Nevada residents may be interested in some information on how to get started with estate planning. Generally, the first document to create is a will. A will directs how a person's assets should be distributed when they die, and it typically includes provisions for family, friends and charitable gifts. Without a will, the person's property goes through the court-supervised probate process and the assets may be distributed in a way contrary to the person's wishes.
As estate tax cutoffs continue to climb, estate planning is no longer as beholden to potential tax liabilities as it once was. For Nevadans, this affords more options concerning how and where estate funds may be distributed. This, in turn, permits those entering estate planning to think beyond the usual triad of taxes, charity and family for end-of-life gifts and inheritance and opens other avenues beyond conventional and basic estate planning options.
When a celebrity passes away, media outlets generally run two kinds of stories. The first deals with how beloved the athlete or entertainer was while listing their honors and achievements, and the second concerns their estate planning acumen or lack thereof. Nevada residents will likely have read about the estate planning gaffes of the actors James Gandolfini and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and they may have learned recently about the prudent use of living trusts by the legendary basketball coach Dean Smith. However, the feud between the widow and children of Robin Williams over the contents of a California residence does not fit neatly into a good or poor estate planning narrative.
Although many people in Nevada would rather not think about the possibility of their own death, it is important to get estate planning issues taken care of. Without a completed will, a decedent's assets are distributed based on Nevada intestate succession laws. In addition to being impersonal, this method of property division could result in higher estate taxes for beneficiaries and may not be in accord with what the owner had wanted to be the recipients.
Individuals in California may not realize that a will does not necessarily stand as written but can be challenged. It is a rare occurrence that rarely occurs, but there are a few grounds upon which a will may be successfully challenged.
A will is the final testament of a deceased person and spells out who will receive money or other assets when that person passes. There are a few steps to take to help ensure that the document will be enforceable. First, it is important to get rid of any older versions of a will as this will reduce the odds of a challenge to that document in court.
Traditionally, a Nevada will is used to allocate gifts of money to others -- like family members or good friends. Charities and non-profit organizations are also commonly mentioned in many wills as recipients of financial bequests. A recent trend, followed by many people across the country, is to include one's pets when making a last will and testament.
Even with all the information available concerning the necessity of certain estate planning tools, there are still many Las Vegas residents that may die without having a valid will in place. The problem with not having a will in place is that one's assets may then be distributed subject to laws rather than how one actually would like to see the distribution take place.