The intentions in wills and trusts can be sabotaged if unaware

Nevada residents have several options when it comes to passing on their assets upon death. When an estate plan is created, most people believe that their wills and trusts will govern how their assets are distributed. Some people may be unaware that these documents will not always control what happens to a particular asset.

When an individual opens a retirement account or purchases an insurance policy, a beneficiary designation form must be filled out. The account or policy owner is asked to choose a beneficiary who will receive the proceeds upon death. What many people do not realize is that this document controls what happens to the account, regardless of what a will or trust may indicate. Therefore, it is imperative that these beneficiary designations reflect the individual’s wishes.

It is also important to review how assets are titled. For example, if a home is titled jointly between two people, the other joint owner will receive the asset upon an individual’s death. If in a will or trust, the person intends for the asset to go to someone else, the title needs to be changed to reflect that intention. Otherwise, that wish will not be carried out, since the title of the document supersedes the will or trust.

These are just two ways that Nevada residents can unintentionally sabotage their wills and trusts. This is one of the main reasons why it is crucial to have your situation reviewed by an attorney. After all documents are reviewed, recommendations can be made that will help ensure that a person’s wishes are reflected in all documentation so that they may be carried out upon death.

Source: bizjournals.com, “10 key strategies for women doing estate planning“, Lisa Schneider, June 12, 2015

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