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When a will is not enough

Nevada residents who are wondering if a will is enough for an estate plan should consider several points. If someone simply wishes to transfer his or her assets to loved ones and does not care about efficiency, then a will may be all that is needed. However, when an estate owner wants to get their assets to their beneficiaries as efficiently as possible, or if they want to add in details that are unrelated to testamentary intent, they likely need to go beyond a will.

While a will is generally considered the foundation of every estate plan, they rarely stand alone. For example, a payable on death (POD) asset will require additional steps to make sure it is efficiently transferred to the beneficiary. This is also the case when an asset is a transfer on death (TOD) asset, such as a bank or investment account. These designations are considered supplemental to a will and in many ways are just as important as the will itself.

Estate planning may also include a living will, an important document that many estate planners consider a necessity. A living will determines who has power of attorney and who can make medical decisions when the holder of the living will is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make his or her own decisions. An advanced medical directive is another estate planning tool that goes beyond a simple will. Advanced medical directives spell out a person's medical wishes and relieve the family of having to make difficult decisions.

Anyone who is looking for assistance with estate planning should consider hiring an attorney with experience in will planning. An experienced attorney may be able to help make estate planning a straightforward, stress-free process. Legal counsel could also provide unbiased, unemotional advice during the process of planning the will.

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