There are many issues that Nevadans must consider as they begin to write an estate plan. As they go through the planning process, it is always the case that the person creating a will or a trust seeks to ensure that their wishes for asset distribution are made apparent to their heirs and survivors. These wishes may not always be popular with all of the potential heirs, especially those who do not stand to inherit from the person creating the plan.
However, as many in Nevada are aware, there is no requirement that all potential heirs be included in an estate plan. In fact, many people leave their assets to charitable organizations. Even in cases where the estate being left is small, many individuals seek to benefit their favorite charity rather than individual family members or friends.
To help limit the emotional effect of deciding to leave a potential heir out of an estate plan in favor of a charity or other organization, it may benefit a person creating a plan to discuss their decision with that potential beneficiary. Though not required by any law, this discussion can limit the surprise to relatives after the death of the person who made the estate plan in question. In addition, the discussion can reduce the chance that the estate plan will be litigated in the future. Though challenging to consider one’s own demise, discussing estate planning matters with family can help to ease the tension between the planner and their loved ones.
When creating an estate plan there are many considerations. The choice between a will or a trust, the determination of asset distribution and the selection of beneficiaries are just a few of the decisions awaiting those who are making preparations. Understanding all available tools and their effects on an estate plan can benefit not only the person creating the plan, but also their heirs and beneficiaries.
Source: CNBC, “Who’s Watching Your Money,” Paul O’Donnell, Sept. 30, 2012