Estate planning for everyone

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2019 | Estate Planning

Many Nevada residents may mistakenly believe that having an estate plan is only something that is necessary when a person is very wealthy. However, the truth is that anyone who possesses assets should consider completing an estate plan.

There are many aspects of an estate plan. Estate planning can entail creating a will and a health care directive, establishing life insurance policies or designating guardians. In situations in which people die without an estate plan in place, their surviving loved ones will find it difficult to complete simple tasks, like paying off the credit cards of the decedent or selling the decedent’s vehicle.

The first step of estate planning is determining to whom assets are to be distributed. Beneficiaries have to be chosen for assets such as retirement accounts and insurance policies. Circumstances and relationships can change, and it is important to update the designations when necessary so that assets are not distributed to an unintended person, such as an ex-spouse.

Trusts are legal documents that can be used to avoid having assets go through the probate process. They can also be used to lessen taxes. For example, irrevocable trusts can be used to hold assets to reduce the taxes assessed on those assets.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may consider the assets and goals of a client and may assist with creating a personalized estate plan. Assistance might be provided with creating certain types of trusts and wills to ensure that assets are handled according to the wishes of the client. Legal advice may be offered regarding which types of estate planning tools and strategies may be used to protect assets and reduce taxes. Depending on the goals of a client, attorney might assist with drafting the provisions for a charitable remainder trust, family trust or living trust.