Las Vegas Law Firms
An estate plan is something that every adult should have. It does not matter if you have little or no property and assets, are in excellent health, or think you are too young to need estate planning. Estate planning not only benefits your loved ones in the event of your death, it protects you if you become incapacitated, even temporarily, and cannot speak for yourself.
Elements of Estate Planning
Some of the basic elements involved in estate planning include:
Last will and testament
Durable power of attorney
Medical power of attorney
Living will (health care directive)
Probate is the legal process of distributing your estate and paying off your debts, after you die.
If you have a valid will, your estate goes through probate and is administered according to the instructions in your will.
If you do not have a will, your estate goes through probate and is distributed according to Nevada’s intestacy laws, which may not be in accordance with your wishes.
With or without a will, probate can be a lengthy and expensive process for your loved ones. It can take months or years to complete the process, keeping your estate tied up and preventing your loved ones from moving forward with their lives.
However, there are estate planning devices which can keep your estate out of probate and ensure that it passes directly to the beneficiaries you choose.
Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament is your chance to specify how your assets and property will be distributed, including personal items such as your jewelry, artwork, and other possessions. You can also designate who will care for your children.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a trust which is established while you are alive. You remain in control of everything in the trust, and you can remove property and assets from the trust whenever you wish.
A living trust does not go through probate. Everything in the trust passes directly to the named beneficiaries.
You can also establish trusts for your children, pets, and others, with specific instructions for how they will be administered, how the funds will be used, and much more.
Powers of Attorney and Living Will
A durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and living will are for your protection and to help your family while you are still alive, if you become incapacitated.
A durable power of attorney authorizes someone of your choice to manage your financial affairs. The medical power of attorney authorizes the person you designate to make medical decisions on your behalf. A living will, or health care directive, states your wishes regarding life support and heroic measures.