Perhaps it is the acknowledgment of mortality that prevents many people in Nevada from taking the time to create an estate plan or simply procrastination. Whatever the reason, having a plan in place provides security and protection for one’s family and provides peace of mind for the individual. There are a number of different and distinct documents that should be in most everyone’s estate plan, and a will is a basic one and a good starting point for the neophyte.
In its basic form, a last will and testament serves to specify how the decedent’s property and possessions should be distributed upon death. A person is named executor to oversee the process, which in most instances includes first assessing and paying debts to creditors before distribution of assets takes place.
Wills can also name an individual to act as a power of attorney to make business and financial decisions should the individual become incapacitated, and name a guardian for dependent children should the need arise. The consequences of dying without a will or trust are that the assets of the decedent are distributed according to state law without regard to the decedent’s wishes. In addition, the probate process can be costly and time-consuming, something that family members may not want to deal with after a loved one dies.
A living trust can avoid probate for the assets placed in the trust and also provides a greater degree of privacy to the family. Probate is a public process and a will submitted to probate is available for anyone to see.