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Why couples without kids need estate plans

Couples in Nevada and throughout the country have many reasons to create an estate plan even if they don't have children. For example, they could still have assets that they want to give to friends, family members or charitable organizations. A will can be a powerful tool to help a person transfer assets to the individuals or organization that could benefit the most from it. Without a will, assets may be distributed according to state law.

Since beneficiary designations generally trump any declarations made in a will, it's a good idea to review them on a regular basis. These designations can usually be added to life insurance policies, retirement accounts or bank accounts. Individuals who want to leave money to a school or charity could benefit from creating a charitable remainder or charitable lead trust. However, other types of trusts could also be appropriate depending on a person's needs.

People who have pets may want to consider creating a trust to ensure that their animals are cared for after they pass on. Nonprofit organizations may be willing to care for a cat or dog using the money that is designated for that purpose in a will or trust. However, a surviving spouse, trusted friend or family member could also be designated to care for a pet if desired.

A last will and testament could be a helpful estate planning tool for any adult who acquires assets during his or her lifetime. It may dictate who cares for a pet, determine how assets are distributed or provide instructions related to any digital assets a person had. An attorney may draft a will that meets an individual's needs, and it may also be possible for legal counsel to review an existing will or other plan documents.

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