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.
No one wants to think of probate litigation being a possibility in the aftermath of the death of a loved one. However, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes, probate litigation is necessary. When it is, Nevada residents need to know their rights and options in the process.
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?
One of the main reasons that Nevada residents make comprehensive estate plans is to avoid the potential for probate litigation when the time for the plan to be implemented comes. No one likes to think of their heirs and beneficiaries being tied up in the probate court system fighting over assets. However, the reality is that probate litigation is common enough. So, what are the common causes of probate litigation in Nevada?
Often overlooked, one of the steps in the probate or trust administration is the act of putting a value on the property that is part of the estate or in the trust. How much a piece of property was worth at the time of a person's death can have huge implications with respect to taxes and other things.
According to relatively recent statistics, the number of incidents of undue influence and outright elder abuse are unacceptably high both in Nevada and around the country.