Estate plans require periodic follow ups

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2018 | Estate Planning

Estate planning in Nevada is a continuing process. For many people, there is follow-up required even after a will has been drafted and trusts, living wills or powers of attorney have been established. People should make sure that beneficiaries are properly designated, trusts are funded and the terms of the estate plan are made known by certain people. It’s important that estate plan information is accessible, and changes in circumstances often necessitate updates to the plan.

Beneficiary designations are often the most important follow-up items in estate planning. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts and transfer-on-death accounts generally do not pass via the will. Rather, they pass automatically to the designated beneficiary. The appropriate forms should be filed with the insurer or account custodian.

Failing to fund a trust may cause problems for an otherwise well-designed estate plan. If a person creates a revocable trust, for example, with the idea of avoiding probate, the trust must be funded or the assets will go through probate anyway.

Estate planning is generally a private matter, but it’s usually a good idea to share the specifics of the plan with family members so that they know what to expect. Making the location of planning documents or important digital files known to family members can help avoid problems later.

When circumstances change, like when a new child is born or there is a marriage or divorce, estate plans often require updating. An attorney with experience in estate planning law may help interested parties develop plans that fit their needs and goals. An attorney might inventory assets and liabilities and suggest a family trust or a charitable remainder trust to avoid probate or minimize tax liability. In a case where heirs or beneficiaries are contesting a will, an attorney might argue for the client’s interpretation or represent the client during official proceedings.