People in Nevada know that there are many things to consider as they enter into the estate planning process. Some of those who begin estate planning look to the commonly used tools such as wills and trusts to help make the disposition of an estate easier on their loved ones when they die. These tools are available to all sizes and values of estates and can be customized to fit each individuals needs.
However, some in Nevada may be surprised to learn about a recent case heard by the highest court in the nation. This case involved the trustee’s handling of assets that were in a trust established by the parents of three daughters. When they died, two of the daughters became trustees of an estate that included a trust funded by a pour over will. A pour over will is one that is funded by assets that come into it from a will when an individual passes away, though it has no assets until that time.
The beneficiary of the estate asserted to the court that the trustees had violated their duty to maintain a trust. The court disagreed, largely finding that the federal court could not hear the case, but that it had to be decided in the state court. This is, in part, because the assets were owned by the trust instead of being subject to the probate process in the home state of the deceased.
To many people in Nevada, the estate planning process may initially seem daunting. Making decisions as to which planning tool to use can cause confusion to those who are not familiar with their options. To ensure that the best decision is made to help beneficiaries and heirs determine how to divide an estate, a careful review of the applicable options and laws may be a prudent first step.
Source: wealthmanagement.com, “Stripping Away the Mystery of the Probate Exception,” John T. Brooks and Samantha E. Weissbluth, April 23, 2013