Sparks Trusts and Estates Lawyer

The desire to ensure loved ones are provided for after your death is something everyone has in common. Whether you have considerable financial assets or don’t feel you have yet achieved financial security, it is still necessary to establish an estate plan.

The Sparks trusts and estate lawyers at our firm will analyze your financial situation and discuss the ways you can plan your legacy and your family’s future.

With this important context, we can help you build an estate plan that will optimize your wealth, minimize tax liabilities, protect your legacy, and ensure your wishes are realized. As the years pass, we remain available to make any adjustments to these documents that might be required.

Forethought Protects Your Loved Ones

An estate plan usually requires drafting several documents that serve to protect you, your family, and your legacy in various situations. The specific components of your estate plan will depend on your financial circumstances, your family’s unique needs, and the potential risks you want the plan to address.

For example, if you are a parent of minor children, your estate plan should name a guardian to raise them if you and your co-parent die or cannot care for them. Our trusts and estates attorney in Sparks could provide qualified advice on all the issues to consider when making this decision, including the means of providing money for the guardian to use to support the children.

Regardless of your age, your estate plan must address the possibility that you may become incapacitated or deceased due to illness, accidents, or advancing age.. An estate plan can name a trusted friend or family member to make decisions regarding your medical care, issues related to daily living arrangements and expenses, and your financial assets. You could also assign different people to manage different roles, ensuring that your wishes are carried out by those trust most.

Elements of an Estate Plan

When you work with a Sparks trusts and estates attorney, we work with you to design an estate plan that meets your current needs and can be updated or modified as those needs change. Most estate plans will contain several of the following elements.

Last Will and Testament

A will nominates someone—known as the Executor—to handle your affairs after you die. It could be a family member or any responsible person you trust to be honest and efficient. The will names beneficiaries to inherit your property after your estate has been settled.

Having a will is preferable to dying with nothing in place, but it has a couple of disadvantages. First, all wills must go through probate, which is a long and expensive process. In addition, wills become public record once they are filed with the court during the probate process. This means that the contents of a will, including the details of your assets and beneficiaries, can be accessed by anyone. In some cases, this public disclosure may lead to unwanted attention or potential complications for your family members.

Many people use strategies such as holding assets jointly, naming beneficiaries on brokerage and retirement accounts, and investing in life insurance to avoid probate. These strategies can be effective in certain situations, but they may not provide the flexibility needed to address unforeseen circumstances or complex family dynamics. A skilled estates lawyer can help you circumvent probate with more reliable strategies, such as a living trust.

Living Trust

A living trust, also called a revocable trust, is a mechanism for property to transfer directly from your control to the people you designate as beneficiaries of the trust. The trust does not go through probate and the document is private.

You would need to retitle assets that you intend to be covered by the trust. For example, bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and investment accounts would need to be held in the name of the trust. You could also place personal property, like jewelry or art, in the trust.

People who have a living trust also should have a pourover will. According to Nevada Revised Statute § 146.070, this type of will avoids probate when being used to transfer assets into the trust when the testator dies.

 Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney names a trustworthy individual to make administrative decisions for you if you become incapacitated. You can customize the capabilities of the durable power of attorney to meet your specific needs. Meanwhile, a medical power of attorney allows someone else to make healthcare decisions for you when you’re incapable of making them or communicating your wishes.

Other Trust and Estate Documents

Other elements of your estate plan could include a special needs trust to benefit a disabled loved one, asset protection measures, and strategies to avoid estate taxes. A Sparks lawyer will take a full inventory of your estate planning needs and provide an assessment of the documents required to follow your exact wishes.

Work With a Sparks Attorney When Crafting Trusts and Estate Plans

If you pass away without a will or other testamentary documents, your assets will be distributed to your heirs under Nevada’s laws of intestate succession. Loved ones might not receive what you have hoped to give them, and the delays and expense of probate could cause stress and hardship.

A thorough and comprehensive estate plan ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimizes delays and administrative expenses, and potential tax liabilities. Schedule a consultation with a Sparks trusts and estates lawyer today to begin preparing your estate and setting up your legacy for your loved ones.