Estate planning can be intimidating, and many people avoid getting started because they (mistakenly) assume that it’s only necessary for the very wealthy. However, basic estate planning is important for everyone – regardless income and assets. That’s because Las Vegas estate planning is about more than divvying out assets; it’s also about minimizing any unnecessary costs, confusion and stress for family members after your death.
3 Items You Need Now
If you’re confused where to begin, these three estate planning tools are a good way to start:
A Will or Trust
Believe it or not, wills are pretty easy to create. But before you decide on a will alone, keep in mind that the distribution of assets as outlined in your will will still need to go through probate. This means validating your Las Vegas will, inventorying and identifying property, paying debts and taxes and distributing remaining property. A trust can relieve your family members of this process, but is more expensive and requires the assistance of a professional. That said, a trust often provides greater benefits than a will alone. Your beneficiaries will also usually get access to property and funds sooner.
A Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person (whom you will designate) to make financial and legal decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated. A power of attorney might be a temporary, long-term or contingent on a certain event. A “durable” power of attorney will still be in effect in later years when and if you are incapacitated. It’s important to ensure that you give power of attorney only to individuals you trust, hopefully who are also financially and legally savvy.
Updated Beneficiary Designation Forms
You might think that your life insurance policies, 401(k) accounts and other accounts are included in your will, but your beneficiary designation for these accounts will actually override any provisions within your will. Because of that, it’s important to make sure your beneficiary designation forms are up-to-date, just as it’s important to keep your will current.
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