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What Are the Common Estate Planning Mistakes People Make In Las Vegas, Nevada?

Posted on August 15, 2022 in estate planning

Creating a plan for your estate is the best way to ensure the future of your assets. From deciding how to divide your money between your living relatives to ensuring that certain relatives get specific heirlooms, having a sound estate plan can make this process easier on the benefactors of your will. In some situations, mistakes in the estate planning process can happen, causing money, assets, and specific health-related instructions you requested during your lifetime to be ignored by your next of kin. Knowing which common mistakes in the estate planning process to avoid during the drafting of your will can help preemptively mitigate any potential confusion for your relatives in the future.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of outlining a distribution plan for your assets that will go into effect after your passing. By establishing different legal documents, most notably wills and trusts, and designating who has the power of attorney for your situation, your estate plan is put into place to ensure that your last wishes are respected. When creating an estate plan, the terms and conditions you outline are meant to serve as an up-to-date guideline for your family, so ensuring that these conditions are currently relevant to your situation is crucial for their functionality.

What Factors Go Into Estate Planning?

The biggest section of your estate planning should be a will or trust. Making sure you have these properly outlined and legally recognized is crucial for considering them valid. In Nevada, you do not need to get your will notarized for it to be considered valid. However, if you choose to create a “self-proving” will, you may need to get it notarized before having it officially recognized by the court. You do not need a lawyer to write your own will, but having one is especially helpful in creating one that is effective and legally sound. Finding a lawyer that can effectively create a comprehensive, easy-to-read will is vital for avoiding any confusion when dividing your assets.

What Can Change in Your Will?

As you age, changes to your will are inevitable, and the smallest tweaks in your living situation should be reflected in your final will. For example, if you switch careers and begin a new retirement fund, the money you make for that new position can be reflected in your total assets after your passing. The two main categories that encompass any changes to your will include:

  • Health Changes: Any changes to your health, for any reason, should be added to your will. From new diagnoses to changes in how you would like to be taken care of if unable to make your own decisions, these choices should be reflected in your will. Your personal decisions regarding your specific medical path are also listed in this document. They are considered a part of your living will if you end up in a position where you cannot make your own decisions regarding your health. This would apply if you fell into a coma, for example.
  • Familial Changes: For most, writing a will and getting it sorted early is better for assuring individual peace of mind, but without routine updates, certain beneficiaries and family members can feasibly be left out by accident. Making sure to make necessary updates to your will after any births or deaths in your family is essential for avoiding any miscommunication of your estate after your passing. For beneficiaries outside of your family, like close friends, or requests for charitable donations, note the parties you would like your money to go to as soon as you decide in order to avoid any confusion.

Common Factors People Forget About in Estate Planning

Making changes to your estate plan usually concern larger responsibilities like the transfer of money and assets, but certain assets and objects can easily get forgotten. Often, the responsibility or access to these factors is assumed without any firm communication or forethought about these duties. However, without setting these requests beforehand, these responsibilities are easily forgotten. Some of these commonly missed features can include:

  • Updated information: As previously mentioned, keeping your information up to date is the biggest priority of estate planning. Without accurate, up-to-date plans for asset division or beneficiary designation, your relatives can become confused during the evaluation of your will after your passing.
  • Pets: Your pets are affected by your death as well, and ensuring that they are properly cared for should be a priority. Designating a caregiver to take them in after you pass can limit the confusion surrounding where they end up, keeping them from being surrendered or placed in a shelter.
  • Online Account Information: Having an accessible list of any online passwords is good for keeping track of your accounts, especially as part of your estate plan. From bank accounts to social media, making sure your estate planner has access to any protected online information can help avoid any barriers surrounding your assets.

Staying on top of any crucial changes to your estate plan is the biggest part of avoiding any confusion or mistakes down the line. Being clear, concise, and current with the information and requests you create is the best way to make sure your last wishes are thoroughly considered and respected. Any and all changes to your living situation and lifestyle should be included in your estate plan, ensuring that your relatives are properly informed of your wishes.

When to Find an Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating a comprehensive estate plan may seem easy; however, as with any legal process, making sure your plan is legally legible and sound is the only way to ensure that your wishes are properly represented and delivered to your family. Any changes or updates to your condition, finances, or family need to be reflected in these planning documents, and without the proper access to your information, your will may be difficult to decipher after your passing. Avoiding these mistakes can be done with the right estate planning lawyers. At the law firm of Ken R. Ashworth & Associates, we can ensure that your estate plan is secure and sound. For more information about our Las Vegas location and a full list of our practice areas, visit our website and contact us for a consultation.