Estate Planning

Wills and Trusts and Estate Planning

We recommend that our clients have and regularly review their Estate Planning to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they die. Estate planning can take many forms. A will and/or a trust are just one of the several options available. Estate planning is dependent on what you want to accomplish.

Do you want children to get money after they graduate from college or get married? Then your estate planning includes a trust so that someone you designate distributes money only after these milestones are met.

Do you have a child with special needs? Then your estate planning includes a “special needs” or MESH trust.

Do you have a blended family? Then your estate planning should include a trust to ensure that your assets go to your spouse and children as you desire.

ESTATE PLAN

To create an estate plan one needs to determine who their heirs are and what they want to leave them. This is not as simple as it sounds. Heirs can include family members, friends and charitable organizations. What you want to leave them requires a person to do an inventory of what they have. This means identifying family heirlooms, bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, homes, cars, etc. Many assets such as bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, etc., can pass outside of probate or a trust by means of a Pay on Death designation.

Will
In Nevada, the requirements for a will are set forth in NRS 133. A will is a written instrument that instructs the courts and heirs how to distribute a person’s assets after they die. It is a public document. Essentially, a person has to be above the age of 18 and of sound mind and body. It must either be notarized or witnessed by two people who are not named as heirs in the will.

Trust
A trust serves several functions. It allows assets to be distributed privately and outside of probate. It also allows a person to establish a fund for children’s needs such as education, health care, etc.

A trust is needed when a person has a child who, for whatever reason, will never be self supporting. The child can not be given money outright in a will because they can’t manage it and because of various asset requirements for government programs. A parent sets up a trust for the benefit of the child and has a trusted family member or friend be the trustee.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE DECISIONS

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions allows a person to specify what health decisions they want made in the event that they are not able to make their own decisions. These decisions include whether or not to “pull the plug” and under what circumstances. Whether or not one wants hydration after the “plug’ has been pulled. We always recommend hydration. If a person does not have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, they can be kept alive in a coma until they die.

To create an estate plan one needs to determine who their heirs are and what they want to leave them. This is not as simple as it sounds. Heirs can include family members, friends and charitable organizations. What you want to leave them requires a person to do an inventory of what they have. This means identifying family heirlooms, bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, homes, cars, etc. Many assets such as bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, etc., can pass outside of probate or a trust by means of a Pay on Death designation.

In Nevada, the requirements for a will are set forth in NRS 133. A will is a written instrument that instructs the courts and heirs how to distribute a person’s assets after they die. It is a public document. Essentially, a person has to be above the age of 18 and of sound mind and body. It must either be notarized or witnessed by two people who are not named as heirs in the will.

A trust serves several functions. It allows assets to be distributed privately and outside of probate. It also allows a person to establish a fund for children’s needs such as education, health care, etc.

A trust is needed when a person has a child who, for whatever reason, will never be self supporting. The child can not be given money outright in a will because they can’t manage it and because of various asset requirements for government programs. A parent sets up a trust for the benefit of the child and has a trusted family member or friend be the trustee.