The will is at the center of estate planning, but may be limited
Most people are told that a last will and testament is at the center of any estate plan. It is true that nearly every Nevada adult needs a will, but certain types of assets and other estate planning documents may limit its use. Therefore, it is imperative that an individual reviews the way that every asset will be distributed upon death.
Some assets such as insurance policies and retirement accounts are passed to loved ones through beneficiary designations. Other assets also pass through operation of law because of the way they are owned and/or titled. For instance, joint bank accounts will automatically pass to the survivor.
Some accounts allow the owner to designate an individual who will receive rights to the account upon death. These “pay on death” accounts will pass to the named individual regardless of what the will might say. Some people create trusts as a part of their estates for a variety of reasons, and the assets held in those trusts do not ordinarily go through probate.
When creating or updating a will, Nevada residents will want to review all of their assets carefully to ensure distribution after death in accordance with their wishes. Otherwise, an asset could end up being passed to someone that the decedent did not intend to receive it. This is just one of the many reasons why individuals engaged in estate planning benefit from retaining the services of an attorney whose legal practice focuses on this area of the law.
Source: fool.com, “3 Things You Should Know Before Writing Your Will“, Matthew Frankel, Dan Caplinger and Todd Campbell, Aug. 9, 2015