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January 2019 Archives

Using a spendthrift trust to manage family members' inheritances

Some parents in Nevada who are creating an estate plan might be concerned about whether their adult children will be able to handle a sudden influx of wealth. It is not uncommon to hear stories about lottery winners or other people who mismanage their money and end up filing for bankruptcy, and parents may wonder how they can prevent this from happening to their children.

Going to probate isn't necessarily a bad thing

Nevada residents may believe that they need to avoid probate at all costs. However, this is not necessarily true depending on the size of a person's estate and their estate planning goals. Those who want to skip probate can do so by naming a beneficiary a joint owner of an asset. This can be done with a bank account and most other assets that a person has.

Common misconceptions regarding powers of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document meant to transfer the ability to make certain decisions to another trusted individual under certain circumstances. While it may seem relatively straightforward, there are still some common misconceptions that Nevadans have about this type of document. Not having a full understanding of what to expect with a POA can result in some unexpected conflicts or legal challenges.

What happens in the probate process

Some people might wonder what is involved in the probate process. A person must file a petition for probate. If there is a will, a Nevada court will decide whether it is valid. In some cases, family members might challenge the will. The court would then hear evidence to decide how to proceed.

Tips for talking about inheritances

Taking time to talk with family members about estate planning can be worthwhile for Nevada residents. Having this conversation can make it easier to plan for a range of issues such as where money will come from to pay for a parent's long-term care. It can also make it possible for family members to create a plan to transfer wealth while minimizing inheritance and other taxes.

Why estate planning matters for adults of all ages

Nevada ressidents may be able to learn a lesson about the importance of estate planning for adults of all ages from the Swedish musician Avicii. Avicii died in 2018 at the age of 28 without leaving any kind of estate plan behind. According to Swedish law, his parents will inherit his entire estate although this may not be what he would have wanted.

Key differences between wills and trusts

For anyone considering estate planning in Nevada, two of the main options are wills and trusts. While there are some individuals who believe it's better to opt for a trust than a will, the fact is that either one of these estate planning methods can work well. A will is a document that typically includes instructions about property and asset division among designated heirs. One can also use a will to name a personal representative to handle an individual's final affairs. Preferred guardians for children can be named as well.

Creating an estate plan when your child is an addict

As challenging as it may be for anyone to consider and establish an estate plan, you have an added complication if your son or daughter is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Your plans to leave your children your estate, life insurance benefits or other assets is frustrated by the potential disaster that may follow if your addicted child receives an inheritance. Even for those in recovery, such a windfall may be the equivalent of a death sentence.

Using trusts as part of an estate plan

Many estate planners in Nevada want to take advantage of the higher level of flexibility and autonomy offered by trusts. However, they may have questions about how trust instruments work, especially where they differ from wills. For example, some may wonder if they can create a second trust and if it will affect the first trust they created. On the other hand, a new will usually explicitly revokes prior wills; it's only possible to have one valid will at a time.

How life insurance fits in an estate plan

Over the next several decades, roughly $30 trillion in wealth will be transferred from grandparents and parents to their children and grandchildren. Therefore, it's important for Nevada residents to plan how the assets will be transferred. This may be made easier through the use of a life insurance policy. These policies can provide cash that might be needed immediately following a person's death.

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