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Choosing who will manage estate affairs

Nevada residents who are concerned about how their interests and assets will be handled if they become incapacitated or die should make sure that they choose wisely when designating legal authority to the individuals who will be making the decisions. The actions of the people who will act in their stead will impact the relationships between family members and the financial security of the heirs.

Individuals who are considering whom to appoint to manage their affairs have many choices. Agents can act on behalf of individuals under powers of attorney or advance medical directives. Trustees are appointed to handle trusts and will have the final authority regarding the management of investments, the distribution of assets, the payment of taxes and other issues related to trust management. Individuals who are chosen as executors will manage and distribute the assets of the estate. The duties of an executor include making sure that the terms included in the will are fulfilled.

Individuals will also have to decide who will be their Social Security representative. In situations in which individuals are incapable of making their own choice, the Social Security Administration will do so, usually appointing a family member or friend. Beneficiaries can contact the agency and request that a specific person be appointed, and the request will be considered by the agency.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may assist clients with determining what types of estate planning documents should be a part of their plans. The attorney may consider clients' assets and goals and may recommend certain types of wills and trusts to ensure proper management of the estate. Assistance may be provided for drafting a last will and testament and provisions for a trust.

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