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Reno Estate Planning Attorney

“Estate Planning is an important and everlasting gift you can give your family.  And setting up a smooth inheritance isn’t as hard as you might think.”
– Suze Orman


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Everyone has an estate.  An estate basically includes everything you own, which are called assets, including things like cars, accounts, homes, insurance, and even everything inside your home, like your clothing, rugs, TVs and jewelry.  No matter how big or small, you have an estate.  Estate planning is not just the creation of a Will or Trust Package, stating where you want your assets to go upon your death, but it is also planning for unexpected events while you are alive, through the creation of financial and health related powers of attorneys.

If you make no estate plans, your estate will be processed by the probate court under the laws of intestacy meaning that it will pass to your next of kin.  If you make a Will, your estate will still be processed by the probate court, but you direct through your Will, who will receive your assets.   The probate court process can take 6-12 months or longer depending on your case.  Currently, all hearing dates are set two months after you request them because of the Court back log of cases.  There are typically 2-3 hearings in every Probate, so that is a 4-6 month delay caused solely by the Court having so many cases.

Nevada’s probates are broken down into different categories.  Estates under $100,000 are considered Small Estates and distributed by either Affidavit or Set Aside depending on specific facts. Estates between $100,000 and $299,999 fall under Summary Administration, which has less procedure requirements than General Administration, which Estates fall under that are valued at $300,000 or more.

A Trust is normally processed privately without the observation or intervention of any court.  This can avoid probate related fees and process, thereby saving a lot of time.  It also provides a layer of privacy, because probate Court records are public, where trusts are private.  A Trust is recommended in Nevada for anyone who has over $100,000 in assets, which in today’s market, is typically satisfied by owning a home.  Further benefits of a Trust, is that Trusts can be more tailored to the creator’s, aka Trustor/Settlor’s, desires.

Trust Packets also contain financial and health related power of attorneys, which help to give you peace of mind that you have established procedures in case of emergencies during your life.  For example, financial powers of attorney are often used when someone has surgery and is in recovery, but there are bills to pay or rents to collect.  They are also used when someone is just unavailable to do something financial, due to travel or work.  Health related power of attorneys, aka Health Directives, not only designate an agent to make decisions for you when you cannot make them yourself due to accident, surgery, medication and/or illness etc., but you also make the decisions regarding continuing or stopping life support/treatment in certain situations, so that your family members do not have to go through that very difficult and painful decision process.  Here at Joey Gilbert Law, we register your Health Directive so that in emergencies, the ER and other medical personnel can access your Health Directives and know how to reach the agent you named, if you are not able to inform them yourself.

Estate planning is for everyone, not just “retired” people, it also is not just for the “wealthy”.  Unfortunately, none of us know when our time on this earth will end or when we may get sick or have an accident and by having an estate plan early in life, you know you are covered should anything unexpected occur.  Many people wait until it is too late and someone is in the hospital and then they may not have the competency to sign documents due to an illness, medication, surgery, or accident etc. and it is not uncommon that it is people in their 30-50’s who are the ones without an estate plan in place to help during that difficult time.

In a sense, Trusts packages can be compared to insurance policies for your estate, because they provide you peace of mind that should an emergency occur or upon your death, you have everything in order and can rest assure that your desires will be carried out.

The best time to plan your estate is now, because the past is history, the future is a mystery, but the today is a gift, which is why they call it the “present”.  And today is the perfect time to give yourself 
and your family the most thoughtful and considerate gift you can give…peace of mind.

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