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Mistakes with estate planning

Estate plans can be used to help surviving loved ones manage a deceased individual's estate. In fact, wills and trusts could help eliminate stress and make the grieving process a little easier. However, Nevada estate owners should take care to avoid making certain mistakes.

Despite the importance of having an estate plan, many people do not even have a will. Individuals who die without a will in place leave what happens to their assets to the state. It is also not unusual for married couples to think that all assets will automatically pass to the surviving spouse. In truth, this is not what happens.

Individuals who do not make plans for the unexpected, such as becoming incapacitated with no warning, are likely find that their preferences will not be honored in certain personal situations. Estate plans should include a financial power of attorney to permit a trusted individual to act on the behalf of a creator to make financial decisions in cases on incapacitation. A health care power of attorney should also be completed for decisions regarding medical care. For individuals who would prefer that no lifesaving measures be executed in certain serious situations, a living will should be created. Without these documents in place, an incapacitated person's loved ones will have to involve the courts in a costly and taxing process in order to have a guardian appointed.

After considering the types of assets and goals a client has, an attorney may assist with developing a personalized estate plan. The attorney might recommend certain types of wills, trusts and powers of attorney to ensure that the client's wishes are honored. Assistance may also be provided with drafting the provisions of a trust.

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