REQUEST YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

Request your Free Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

ALL FIELDS REQUIRED *

REQUEST YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

Las Vegas Estate Planning Lawyer

Las Vegas Estate Planning Lawyer

The Las Vegas estate planning lawyers at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates have been serving the needs of clients throughout southern Nevada for more than 20 years. In addition to providing excellence, integrity, and credibility in our legal services, we also offer you the customized personal service that your family’s unique needs warrant. Our insistence on virtual 24/7 availability never takes us far from any sudden questions or late-breaking concerns you may have.

We are a full-service law firm with an impeccable statewide reputation. We would be honored to meet with you, hear your concerns and show you what we can do to resolve them. Contact us online or call 702-893-9500 today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Talk to Skilled Las Vegas Attorneys About Your Estate Planning Needs

A Nevada estate planning attorney can provide invaluable assistance to you and your family in all estate planning matters, including:

  • Asset Protection

A goal of estate planning is to protect the property you have worked hard to accumulate so that you can pass it to your heirs. We can show you how to legally preserve, transfer, and protect your wealth and assets by using a variety of estate planning tools, including various trust agreements. In addition to protecting your property from your creditors, you can also protect property you leave to heirs from your heirs’ creditors, ex-spouses, personal judgments, and bankruptcy actions.

  • Issues Concerning the Elderly

Whether you need to appoint a guardian to look out for an elderly loved one’s interests or need to ensure that a plan is in place to help care for a loved one with specific needs, we are here to help.

Medicaid planning is legal and ethical. Many individuals require long-term care. Because nursing homes and assisted care facilities are expensive, many families need government assistance to help pay the cost for long-term care. However, Medicaid is a needs-based program. Our Las Vegas estate planning lawyers can help you develop a plan that maintains your loved one’s eligibility for benefits while protecting assets from Medicaid liens.

  • Powers of Attorney

Establishing power of attorney can help give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your decisions will be respected should you ever be in a position where you cannot make decisions on your own.

A Durable General Power of Attorney appoints a person to handle your financial affairs. Your agent can perform any financial transaction in your name that you can perform legally, unless the power of attorney restricts or prohibits that authority. The “durable” clauses in the power of attorney continue the agent’s powers in full force and effect even if you become incapacitated.

  • Guardianships

When an aging or ill relative cannot competently handle his or her personal affairs, we can help establish a guardianship to ensure that they receive the help they need. A guardian handles the person’s physical care and financial matters.

Also, parents need to choose guardians for their minor children as part of their estate plan. Guardians are typically named in a parent’s will.

  • Wills

Your will dictates the distribution of your property after your death. Without a will, Nevada’s intestate laws decide who receives your property and the distribution of the property to heirs. Friends and charities are not considered heirs under intestate laws. If you want to leave property to a charitable organization or friend, you must have a will or create a trust during your lifetime.

You choose a personal representative to administer your estate and name that person in your will. Through your will, you can name a guardian for your minor child and create a testamentary trust to hold your child’s inheritance until he or she reaches a specific age. Creating a testamentary trust prevents your 18-year old child from receiving his or her entire inheritance, possibly while still in high school.

The drafting of a will can be complex. Certain language must be used to preserve your wishes correctly. We can help guide you through the process of drafting a will and ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes.

  • Trust Agreements

The establishment of a trust can help your family avoid a lengthy probate process and avoid estate taxes, among other benefits. Our attorneys can help you explore your options and determine which type of trust is right for you. Some trust agreements offer a high level of asset protection, which could be necessary if you own a business or you anticipate that an heir may have substantial debt or other financial problems. There are many types of trust agreements you can use depending on your goals and needs.

A living trust is designed to provide instructions for your care should you ever become incapacitated. It can also include instructions regarding how your estate should be distributed upon your death.

With a special needs trust, you can provide for a child or an adult who has a disability without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Pet trusts allow individuals to provide for the care and upkeep of their pets after their death. An animal cannot inherit money or property. With a pet trust, you can appoint a trustee to manage the trust and use the funds to care for your pet after your death.

A Nevada self-settled trust can help protect your most important assets should you ever run into difficulty meeting your financial obligations down the road. This type of trust can be particularly valuable to a person who is personally liable for a business’s obligations.

Our Nevada estate planning attorneys can explain trusts in further detail, including the pros and cons of various trust agreements.

  • Probate

The probate process can be lengthy and expensive. Our Las Vegas probate attorneys can help resolve issues that may occur during probate and take proactive steps to help your family members avoid this complicated process. We assist personal representatives as they complete their duties and responsibilities. Our lawyers also represent family members who wish to contest a will or petition to remove a personal representative.

  • Retirement planning

Few people fully account for how they are going to handle their retirement. Whether you are years away from retiring or need guidance in your retirement right now, we are here for you.

Las Vegas Estate Planning FAQs

Estate Planning

What is the difference between a probate attorney and an estate planning attorney?

People typically consider a probate lawyer and an estate planning lawyer to be the same until they actually begin making plans for the administration of their estate when they pass away. Although the two fields are closely related, they are different in that an estate planning attorney is a legal professional an individual hires while they are alive to help plan for the distribution of their assets upon their death, whereas a probate attorney oversees the administration and validation of an estate in probate court after the individual passes away.

What is the role of an estate planning attorney?

An estate planning lawyer practices law with a focus on trusts, wills, probate, and related issues. They assist clients by creating legal documents that ensure their clients’ wishes are carried out upon their death and advise them on the best ways to protect their assets.

What 5 components make up the estate planning process?

  1. The Will. This document details the wishes of an individual regarding their assets after they pass away. It may also include plans for the care of the person’s pets or minor children upon their death.
  2. The Trust. A trust document can be thought of as the legal “backbone” of a will. There are various types of trusts that designate how beneficiaries should handle assets they acquire through a will.
  3. Power of Attorney (POA). An individual may designate an individual to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. This may include a financial, legal, or medical POA, and these do not need to be assigned to the same individual.
  4. Health Care Directive. Although an individual may designate a medical POA, they can also set up a “medical will,” stating their wishes for certain aspects of their health care.
  5. Beneficiary Designations. Accounts such as retirement funds and insurance policies typically designate the individuals who should receive the payouts upon an individual’s death.

What is the point of estate planning?

Individuals plan ahead for the administration of their estate for three primary reasons:

  • Providing instruction for the distribution of their assets to their chosen beneficiaries upon their passing
  • Attempting to reduce or eliminate local, state, and federal estate tax burdens on their heirs
  • Ensuring that their assets will be distributed to beneficiaries in a way that provides them with the maximum benefits

What are trusts?

A trust is a document that creates a legal agreement between three individuals in regard to a person’s wishes for their estate. Those three parties include:

  • The trustor. This is the person who creates the arrangement.
  • The trustee. This individual holds the legal title to the trustor’s assets until they are distributed to the beneficiaries.
  • The beneficiary. This can include one or more people who hold equitable title to the trustor’s assets and any income they generate.

What happens if you do not have a trust or a will?

If a person has not established a trust or taken any measures to avoid probate, their assets are distributed according to the state laws that have jurisdiction over the assets upon their death. State law may not dictate that an individual’s assets are distributed to those they would have wanted, and if they do, they may still encounter the following problems.

  • Guardianship of assets that minor children inherit is subject to rules that may not accomplish the individual’s goals.
  • There may be additional expenses and inconvenience. For example, the state of Nevada may assess probate expenses for as much as 2%-5% of the estate’s value.
  • There may be higher estate taxes.

Can you avoid probate by having a revocable living trust?

A revocable living trust can help to avoid the probate process, along with the following alternate methods:

  • Beneficiary deeds
  • Gifts made during life
  • Retirement proceeds such as 401 Ks, TSAs, IRAs, and retirement plans
  • Designated life insurance beneficiaries
  • Transfer on death accounts (TODs)
  • Pay on death accounts (PODs)
  • Bank account trusts
  • Community property title
  • Joint tenancy title

No matter what techniques an individual chooses to use, there are bound to be pros and cons. For this reason, it is always wise to consult an experienced estate planning attorney.

Is it less expensive to administer a trust or a will?

When an individual has a will and hasn’t made any other estate planning arrangements, probate court proceedings are typically necessary to administer the estate. This is a formal court process that can become complicated in some circumstances and may be very expensive. In the state of Nevada, probate fees are dictated by statute, which uses a formula to compute fees for the executor and the attorney. For Nevada estates that use an A-B trust or require the filing of estate tax returns, the court may impose hefty fees on top of the statutory fees.

If the individual had a living revocable trust, however, the estate can usually avoid probate, and the attorney fees may be much less.

How often should a person review and update their estate plan?

When an individual creates an estate plan, it is not necessarily set in stone. Their desires and the conditions that affect the estate may change over time. For this reason, it is best to review estate plans every two to three years or any time major life changes occur, including:

  • Moving to another state
  • Deciding to sell or purchase a business
  • Substantial changes in the classification of assets
  • Any major increase or decrease in the individual’s net worth, or that of any beneficiary
  • Any marriage, divorce, birth, death, or disability of the individual or one of their beneficiaries
  • Changes in tax laws

How can you protect your beneficiary’s inheritance if you don’t trust their spouse?

According to Nevada law, an individual’s inheritance is considered to be their “separate property” and therefore does not automatically become “community property” in the marriage. This means their spouse has no legal right to the inheritance.

After a beneficiary receives their inheritance, however, what they do with the asset may change it into jointly held or community property. Some living trusts are designed to prevent this from happening, so the assets are preserved solely for the intended beneficiary.

Contact Our Las Vegas, Nevada Estate-Planning Lawyers Today

We look forward to discussing estate planning matters with you. Contact us online or call 702-893-9500 to schedule a free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas.

Request Your Free Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

ALL FIELDS REQUIRED *