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Trusts Archives

How politics can influence estate planning

The 2020 presidential election could have implications for Nevada residents and others who currently have estate plans. For instance, if Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders become president, there could be a reduction in the gift tax exemption or the estate tax exemption. Today, the gift and estate tax exemptions are set at $11.4 million. While some may choose to wait to alter their plans until anything actually changes, that may not necessarily be the best strategy.

Estate planning in nontraditional families

Nontraditional family structures, such as blended families, are on the rise, and these families need estate planning just like everyone else does. However, estate planning advice is often written for more traditional families, even though these types of families are increasingly in the minority. People in Nevada whose families do not fit the traditional model may need to keep additional considerations in mind when creating an estate plan.

How to protect an inheritance from a spouse

Nevada residents who are expecting to receive an inheritance after getting married have ways to protect that money. One option could be to put the cash into a trust. The language of the document could stipulate that the money is to be for the benefit of a child or grandchild. Another option could be to create a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement with a spouse that allows the inheritance to remain separate property.

Opting for flexibility in a trust

Trusts can be an important part of estate planning, helping Nevada residents to achieve their goals with a higher level of customization, control and privacy. However, flexibility can also be an important part of a trust. Tax laws and inheritance laws can change over time, as can individual family relationships. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act drew attention to this issue, as many of its provisions sunset at the end of 2025. This means that Congress will actively need to renew them in order to keep the increased estate tax exemptions and other provisions in place.

Balancing interests when managing trusts

Trusts can be an important part of estate planning for many people in Nevada. These instruments allow people to pass on important belongings and assets with a higher level of privacy. They also offer a greater amount of discretion and control. A revocable trust can be used along with a power of attorney to make sure that the grantor's assets are handled well throughout their life, even if they face incapacity or cognitive decline. It allows property to pass after death without going through probate courts, giving a higher level of protection to the decisions made by the person passing on their estate.

Providing for pets in an estate plan

When Nevada residents are planning their estate, they might first think about how they can provide for their children or a favored charity. However, for many people, pets are a beloved part of their lives, as close as a family member and with no ability to provide for themselves. Many pets can live long lives, and their owners want to make sure that the pets will continue to enjoy a good life even after they are no longer personally able to provide it. People can include their pets in their estate plan in order to help protect their animal companions' future.

New law could impact how estate plans are structured

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 likely changes the tax treatment of inherited IRA accounts. The legislation was approved in the House and will likely be approved in the Senate as well. Previously, Nevada residents could transfer an IRA to beneficiaries who weren't spouses. Those beneficiaries could then stretch distributions throughout their expected life spans.

Considerations when starting the estate planning process

For many Nevada residents, estate planning is not something that is considered to be a priority, especially when the person is healthy. However, it can suddenly become an issue if the person falls seriously ill. In other cases, the person may become involved in a serious accident and not survive. If this happens, the person's remaining family are left to deal with the person's estate.

Why and how to set up a spendthrift trust

A person in Nevada who is creating an estate plan and is concerned that an heir might be irresponsible with an inheritance may want to consider setting up a spendthrift trust. This allows the heir to receive distributions from assets in the trust, but a trustee controls when those distributions are made.

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