Last wills and testaments provide guidance to family and courts

After Nevada residents pass away, it is too late to communicate what they want done with the property they left behind. This is why last wills and testaments are vital for every adult. They provide guidance and instructions to surviving family members and the courts.

Without wills, Nevada law will dictate who receives an individual’s assets. If there is no family to distribute the assets to, the state receives the assets to do with as it pleases. Few people would want their state to take possession of their property after death. Furthermore, taxing authorities will also benefit from not having a will since one of the primary goals of estate planning is to limit estate tax liability.

The will does not control the disposition of every asset, however. If an individual has a living trust, the assets in the trust will pass to the beneficiaries of the trust immediately without having to go through the courts. Accounts such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts will pass by operation of law in accordance with the beneficiary designation forms filled out by the account holder. Any property held jointly will also not go through probate, and the other party will own it in its entirety. It is advisable to review how these assets are titled and/or to whom they will end up with to ensure they are still inherited in accordance with the individual’s wishes.

Last wills and testaments are considered the cornerstone of every estate plan. A person’s age, wealth or marital status is not important when it comes to having a will. Even though it might not be the most pleasant topic,¬†deciding what will happen to any property owned at death protects surviving family members, friends and charities that are near and dear to an individual’s heart. How that property is passed depends on a person’s unique circumstances, and an estate-planning attorney can help figure out the best way to achieve his or her goals.

Source:¬†findlaw.com, “Estate Administration: The Will After Death“, Accessed on July 9, 2016

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Johnson & Johnson Law Offices - Probate Lawyers of Las Vegas, Nevada, provide representation throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Overton, Logandale, Mountain's Edge, Aliante, Anthem, Sun City, Siena, Boulder City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Summerlin, Southern Highlands and Green Valley. This includes the counties of Clark County, Nye County, Lincoln County, as well as greater Southern Nevada.

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