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How Does a Family Trust Work in Nevada?

Posted on June 29, 2022 in asset protection,probate,trust

Establishing a trust is one way to ensure your assets are dispersed according to your wishes once you’re no longer alive. Living trusts can be set up in different ways, depending on the needs of you and your family. Family trusts can be created so you can specify which family members your assets will be left to and to stipulate when those assets can be accessed. Setting up a family trust in Nevada can give you control of your money once you’re gone and can help to provide your family with a financial legacy.

How does a family trust work in Nevada?

What Is a Family Trust?

A family trust is a revocable living trust. This means it is created during a person’s lifetime so they can protect their assets and indicate what will be done with them once they pass away or become incapacitated. In a Nevada Revocable Living Trust, you must decide and state several terms:

  • Initial trustee: Generally, you will designate yourself, or you and your spouse, as the trustee to make decisions about your estate while you are still living.
  • Successor trustee(s): This is the person, or people, who will take over management of the trust to handle the legal business associated with it. The person listed as trustee should be trustworthy and honest, as they will manage the trust and hold the titles to assets within it until they are dispersed to beneficiaries.
  • Lifetime beneficiary: This is usually you, or you and your spouse. It indicates that you are the owner of the assets within the trust.
  • Death beneficiaries: Here is where you will specify who inherits what once you pass away. You can stipulate when the beneficiaries will be able to access the assets, such as right after your death, once they graduate college, once they turn 30, etc.

Advantages of a Family Trust

Many people think a will is sufficient when it comes to estate planning and indicating your wishes about what happens to your assets after you pass away. While wills do have their place and are an important component of estate planning, developing a family trust has some serious advantages to consider:

  • Avoid probate: Probate can be time-consuming and expensive. With a properly funded living trust, such as a family trust, you can avoid your loved ones having to deal with probate court since all of your assets will be held within the trust. You still have control of everything within the trust when you are alive, but it is technically the property of the trust rather than the person who created it. Without a trust, and even with a will in place, probate is required to account for and distribute a deceased person’s property. The probate process takes an average of 13 months in Nevada and could take several years if the estate is contested.
  • Incapacity or disability: In the event you become incapacitated or mentally disabled, a living trust still allows you to benefit from the assets in the trust, but the successor trustee listed will become the trustee, since you would no longer be able to manage the trust.
  • Privacy and efficiency: The disbursement of assets to the beneficiaries listed in a trust can be executed without court involvement, making it a more private and efficient process. The successor trustee is legally obligated to follow the terms of the trust which can be done privately without the need for publication, court fees, or asset appraisals.

How to Set Up a Family Trust in Nevada

The help of an experienced Nevada estate planning attorney can help you create a family trust and explain the decisions to you thoroughly. There are many different types of trusts that can be created, so discussing the options with a professional is wise to make sure a family trust fits your needs best. When creating a family trust, you will choose the property that is included in the trust, designate the trustees and beneficiaries, sign the document with a notary public, and change any asset titles to indicate you own them through the trust.

Do I Need a Will and a Trust?

A trust is advantageous for many reasons, but it does not necessarily cover all of the wishes you’d like executed after you pass away. A living trust doesn’t include everything you own, so unless you transfer every single item in writing to the trust up to the time of your death, there will be assets you own that aren’t listed within the trust. A will can cover these assets with general instructions, rather than specifically listing out each item.

A will also allows you to make decisions about what will happen to your underage children in the event of your death. You can name a guardian who will raise and care for your child in a will, but you cannot stipulate that information in a trust. Without a will, the judicial system will determine who is best fit to act as the guardian of the children.

Can I Create a Family Trust on My Own?

There is no legal requirement for you to hire an attorney to create a trust, but you should consider the risks of creating one without legal counsel. Legal expertise may cost you upfront, but it can save your family money and stress in the future if it means creating a sound trust document. Even those creating a “simple” trust can benefit from the help of a lawyer, but people with complex stipulations or large estates should seriously consider hiring a lawyer to avoid any complications in the future.

Contact Ken R. Ashworth & Associates for Estate Planning Needs

Estate planning goes beyond the creation of a family trust. At Ken R. Ashworth & Associates, we are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of estate planning law and can help you plan your estate to meet your specific needs. If you’re interested in creating a family trust to ensure your loved ones can avoid probate and receive your assets as you see fit, contact us to schedule a consultation today.