Millions of Americans know they should have an estate plan, yet they neglect to address this important issue. Why? Well, for starters, some probably believe that they do not need an estate plan because they don't have children, or they are not rich. Well, the fact of the matter is that almost everyone can benefit from an estate plan.
Many Nevada residents know that they should have an estate plan in place, but, for whatever reason, they are hesitant to even start the process. Why? Well, in some cases, people find the estate planning process mystifying - they don't know what options are right for them amongst so many potential arrangements. But, even though each estate plan will be different according to a person's needs, avoiding risky missteps is a crucial part of the overall process.
For many people in Nevada who start the estate planning process, avoiding probate is one of their main goals. No one likes to think of their relatives and close friends needing to go through complicated court procedures just so assets can be distributed according to their wishes. However, if a person only has a will - or doesn't have a will at all - going through probate is all but necessary. So, what is the key to avoiding probate?
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.
It is hard enough for many people to communicate with an estate planning attorney when they know that they need to take action on this issue, so expecting Nevada residents to communicate with family members as well can seem like a lot to ask. However, as a recent article noted, communication is crucial when it comes to estate planning. Why? Well, the article pointed to a number of reasons.
With the holiday season behind us and the new year just beginning, many people are doing their best to make positive changes in their lives. New Year's resolutions are always fun to think about and plan, but, sometimes, too few people actually carry through with their plans for improvement. For Nevada residents, perhaps one of the most important goals for the new year should be to make an estate plan, if they don't have one already.
Some of our readers in Nevada may wonder, what are the most basics parts of an estate plan? Well, as a recent article noted, in many cases the most basics components of such a plan are: a will; power of attorney documents for financial matters and healthcare matters; a so-called "living will," which is actually a directive to family members and healthcare professionals regarding what type of end-of-life treatment you do and do not want to receive; and, for some people, a trust for some or all assets they own.
Most people in Nevada have more assets than they realize, a fact that can come to light when they get into the estate planning process. In an ideal estate plan, the plan will be comprehensive and include all of a person's assets and how to distribute those assets. Many people will make their plan to distribute their assets based on percentages, such as, for a basic example, half of the assets to a spouse and one-quarter each to two adult children.
For many people in Nevada, challenging a family member in court for any reason is fraught with the potential to seriously undermine a relationship forever. When it comes to probate court, there may be no choice, as the different sides of the case are inevitably family members with different goals. However, dealing with these fractured relationships and emotional challenges is just one part of pursuing a case in probate court in Nevada.
One of the most fundamental parts of a Nevada estate plan is a will. This document is intended to provide direction to heirs and beneficiaries on how an estate is to be distributed. However, anyone who is familiar with the legal realm knows that the words in such a document can be open to interpretation. That is why the right wording is crucial, and can help avoid the potential for probate litigation.