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.
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.
There are many reasons that some in Las Vegas seek to avoid estate planning. Often their avoidance is based on the lack of desire to consider their own mortality. However, as at least one authority notes, estate planning can help to ensure that your heirs and beneficiaries know what your wishes are at the time of your death or incapacity, and are equipped to handle the administration or probate process. One of the first, and perhaps the most important, decisions made may be choosing who will execute the wishes.
When a wealthy person dies in Nevada, sometimes a court battle is waged over the estate. The ligation most often happens in the probate court and can cover many issues. This was the case recently after the death of famous artist Thomas Kinkade.
Las Vegas residents may be aware that Fitzgerald's Casino was sold last October to Golden Gate casino's majority owners. What residents may not know is that representatives of the estate of Don Barden negotiated and arranged the sale. Barden was the first African-American casino owner in the United States and owned properties here in Las Vegas and around the nation at the time of his death.
Creating an estate plan in Las Vegas, including a will, which defines the desires of a person as to where their assets will go at the time of their death, can be very important. A will typically directs the executor of an estate to distribute property and other assets in accordance with the wishes of the maker. Without such a document, state law may govern the distribution.
By now residents in Nevada have heard of the tragic passing of the legendary singer Whitney Houston. The star died in a Los Angeles hotel room at the age of 48. It is still unclear as to how Houston died, and it will take several weeks to identify the exact cause of death.
Many Nevada residents may prefer the "Band-Aid" approach to estate planning: get it done fast, get it over with, and move on -- like pulling off a Band-Aid. For this reason, many residents will be dismayed to learn that keeping up with a will and the details of estate planning are a lifelong process. This approach is easy to recognize when one considers all the changes that take place within the course of a person's lifetime; people get married, they have children, their family dynamics change and they accumulate assets. The majority of people go about life without considering the need to update their will. Unfortunately, this oversight can end up causing trouble for family members in the long run.