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Allocating personal property

Nevada residents can use a variety of estate planning tools to dictate how specified assets should be handled in the event of their death. However, they should be aware that written provisions should be made for their other personal property as well.

What happens to any property that is not addressed in a will is left to the discretion of the heirs of an estate. If all of the heirs can agree on how the property should be distributed, any cash distributions the heirs are to receive may be offset by the value of the personal property he or she receives.

Heirs should work with one another to distribute any personal property that holds little or zero value. Bargaining may take place so that those who want to possess an item of sentimental value may receive that item in exchange for money. While there are no explicit rules regarding the division of such property, the court typically holds that an effort should made to equally divide the property.

If heirs are unable to come to an agreement among themselves regarding valuable personal property, it may be left up to the court to resolve the dispute. If none of the interested parties is willing to compromise, a sale of the personal property can be ordered by the court, and the heirs will receive a percentage of the proceeds according to how much they were allotted in the will.

An attorney may assist clients with drafting a last will and testament to avoid inheritance issues and so that their assets are handled according to their wishes after their death. The attorney could also suggest other vehicles such as a trust where and if appropriate.

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