Wills FAQs: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions
At Cassady Law Offices, P.C., we review and draft wills for individuals and families. Our Las Vegas law firm serves clients from offices in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. Contact our Las Vegas estate planning lawyer for a complete $99 wills package. There are no hidden fees or costs. This estate plan includes:
- Last will and testament
- Durable power of attorney for health care decisions
- General power of attorney
Q. What does a last will and testament do?
A. Your last will and testament (also referred to simply as a will) allows you to do several things. First, you can specify how you want your estate to be distributed upon your death. You can divide your estate among a number of people equally, give everything to one person or a charity, or whatever else you choose to do with your property. Your will also appoints someone as the executor of your estate. This is the person who will be in charge of gathering all of your assets and debts together, notifying creditors of your death, and distributing your assets according to your instructions in the will.
Q. What happens if I die without a will?
A. People who die without a will are said to have died “intestate.” This means there is no valid will and the estate is governed by the Nevada state law concerning intestate succession. This means that the state will determine who may serve as executor of your estate and who will get your property. If you do not have relatives who are residents of Nevada, the Clark County public administrator may be appointed to administer the estate instead of your family.
Q. What are some other advantages of having a will?
A. You already know that a will allows you to name your executor and dictate distributions to your heirs. In addition, your will can indicate who you would appoint as your guardian if you become incapacitated. For example, Alzheimer’s may leave you mentally unable to care for yourself and your financial affairs. By appointing your preferred guardian in your will, you are telling the court who you want to take care of you and your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
Further, if you have minor children, you may state in your will who you would prefer to be their guardian in the case of your death.
Another advantage of having a will is that it is less expensive than a living trust. At Cassady Law Offices, P.C., we can prepare a simple $99 wills package.
Q. What are the disadvantages of having a will?
A. Having a will is better than having nothing. Failure to have even a simple will can result in massive confusion. Your heirs will not have any direction and can become embroiled in arguments and disputes that can make a difficult time even worse. By having a will, you provide your family and heirs with guidance regarding your wishes and how to proceed with settling your affairs.
The disadvantage of having a will only can be seen when comparing a will with a living trust. If you pass away without a will or living trust, your estate goes through the probate process before your heirs receive your estate. Having a will does not prevent your estate from going through the probate process. Establishing a living trust and transferring your assets into the trust during your lifetime will allow those assets to be transferred to your heirs without probate.
Q. What does a general power of attorney do?
A. A general power of attorney gives power and authorizes someone else to make decisions on your behalf in all respects. It includes financial authorization to manage bank accounts, social security, Medicare or other benefits and make decisions about your property. A general power of attorney expires when the person who granted it becomes unable to make their own decisions, becomes incapacitated or dies. A general power of attorney can also be revoked at any time.
Q. What does a durable power of attorney do?
A. A durable power of attorney allows someone to act on your behalf even if you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney lets you choose someone you trust to act on your behalf and make decisions on your behalf. A durable power of attorney can include financial or medical decisions, depending on the terms you decide to include. A durable power of attorney can be revoked at any time with a signed document if you are considered mentally competent.
Q. Should I also have a power of attorney or living will?
A. Yes. At Cassady Law Offices, P.C., we include both a general power of attorney for financial affairs and a durable power of attorney for health care decisions along with your last will and testament, at no additional charge.
To learn more about our Las Vegas and Henderson estate planning services, contact Cassady Law Offices, P.C.