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September 2018 Archives

Estate planning for parents with children who have special needs

For parents in Nevada whose children have special needs, it is important to create an estate plan. In many ways, this estate plan is not very different from the estate plan anyone else would create. The parents still need to consider the same essential components which are a will, a trust, financial and medical powers of attorney, a HIPAA authorization and an advance health care directive.

Using trusts to reduce estate taxes

When Nevada residents think about planning for the future, they may be concerned about how estate taxes could affect the beneficiaries of their estates. There are a number of ways that people can help to reduce the tax burden by taking some steps to plan ahead. One of the first steps that many people take is to distribute part of their estate during their lifetime by making gifts. There is a federal lifetime estate and gift tax exemption of approximately $11.2 million dollars, twice that for a married couple. In addition, people can give away up to $15,000 annually to each recipient without needing to pay gift taxes.

Law places restrictions on use of estate funds by executor

Although people assigned as executors of estates in Nevada may use estate funds in a number of circumstances, the law prohibits executors from pursuing their own interests at the expense of the estate. Primarily, executors must not apply estate funds for the purpose of increasing or protecting their personal assets. Such actions would need to be self-funded by executors. Additionally, estate funds cannot be directed toward activities that would violate the interests of other estate beneficiaries.

Estate planning beyond the will

Nevada residents who are creating an estate plan may think that they only need to create a will. However, addressing other details may help reduce family conflict and can help ensure that other important elements are not forgotten.

How and when is it possible to avoid the probate process?

When Nevada families are dealing with the loss of a loved one, they know there are several steps they will have to take in order to settle his or her estate. One of the main concerns of families going through this process is the issue of probate. In some cases, it may be possible to avoid the probate process altogether.

How to manage estate plans in a blended family

Parents in Nevada who are about to get married again may have a challenging estate planning dilemma to solve. If an estate plan is not created properly, the children from the previous marriage could get nothing. Meanwhile, the new spouse could receive all of an individual's property when he or she passes. While assets could be transferred from the surviving spouse to the children, there is no guarantee that this would happen.

Millennials largely don't have wills yet

A recent survey published by Caring.com says 78 percent of Millennials don't have wills. Talking about death can make people uncomfortable, but people in Nevada who die without a will can cause problems for their loved ones. A simple will sets forth how a person, called the testator, wants his or her assets distributed after death. It names an executor to oversee the process and make sure the transfers are done. Having a will can simplify the process even for people who would leave everything to their parents at this point.

Clergy procrastinates estate planning decisions

Most residents of Nevada understand that estate planning is key to providing loved ones the easiest possible path to navigating the death of a family member. One might assume that those in professions regularly dealing with death and the sometimes messy aftermath would be especially conscientious with regard to making sure their end of life affairs are in order, but that is not necessarily true.

Selling a home during the probate process

After a loved one's death, heirs, beneficiaries and the executor often have to handle much property that the deceased left behind. Commonly, a will -- if one exists -- can help address the distribution of those remaining assets. Of course, you may not want to keep a major asset, like a home, if you inherited one, or if you are the executor, you may need to sell the home and distribute the proceeds.