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Setting up a living trust is one of the most beneficial estate planning options you can choose in Nevada. A living trust, or a trust that you set up while you’re alive, can protect your assets and make for a smooth transition for your family members or beneficiaries after you’ve passed or have become incapacitated.
You can always allow the probate court to divide the finances and property left to your beneficiaries in your will. However, the probate court can take weeks, and even months, to properly disburse all of your estate properly. Your family may also have to deal with court costs and legal fees while waiting for the probate court to process your will.
You can save your family time and stress by setting up a living trust for them. Finances and property left to a beneficiary through a living trust can almost be accessed immediately after your passing or if you have become incapacitated.
In Nevada, leaving your estate to your family through a living trust is a great way to ensure your privacy. When a will is processed through the state’s probate court, it becomes public information. However, your beneficiaries and assets remain entirely private when your estate is passed along through a trust.
Creating a living trust in the state of Nevada protects your beneficiaries from having their assets contested, having to deal with the stress and hassle of the probate court, and allows everyone’s identity and other sensitive information to remain private.
There are some basic questions you should consider before taking the steps to establish your living trust, but you should always consult an estate planning attorney before making anything official.
An individual trust is made up of assets only owned by you, while a shared trust will consist of assets owned by you, your partner, or co-owned by both you and your partner. Nevada is a community property state, meaning that any property earned by either spouse during a marriage is owned by both. Therefore, if you are creating a trust in the state of Nevada with property acquired in a marriage, it is likely that it will be placed into a shared trust.
This includes any property, cash, stocks, or other investments. This can include small businesses or other business interests. Individuals have also put artwork, precious metals, and antiques into trusts as well.
Most creators of living trusts name themselves the trustee and determine a successor trustee after their passing. It is typical to choose a spouse, child, or close friend to act as a successor trustee. There are some instances where individuals believe it best to name a corporate trustee as their successor, but these are often rare occasions.
You can use at home or online services to create a trust, but doing it yourself can always lead to accidental mistakes. When writing your living trust, the safest option is to hire an experienced attorney to walk you through the steps. Estate planning attorneys know how important your family is to you and can ensure that it is established correctly. Your attorney can help you name your successor trustee, properly write the terms of the trust, and specifically, outline which beneficiary will inherit various aspects of the trust.
You’ll sign a physical document with your attorney in front of a notary public.
Any property that was put under a trust, like real estate or a vehicle, will have a title that determines ownership. Your attorney can help you start the process of funding the trust by transitioning all belongings to the ownership of the trustee.
If it was established as a revocable trust, you can change your living trust. Revocable trusts are incredibly flexible and can be modified at any time. If you created an irrevocable living trust, it will be much harder to change. You will need permission from anyone named on the trust to make any modifications to persons or properties listed on the trust. If they do not grant permission, you cannot make changes.
Although creating a living trust is often done to avoid the hassle of having assets caught up in probate court due to a will, it does not have the ability to cover all of the necessary legal proceedings that a will has. For example, a trust cannot determine guardianship. If you are the parent or guardian of minor children, it’s important to still have a will. In the event of your passing, the will has the legal authority to name another guardian, unlike a trust.
You will also need a will to determine the division of any property or assets that are not named in the trust. There is always a chance that you may make a purchase later in life that does not end up under the ownership of the trust. If you do not name who you would like to receive the property in your will, it will be affected by Nevada intestate succession laws.
Establishing a living trust is an important step in planning your estate. A living trust can ensure that your family does not have to endure the hassle and expenditure of the probate court. Your named beneficiaries can have their privacy protected while they directly receive what you have intended for them.
Creating a living trust can be a confusing and complicated process. The experienced estate planning attorneys at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates can give you the guidance necessary to successfully provide for your family’s future. If you have questions about creating a trust or the details of an existing one, contact us for a consultation today.