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The power of attorney and other estate planning considerations

Some Nevada residents may wonder whether they need to include a power of attorney in their estate plan. An estate plan is important for everyone, but in particular, people who do not have children or a spouse may need to take certain steps to ensure that their wishes are carried out. For example, a person whose closest relatives are half-siblings may be closest to one and want to leave the estate to that person.

That half-sibling can be named to inherit the person's assets in the will. The half-sibling can also be added as a joint tenant to some assets such as a bank account. This will mean the half-sibling does not have to wait for the probate process in order to get access to the account. The half-sibling should also be named as the beneficiary on the retirement account and life insurance policy. This allows the beneficiary to roll them into an inherited IRA for tax advantages. The person's home might be placed in a trust or there could be a transfer on death deed.

Another consideration is a financial power of attorney and advance health care directive. With these, the half-sibling can make financial and medical decisions for the person if the person becomes incapacitated.

Consulting an attorney to create an estate plan might help a person ensure that it achieves its goals. For example, a person might have forgotten about beneficiary designations made for retirement accounts a long time ago and may not realize that these override instructions in a will. There may also be situations in which a person does not realize a trust can be useful. For example, if a relative is likely to be careless with an inheritance, it can be placed in a trust with restrictions.

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