Many people in Nevada probably avoid the estate planning process for a simple reason: they don’t know where to start. This is understandable, as there are many different estate planning options that individuals and families can consider. Each situation is unique, so no two estate plans will look the same. But, as the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” It is important to dispel certain myths about the estate planning and probate process so that people feel more comfortable about getting started.

First, as a recent article noted, don’t believe the myth that a person who has few assets or is unmarried doesn’t need an estate plan. Quite the opposite is true – almost anyone can benefit from having certain estate planning documents in place. An estate plan can include a simple will, power of attorney documents and an advanced healthcare directive. That may be all that is required for many people. However, there are other options to consider as well, such as trusts.

Second, don’t make the mistake of believing that if you die without a will, all of your assets will go to your spouse. Depending on the unique family dynamics of any given situation, that may not occur. If a person in Nevada dies without a will, state law determines how assets are distributed.

Lastly, don’t believe the myth that you are probably fine drafting and executing estate planning documents on your own. Sure, the Internet makes it sound like these are relatively minor and easy forms to fill out, but there are certain legal requirements that must be met to avoid probate litigation. Getting the appropriate legal help is crucial.