendthrift trust. This trust is usually used to protect a beneficiary who is unlikely to be able to manage money responsibly. It might also protect assets from creditors and in the event of a divorce although it is important that the trust does not have the appearance of having been created specifically for those purposes.

Unless you execute a plan, you can't choose an estate heir

Do you ever hear people talking about someone in their 50's and think to yourself that 50 sounds light years away, then suddenly realize it's right around the corner in your own life? It's not uncommon, as people often feel younger in their minds than they are in reality. Since you don't go around thinking about your midlife age all the time, there may be other topics not forefront in your mind as well, some of which are very important, such estate planning.

Letters of final wishes can comfort and help families

Nevada lawyers with experience in estate planning draft wills, trusts and powers of attorney for their clients, but there is one very important document that is not written by an attorney. Letters of final wishes have no legal standing and do not influence how assets will be distributed, but they do convey information and requests that grieving relatives and friends may find both comforting and useful.

How to handle an unfunded trust

Nevada residents may know that a trust may be an effective estate planning tool. However, the trust doesn't work as intended unless it is properly funded. Assets that were meant to go into that trust may need to be looked at to determine how they were owned and by whom. Without knowing the type of ownership of an asset, it may be impossible to determine how it can be transferred.

How an estate tax repeal might affect planning

Nevada residents whose estates are large enough to worry about federal estate tax will probably want to review their estate plan if there is an estate tax repeal. For most people who expect to owe estate tax, devising ways to reduce the value of the estate and bring the tax down as close to the exemption amount as possible is the cornerstone of the estate plan.

The uses of a funeral trust

Nevada residents who are concerned about how they might pay for their funeral may want to consider a funeral trust. Planning a funeral ahead of time may help relieve loved of having to make difficult decisions while they are also dealing with grief. A funeral trust can help take care of finances.

Analyzing the effectiveness of an estate plan

Nevada residents who are creating an estate plan may want to consider an estate analysis and a settlement cost analysis. The former reviews the current arrangements to make sure they are consistent and effective. For example, an estate analysis could reveal that a will conflicts with a testator's beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and similar accounts. Beneficiary designations override wills. A settlement cost analysis examines the costs of various options for estate planning and takes into account factors such as inflation and charitable bequests.

Certain life events are inevitable. Will your estate be prepared?

Recent studies indicate that as many as 60 percent of individuals who are nearing the age of retirement don't have a will in place. Perhaps you have loved ones that you wish to provide for in the event of your death, but you haven't found time to write a will. Maybe you find the mere thought to be frightening or alarming. You may not be able to decide how or when you go, but you can make plans regarding what happens to your property and assets.

Handling debts after a person passes

When an individual passes in Nevada, the executor of the estate should determine if that person's estate has any outstanding debt balances. From there, the executor must decide when and how to pay them. It may also be necessary to contact creditors to tell them about any delay in payment that may occur. Property tax and insurance bills are among the most important debts that an estate may need to pay right away.

Duties of a trustee

Nevada residents who are creating an estate plan may want to include a trust as part of it. However, in choosing someone to act as trustee, they might also wonder what duties that person is expected to perform. Trustees are not expected to be a financial expert, but they are expected to manage the trust's assets effectively. Therefore, trustees might want to hire an investment adviser.