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Common and avoidable estate planning issues

When it comes to making an estate plan in Nevada, the primary concern of most people is making things as stress-free as possible for their heirs. Among the problems that commonly arise in the administration of an estate plan are errors in beneficiary designations, outdated plans and lack of information.

There are certain assets in many cases that do not pass via a will or trust. Rather, they pass to heirs by virtue of a beneficiary designation. Insurance policies, retirement accounts and annuities typically call for their owner to designate a beneficiary who will gain ownership of the assets after the owner's death. For example, it can cause problems later if a person is bequeathed the value of an insurance policy but is not named as the beneficiary with the insurance company. Typically, with assets like these, the beneficiary designation will take precedence over the will.

Another common problem is an estate plan that's out of date. People might go years after they sign their estate planning documents without revisiting them. Estate plans should be updated to reflect major life events like marriage, divorce and childbirth.Changes to the tax regulations might also call for estate planning updates.

Lack of information can also lead to problems for heirs. Important documents like the deed to a home, mortgage papers, the will and automobile paperwork should be kept in a place where heirs can find them. It's a good idea to keep a master list of usernames and passwords in a safe place too, so heirs can access digital assets and information.

A lawyer might be able to help people who are interested in creating or updating a will or estate plan in Nevada. A lawyer with experience in estate planning law might help the client organize assets and draft planning instruments to meet the client's needs and goals.

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