For many Nevada residents, the primary goal of the estate planning process is avoiding probate. Probate can be a time-consuming process, and can also drain assets from the estate in question. So, how can Nevada residents design their estate plans to avoid probate?
Well, for starters, it is important to examine exactly how one's assets are owned. Take, for example, real estate. If a person owns real estate as the sole owner of the property, there must be a process to pass ownership of the real estate to someone else upon the owner's death. That process, typically, is accomplished through probate. However, if a person, while alive, brings the person who they want to inherit the property into the ownership of the property to make that individual a "joint tenant with a right of survivorship," then, when one of the owners dies, the other takes ownership of the entire parcel of property -- no probate needed.
Trusts are another estate planning mechanism that can be used to bypass the probate process. Ownership of certain property can be transferred to the trust, with the trust naming another person as a beneficiary. Trusts typically are not subject to the probate process, but there are many options when it comes to trusts, so Nevada residents will want to do their homework when considering trusts.
Life insurance policies are another primary mechanism by which assets can avoid the probate process. Upon death, a life insurance policy pays out to the designated beneficiary without the need to go through the probate process.