Under Nevada law, if a person dies with a will and assets, including real property or having a value of more than $20,000, his or her estate must be submitted to probate. Probate is the court-supervised process whereby a person's will is validated or challenged and the assets of his or her estate are distributed to beneficiaries. If the person dies intestate, without a will, then the estate will generally be settled by a similar process called administration.
A revocable living trust is an option to consider when doing estate planning. Creating such a trust can get your assets to beneficiaries much quicker than with a will, which has to go through probate court.
A trust may be used to help protect a Nevada resident's assets as well as provide a degree of privacy after the grantor dies. Unlike a will, the use of a trust helps to avoid expensive and public probate proceedings. However, many people think that such an estate planning document is too expensive to create or is only for people who have large estates.
Celebrities can provide great examples of what Nevada residents should be aware of during the estate planning process. In the case of Robin Williams, a co-trustee of a trust set up for his children was forced to make details of his estate public when petitioning the court for a replacement for the other co-trustee who had predeceased Williams. This completely negated the privacy that a trust provides when someone passes away. The lesson here is to repeatedly review and update documents when necessary.
An individual should ask several questions when determining whether or not to have a trust. As they can cost thousands of dollars to create and execute, it may be less expensive to go through a simplified probate process if possible. However, trusts may be less expensive depending on the value of an individual's estate.
Some Nevada residents who are planning to create an estate plan may want to consult with our attorney about drafting a will. Although many people do not like thinking about what will happen after their death, individuals who establish wills and trusts during their lifetime can help ensure that their property is passed on according to their wishes.
A Nevada senior dealing with estate planning considerations may wonder about the best assets to keep for passing along to heirs. Some assets are better to retain until death, and others should be liquidated rather than held for testamentary distribution. While the estate planning process is affected by one's unique portfolio, there are some helpful principles to follow in managing assets.
As uncomfortable as it may seem for family members to discuss inheritance matters with their intended beneficiaries, not talking about it could lead to serious problems down the line. Parents in Nevada might have good reasons besides emotional concerns for not having the talk, such as a fear that their children will count on their inheritance too much. But having loved ones to hear about the wishes of the decedent for the first time during probate could make an already difficult time more challenging.
Nevada residents who are looking into estate planning may wish to know some of the common issues that come from not discussing it with those who will inherit. Being open about the details of the plan can avoid many issues down the road.
Nevada fans of Robin Williams may be interested in how the actor set out plans for the distribution of his estate. Williams died of an apparent suicide August 11, according to police. The 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor had battled substance abuse problems and depression for quite some time.