Estate planning can help simplify the probate process

Many Nevada residents may wonder if having an estate plan is worth it — especially if they are young. The fact is that the future is unpredictable, and any of us can be the victim of an accident or illness at any time. It is worth it to spare family and friends from having to spend additional time and money in court in order to deal with the assets and liabilities of a loved one. Estate planning can help simplify the probate process.

If an individual dies without a will, Nevada law determines who will inherit the assets. Unless there are children who were not born of a marriage, the spouse is first in line to inherit. Thereafter, the statute favors children and then grandchildren if necessary.

Next in line to inherit would be the decedent’s parents, then siblings if the parents predeceased. After that, the process becomes more complex. In the end, if no surviving relatives are found, the state could end up with the assets of the estate.

A will, which is the cornerstone of most estate plans, designates who receives the assets. For some people, a will is enough, along with any beneficiary designations on accounts such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies, is enough. The more assets a person has, however, the longer and more complex a probate can become.

More options exist in estate planning for those who want to limit the amount of assets that have to go through probate. What documents will work best for a Nevada resident will depend on his or her circumstances and desires. However, once a plan is in place, everyone can have the peace of mind that the individual has done as much as possible to make it easier on those left behind.

Source: greenbaypressgazette.com, “Avoiding probate with estate planning“, Carissa Giebel, Nov. 30, 2015

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