Once a Nevada resident has decided to create an estate plan, certain issues will need to be addressed before any documents can be drafted and executed. Even though estate planning documents can be changed, many people want to do them once and only update them if some major life change occurs, such as a divorce, birth or remarriage. Therefore, many decisions will need to be made that require a significant amount of attention.
Obviously, it will be necessary to determine who will inherit certain assets that the individual will leave behind. These decisions can be made alone or with the intended heirs and beneficiaries. After those choices are made, it will then be necessary to determine whether the assets will be inherited outright or subject to a trust. A trust allows for distributions to be made at specific times, under certain conditions and/or in predetermined amounts.
Another decision that deserves serious contemplation is who will be appointed to carry out a person’s wishes. In the event of incapacitation, one or more people will need to be in charge of financial matters and health care decisions, but it does not have to be the same person or persons. An individual’s life may literally be in the agent’s hands. Furthermore, choosing an executor for the will and a trustee for a trust puts surviving family members’ well-being in that person’s hands. Therefore, these decisions should not be taken lightly.
These are just some of the issues that will need to be resolved during estate planning. The preparation done before the documents are executed often determines how effective they will be when needed. Most Nevada residents want to make these tasks as hassle-free for their loved ones as possible. Proper planning and execution of the documents goes a long way toward that goal.
Source: MarketWatch, “Review your estate plan against this 14-point checklist“, Art Koff, July 20, 2015