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Posted on July 16, 2022 in estate planning
Creating a comprehensive estate plan may seem difficult, and thinking about death can be uncomfortable for some people. However, approaching estate planning with a clear understanding of the benefits it can provide to you and your family can help you take full advantage of the benefits of proper estate planning. Working with an experienced Las Vegas estate planning lawyer is the best way to ensure your estate plan meets your unique needs and expectations.
While everyone should consider the value an estate plan can provide to their families and themselves, and the estate planning process will require everyone to address a few fundamental elements, everyone has individual concerns when crafting their estate plan. If you intend to create a plan that provides your family with financial security and peace of mind for the future, it’s vital to know the four most important factors to consider as you develop your estate plan.
Every family is different; when a person dies without any estate plan, their property becomes “intestate.” This means state law determines which of their family members receives this property. Typically, the deceased’s surviving spouse and children are first in line with inheritance rights through intestate succession, followed by extended relatives and anyone who can prove financial dependence on the deceased. Therefore, as you develop your estate plan, your individual preferences regarding beneficiary designations may not entirely align with Nevada’s intestate succession laws. This means you must develop an estate plan that aligns with your preferences.
Individuals creating their estate plans may wish certain relatives to receive specific pieces of the property after their death. To ensure your wishes are upheld in light of your family’s unique relationships, it’s best to work with an attorney to develop an estate plan that includes clear beneficiary designations. In addition, family dynamics may influence not only preferences regarding property division but also guardianship designations.
Whether you know you have an acute medical condition or simply wish to account for the possibilities of old age, your medical status is an important factor to consider during estate planning. Therefore, a comprehensive estate plan should include an advanced medical care directive. This document explains the creator’s preferences for medical care in specific situations. For example, they may decide how long they wish to remain on life support or what they would like medical staff to do if they become unresponsive.
Your attorney can assist you in choosing the best person to nominate as your personal representative. This individual may not only be responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf, but you may also need to empower them with your power of attorney so they can make legal decisions on your behalf. In addition, a good attorney can assess their client’s medical status and help them make more informed decisions regarding medical issues in their estate plan.
Many people mistakenly assume that estate planning is only really a concern for the very wealthy. However, this is not true. Even those with modest estates can eliminate uncertainty for their families and help them avoid tedious and expensive probate proceedings with comprehensive estate plans. In addition, your estate plan will be crucial for handling these issues for your family if you own complex assets, multiple investment properties, business assets, or any other property that entails complex ownership transfer processes.
Your attorney can conduct a comprehensive review of your finances. They can identify any key areas of concern in your financial records that may pose challenges during estate administration. It’s also essential to review individual accounts that include unique beneficiary designations to verify their alignment with your estate plan’s designations. For example, if you opened an investment account many years ago and listed a former spouse as a beneficiary, your attorney can help you make changes like this to eliminate the possibility of disputes arising during estate administration.
During estate administration, the deceased’s debt is divided along with their property. Creditors typically file claims against an estate once administration begins, and the deceased’s personal representative will either need to resolve outstanding debts or challenge creditors’ claims. If family members have cosigned into any debts with the deceased, they will likely assume sole responsibility for the remaining debt. This area of estate administration is likely to generate disputes, especially if there is any disagreement among beneficiaries regarding who is responsible for specific debts.
If you are concerned about the level of debt you owe and how it may influence your estate plan, it’s vital to work with an experienced attorney. You may have more options for resolving some outstanding debts than you initially realize, and a good attorney can potentially help you address these issues, so they do not cause problems for your family in estate administration. You may also need to revisit some accounts and remove or adjust beneficiary designations. You may also need to establish cosigner responsibilities and/or transfer ownership of certain jointly held assets.
While estate planning may seem very difficult, it is much easier to approach this process with peace of mind and confidence when you have experienced legal counsel advising you. The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your estate plan, helping you account for as many eventualities as possible while addressing your unique needs concerning family dynamics and your family’s future financial security.
Ken R. Ashworth & Associates have helped many Las Vegas, NV, area clients with their estate plans, developing uniquely tailored solutions in every case. Our goal is to help our client understand their legal options when distributing their assets to their loved ones and helping their families avoid complex probate proceedings. It’s vital to find legal representation you can trust from an attorney who can provide the individualized counsel you need for your estate plan. To develop an estate plan that provides long-term security for you and your family, contact Ken R. Ashworth & Associates today and schedule a consultation with our team. and talk to an estate planning attorney Las Vegas.