When the prospect of paying estate taxes was a concern for a larger number of people, avoiding those taxes was a primary goal. Now that the federal estate tax exemption has eliminated the need for most Nevada residents to worry about estate taxes, they can focus on other potential pitfalls that can occur during estate planning. Accounting for as many eventualities as possible can help ensure that individual goals will be met. Moreover, doing so could reduce — or even eliminate — any points of contention among heirs and beneficiaries.
One common oversight in many estate plans is the failure to appoint a contingency beneficiary on retirement accounts and insurance policies in case the primary beneficiary predeceases the owner of the account. People also underestimate how important a piece of personal property could be to more than one person. If there are no specific bequests, disputes over personal items could ensue. Many people make these bequests in a separate writing that is referenced in the will and can be changed if needed.
If an individual remarries, it may be necessary to ensure that both the new spouse and children from a prior marriage are included in an estate plan. Many people put assets into a trust for the surviving spouse’s use during that person’s lifetime. The estate will then pass to the children upon the surviving spouse’s death.
These are just some of the issues Nevada residents need to consider during estate planning. Whatever decisions are made can usually be accommodated. It is also imperative that the appropriate documents be drafted and executed in accordance with applicable state laws in order to be valid when they are needed.
Source: bradenton.com, “Seven common estate planning traps to avoid“, Karin Grablin, June 9, 2015