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December 2019 Archives

Understanding when and how to move forward with a will contest

Estate plans can be complicated for Nevada residents. After losing a loved one, it can be a surprise for a person to discover that he or she has been excluded from the will. Regardless of why this might have occurred, it is important to keep assumptions at bay and consider how to address the issue. Many strategies have time limitations, so it is wise to act quickly.

How families can talk about estate planning

Nevada families may struggle to talk about estate planning, but it is an important conversation to have. Often, these discussions only occur in the middle of health crises. A better approach is to talk about it early. This can be done with a financial or legal professional present who can advise on the technical elements while the family deals with the emotional aspects.

Being open and objective is important when acting as executor

When your loved one passed, the loss likely made you sad but also grateful that he or she created an estate plan. Hopefully, you knew ahead of time that your family member chose you to act as the executor of the remaining estate, as having a will and other estate planning documents to work with could make your job a little bit easier.

Discovering undisclosed assets when a loved one passes away

When a loved one passes away in Nevada, family members, beneficiaries and the executor of the estate may be concerned about how they can find all of the property that belonged to the deceased person's estate. In some cases, assets are found years after a person's estate has gone through probate. Some people do not leave behind comprehensive lists of their property, organized documentation or guides to their assets, passwords and other information. The executor may not be intimately aware of the person's financial details, so there may be some additional work needed to uncover hidden property.

Planning for incapacity as part of an estate plan

Some people in Nevada who have created a will or a trust may feel that they have completed all the necessary estate planning documents. However, they may not have prepared documents that deal with becoming incapacitated. A health care directive, also known as a durable health care powers of attorney, a medical directive or a living will, is an important part of this planning, and most Americans do not have one.

Should people have more than one trust?

Many people in Nevada know that establishing a trust can be an important part of estate planning that provides greater privacy and flexibility. However, they may wonder if there are benefits to establishing more than one trust to cover different types of property. Since the trust becomes the legal owner of the property in question, more than one trust cannot address the same items. In addition, making a trust is different from making a will. If people make a new will, it overrides completely all prior documents. With a trust, a new trust does not replace the old one although a restatement or amendment of an original trust can typically be made.

Tips to help Nevada residents with estate planning

Typically, when a person dies, a portion of that individual's estate goes to a spouse or child. However, not everyone wants to leave assets to their family members when they pass on. If a person specifically disinherits a child in a will, that son or daughter is entitled to nothing. If a child is to be disinherited, it is important that a child be specifically written out of the will regardless of the quality of the relationship between the potential beneficiary and the deceased parent.

How family dynamics can complicate estate planning

Many families have dysfunctional dynamics that can make estate planning difficult, and in families with high net worth, the stakes can be particularly high. However, the basic advice that experts give for high net worth families can apply to most other situations involving estate planning well. The best way to get the outcome a person wants is with a combination of careful planning and communication.

Retirement accounts never go through probate. Right? Wrong

When you either started a Roth IRA or began participating in your employment retirement plan, you should have filled out a beneficiary designation form. You believed that filling that out would guarantee that the person or people you designated will receive the funds in your account upon your death.

Trusts should be revoked by their own terms

Trusts can be an important and useful part of a Nevada estate plan, but there are some circumstances under which a person may want to revoke a trust. If the trust is irrevocable, that can be a complicated process. To revoke a revocable trust, though, the person should follow a few steps. It may be advisable for a person to consult an attorney before taking any action that will impact his or her estate plan.

What people should know about family members contesting a will

Nevada residents who have been left out of a family member's will and those making their will may be interested to learn whether a family member can contest a will if they are not included in it. The basic answer is yes. It is possible for a family member to contest the validity of a will.

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