One of the first things that most people in Nevada think of when beginning estate planning is a will. Often considered the most fundamental of estate planning tools, the will can be used to express the wishes of individuals as to how their estates are divided at the time of their deaths. However, there are many facets of the document that may be unfamiliar to those in our state.
For example, some may be unaware that a will cannot dispose of assets that are subject to a right of survivorship or that have a named beneficiary. For these types of assets, estate planning tools such as wills may be over-ridden after a death. In addition, property subject to a contract with a named beneficiary may not be subject to the provisions of a will.
In general, the items that can be included in a will are assets that are owned solely by the party writing the will. Assets in a will cannot have a previously named beneficiary. A will may also be used to name a guardian for children or to deal with potential new assets such as the award from a lawsuit or expected future inheritance. The estate planning tool can be used to cover many elements of an estate.
Because estate planning can be complicated in some cases, it may benefit an individual in Nevada to review all available tools. There are estate-planning tools that can be customized to meet the needs of every individual in our state. Because the goal of estate planning is often to care for beneficiaries, prompt and careful planning is in the best interests of everyone involved.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Planning an estate entails more than just drawing up a will," Elliot Raphaelson, Oct. 4, 2012