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Validating an Estate Plan in Nevada

Posted on March 9, 2023 in estate planning

Estate plans can be made by anyone who wants to protect their assets and ensure their family and loved ones receive benefits. Having an estate plan can also help make the probate process easier and ensure your assets are distributed how you’d like them to be after you’re gone. However, an estate plan also needs to be legally sound.

Common Components of Estate Planning

Every estate plan is different, and what is necessary for your estate plan is going to depend on what your assets are and how many you have. Many estate plans include the following:

  • A will and trust
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Medical power of attorney
  • List of assets
  • List of beneficiaries

Validating Each Aspect of Your Estate Plan

The most reliable way to ensure every aspect of your estate plan is legally valid and enforceable is to talk with an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas. They have the legal knowledge and experience with estate planning to create valid documents. They also know the common mistakes that may occur and create invalid estate plans.

There are steps you can take to work toward a valid estate plan in each component of your plan in Nevada.

Validating an Estate Plan in Nevada

Validating Your Will

Creating a will must be done by someone 18 years or older, who is of sound mind. Other requirements for a valid will include:

  • You create your will as a hard copy or in electronic form.
  • Holographic wills are accepted, but you should talk with a legal professional, as they have more requirements and can easily be invalidated.
  • Your will includes all your estate, assets, and debts that are not in a trust.
  • You sign your will in front of two witnesses.
  • Your witnesses sign your will in front of you.
  • Your witnesses cannot also be beneficiaries listed in your will.
  • If your will is “self proving,” you may need a notary.
  • You name an executor, or someone who ensures your will is carried out.

Making a will doesn’t require an attorney, but if you believe your will may be contested, you’ll want legal advice.

Validating Your Trust

You can create a will to distribute your assets, but it must go through the probate process. A trust does not go through probate. This saves your beneficiaries and loved ones time and money. For a trust to be valid, it must meet these requirements:

  • You name someone, often yourself, as the trustee, who manages the trust while you’re alive.
  • You name a successor trustee, who will manage your trust after your death.
  • If you create a shared living trust, name a successor trustee who will manage the trust after both parties in the shared trust have passed.
  • You determine which property to include in the trust.
  • You determine who the beneficiaries are.
  • You must sign the trust document in front of a notary.
  • You need to alter the title of properties in the trust to show that you own the property as trustee.

If you’re concerned that your trust may be litigated, you should discuss how to safeguard it against this with a qualified attorney.

Validating the Power of Attorney

Naming durable power of attorney appoints someone to be in charge of legal and financial decisions for you. A medical power of attorney puts someone in charge of your medical decisions if you are incapacitated or otherwise incapable. For the power of attorney authorization to be valid in Nevada, it must meet these requirements:

  • You have a sound mind and mental capacity to create a power of attorney. This requirement is up to interpretation by the court, and it’s wise to talk with an attorney so that there’s proof that someone has the mental capacity to create a power of attorney.
  • You have your power of attorney notarized. This isn’t a requirement in Nevada, but it could mean the difference between a power of attorney being contested or being valid. Signing with a notary public makes the creation of the document more legally sound.


Q: What Questions Should I Ask an Estate Planner?

A: As with any attorney, you should ask what previous experience they have with estate planning, as well as with estate plans like yours. Other questions you may want to ask include:

  • How often should I update my estate plan?
  • Do I need a trust?
  • Will my estate likely go through the probate process?
  • Will my estate likely qualify for summary administration?
  • If I have a will, do I need further estate planning?
  • How do I decide on beneficiaries?

Q: When Should an Estate Plan Be Reviewed?

A: You can ask your attorney how often to review your estate plan given your circumstances. Often, people will review them once or twice a year. The general consensus is that you should review your estate plan at least every three to five years. Additionally, if you experience an extreme life change, you should review your estate plan.

Q: What Is the First Step in Estate Planning?

A: The first step is often to create and sign your will. Your will encompasses all your assets, properties, and debts, and it determines guardians for any minor children. Though a trust can be created for your assets to keep them from having to go through probate, only your will can determine guardianship. Your will may also include property that was unable to be transferred to your trust. If you forget to switch properties to your trust, the will acts as a backup to ensure it goes where you want.

Q: What Are Three Elements of an Estate Plan?

A: The basic elements of most estate plans include a will and testament, a trust, and durable and medical power of attorney. Depending on your needs, you may choose to only have a will instead of a will and trust. Talk with an attorney to see how the probate process may impact a will-only estate plan.

Estate Planning in Nevada

At Ken R. Ashworth and Associates, we offer several services to assist you with your estate planning needs. We want to support you through the process and ensure you understand your estate plan. Contact our firm today.