Las Vegas Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate Planning is the Arrangement of Your Financial Affairs Through Asset Ownership and Legal Documents. The Primary Goal of Estate Planning is to See That Your Assets Will Be Managed and Distributed According to Your Desires During Your Life and After Your Death.
Most people focus on having a will or trust that meets the minimum legal requirements, but for a truly effective estate plan, the minimum legal requirements are usually not enough. An effective estate plan is one that truly accomplishes your objectives and that balances competing objectives according to your priorities.
LKP is a Las Vegas estate planning law firm that prepares all types of estate-planning documents, from the basic to the complex, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, Nevada Asset Protection Trusts (NAPTs), and private foundations. We can collaborate with other attorneys in the preparation of estate-planning documents, and we can provide a second opinion as to the validity of Nevada estate-planning documents.
Nevada Wills Are Critical to Estate Planning
If you have a will, you can direct what happens to your property when you pass away. You can leave money or property to family, friends, or whomever you want. You can also make provisions to take care of minor children.
If you don’t have a will, then your property will pass through what’s called intestate succession. In other words, if you don’t have a will, Nevada law sets out exactly what will happen to your assets and in a way that you probably won’t like.
Trusts Can Be an Important Part of Nevada Estate Planning
When you set up a trust, you give up control of your property to a trustee. The trustee manages and distributes the property for the beneficiaries of the trust. Beneficiaries can be family members, friends, institutions such as hospitals or churches or even yourself.
Wills often include trust provisions. Because the trusts are set up in a will, they are called testamentary trusts. In a testamentary trust, you can control what happens to your property by placing limits on the trust and the trustee. For example, sometimes younger people can be irresponsible or naive with money. You can set up a trust that says except in case of an emergency, the trustee will not release any of the trust to a person until a certain age.
Estate Planning Should Include Durable Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Powers of Attorney
Sometimes people suddenly die, such as by heart attack, stroke, or fatal injury or accident. But other times people suffer from progressive diseases or gradually become less firm physically or mentally. At times dementia sets in or a person has physically deteriorated to the point that they are in a coma.
Nevada law allows a person to plan ahead for these possible events by executing powers of attorney. There are two types of powers of attorney in Nevada. They are called the durable power of attorney and the healthcare power of attorney.
The durable power of attorney appoints another person to make financial decisions when a person has become incapacitated to the extent that they can no longer make those decisions for themselves. For a durable power of attorney to be valid, it must be in writing, signed by the person granting the power of attorney, and witnessed by two witnesses who also sign. Although durable powers of attorney are often notarized as well, it is not required by law.
The healthcare power of attorney appoints a person to make decisions about your medical care if you are not able to make those decisions for yourself. Those decisions include taking you off life support if you are in a coma, or restricting your medical care to treatment necessary to keep you comfortable in hospice. The healthcare power of attorney must be signed before a notary public or before two witnesses who personally know you, but there are statutory exceptions to whom those witnesses can be.
Post-Mortem Estate Planning for Decedents in Nevada
Ideally, estate planning should be done inter vivos (during life), but more often than not there are things that were not planned, things that were planned poorly, and things that could not be anticipated. “Post-mortem estate planning” consists of techniques and tools that can help save taxes and other expenses where the inter vivos planning was inadequate. Some of the more common post-mortem planning tools include tax elections when available, principal and income allocations, equitable apportionment among beneficiaries, and exercising discretionary power of distribution when available.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Serving Nevada
LKP are highly experienced estate planning lawyers in Las Vegas who plan estates throughout Nevada. If you or someone you know needs estate planning in Nevada, whether in Las Vegas, Reno or Carson City, contact us for a free consultation using our online contact form. Or call 702-333-1711 to speak to a Las Vegas, Nevada estate planning attorney experienced in preparing estate plans and legal documents.