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Posted on March 15, 2023 in estate planning
An estate plan allows you to choose where your assets go after you pass. Unfortunately, mistakes in your estate plan can make it difficult for your wishes to be carried out. Understanding common mistakes in estate planning can help you avoid them. Additionally, working with an estate planning lawyer in Las Vegas during your plan’s creation can ensure everything is completed properly.
There are several mistakes that can be made throughout the estate planning process. Here are some important ones to avoid.
If you have no will or trust in place, this creates a hassle for your loved ones. In some cases, your estate may not go through the full probate process in Nevada. However, even a shorter probate process can be costly, and it could lead to your beneficiaries’ losing assets through legal fees and court costs. Going through the full process of probate could take anywhere from months to years.
An estate plan offers you control over what happens after your death, and it also allows your loved ones to take that time to grieve, rather than deal with court cases. It affords them a sense of emotional and financial stability. If you delay creating an estate plan, you may fail to meet all the criteria for a valid will or trust, and your wishes will not be carried out after your passing.
You’ve created your estate plan, and now you think you’re set. However, this isn’t the case. You should review your estate plan every few years to ensure it’s still accurate to your wishes. Life changes can happen, and your plan may become outdated. You may start a business or buy a home, which changes the assets within your estate. Changes to your health can also affect the contents of your estate plan.
You could have children, have grandchildren, get married, get a divorce, or lose a loved one. All these changes can have a severe impact on the beneficiaries of your will and trust, as well as an impact on your powers of attorney. You could also simply change your mind about the people you want to benefit from your assets or the person you want to take care of you in case of incapacity.
The executor is in charge of your will and your estate, while a trustee successor is in charge of your trust. It’s important to select someone you trust who is responsible for each of these roles. If you fail to appoint an executor, the court appoints someone to this role for you. This gives you less control over the outcome of your will and estate plan, and it could create uncertainty for the beneficiaries of your will.
In addition to listing your assets, you name at least one beneficiary for those assets. If you don’t name beneficiaries, your assets will go to your closest heirs or relatives by Nevada law.
If you only name a primary beneficiary for your estate or an asset and fail to name a contingent, this may also cause problems. If the primary beneficiary passes before you do, your estate or the asset will go through probate. Naming at least two contingent beneficiaries for each asset is necessary to prevent this from occurring.
Some assets can be passed to beneficiaries that are not done through your will, trust, or probate court. Assets like retirement accounts or life insurance should be assigned to beneficiaries through the institution itself.
Many people fail to think of disability as something that can affect them prior to retirement. When you create your estate plan, a medical power of attorney is an important inclusion whether you believe you are going to need it sooner or later. Having a set plan for your medical care includes stating where you would like to receive medical care. Appointing a power of attorney allows you to select someone you trust to make medical decisions for you. These medical plans account for if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make requests regarding your medical care.
A: The biggest mistakes you can make are failing to create an estate plan and delaying making a will. Once an estate plan is created, another mistake that people make is failing to update their wills and trusts. You want to go over these documents every few years at a minimum and update them to big life changes when they occur.
A: The most important decision for estate planning is choosing the right person to handle your estate. When naming an executor for your will or a trustee successor for your trust, you need to choose the right person. They can’t be the sole beneficiary, and you want to select someone who is financially and legally responsible and capable.
A: Some items are unnecessary or shouldn’t be put in your will. Things to avoid include:
A: Estate planning allows you to:
If you’re wondering whether your will or trust could be contested, the attorneys at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates can work out how to establish a valid and enforceable set of documents that covers your personal needs. Contact our team today to see how we can help you.