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Nevada estate planning - more than just a will

Estate planning in Nevada is something that many people put off confronting. As important as it is, most don't like the idea of planning for death or the issues surrounding it. Nonetheless, estate planning is vitally important and there is a lot more than just writing a will, particularly if you have children. The question is how does one go about estate planning intelligently and with sensitivity?

For starters, most individuals choose to consult with a professional. Laws vary from state to state, and it is important to work with a Nevada attorney familiar not only with estate planning principles but how they are effectively applied locally. In the absence of a will, the state will decide how to divide your assets, according to its laws of intestacy.

A will answers the question of who will administrate the estate on your behalf and, of course, who gets what. Just as importantly, the will should nominate a guardian for any children that are still minors, as well as someone to manage assets left to a child during their youth and sometimes beyond (depending on individual circumstances).

While executing a will manages what happens after death, a durable power of attorney and advanced health care directive address issues that may come up while an individual is still living. A power of attorney nominates someone to handle financial affairs in the event of a physical or mental incapacity. An advanced health care directive authorizes certain people to speak with your doctors and make certain health-related decisions for you. It can also include your wishes for health care given certain specific medical conditions.

There are indeed a lot of issues to ponder, and professional estate planning benefits not only an individual, but that individual's family as well. It's important to follow through and make certain all required documents are legally executed; a process that can be sometimes lengthy.

Nonetheless, estate planning is an ideal opportunity to communicate with loved ones about important family decisions. An attorney who has a background in helping individuals and families prepare a comprehensive estate plan may offer some guidance through the process of asking the big questions and making the big decisions about vital family matters.

Source: Daggerpress, "Dagger Money Talk: Protect Yourself and Your Family with Good Estate Planning," Adam Freeland, Aug. 2, 2011

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