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Mistakes in estate plans

Nevada residents should take care to avoid making certain mistakes when developing an estate plan. They should also be aware of the legal documents that are a part of their plan and what each one does.

Many people tend to just rely on their planners to ensure that all aspects of their estate plans are in order. Many individuals also sign the legal documents without being fully knowledgeable about what they state.

One of an estate planner's jobs is to ensure that clients are aware of what their plans do and their responsibilities regarding the implementation or maintenance of the plans. While most people may not be trained to understand the legal mechanisms or language used in an estate plan, it is imperative that they at least know the basics.

If necessary, individuals should request that their estate planners take them through the plan one step at a time. People may also find it helpful to take detailed notes at every stage of the planning.

Another mistake a person can make with his or her estate plan is failing to update his or her beneficiary designations. If this information is not updated, assets may go to a deceased person, ex-spouse or some other unintended beneficiary. While a will is an important part of the estate plan, it has no impact regarding who will receive certain types of assets. These assets, such as annuities, retirement accounts and life insurance policies, have their own beneficiary designation forms that are used and that take precedence over wills.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may assist clients with creating personalized estate plans that suit their financial needs and goals. A lawyer may explain how certain legal devices, such as a trust, may be used to protect assets like real estate for future generations.

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