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Craig's Corner - Wealth Planning Insights

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What to Include In Your Estate Planning Package

Nevada Estate Planning Documents

Of course, any properly-drafted estate planning portfolio will include a Last Will and Testament to communicate your asset distribution plan to your heirs. But did you know there are several other important planning tools that should accompany your Will? Your estate planning package should include documents like a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Directive, which both actually come in handy prior to death. Certain families may also benefit from the provisions of a trust agreement, which can be helpful when planning for long-term care, special needs care or the possibility of estate tax imposition.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that creates a principal-agent relationship between you and another person. The POA terms define the scope of the agent’s authority and advise both parties of their rights and duties under the document. Contrary to a Will, a POA is only enforceable until the principal passes away, at which time the executor or personal representative is granted the authorities once held under the POA. By executing a POA, you can alleviate the difficult situation that could arise if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle your financial affairs. Without a POA in place, your loved ones may need to petition for guardianship over you, which is a much more costly, time-intensive proceeding.

Advance Directive

Also known as a Living Will, the Advance Directive document accompanies any thorough estate plan and provides medical providers with your final medical wishes. This document is only effective once a doctor has determined that you are suffering from a disease or injury that will likely result in death. As well, your Advance Directive is only applicable in a situation where you cannot speak for yourself. By executing an advance directive, you authorize another person, usually a spouse or child, to advocate your final wishes on your behalf. This could include the direction to withhold a feeding tube, intravenous hydration or pain medication.

Trusts

Many people choose to transfer their property into a trust in order to avoid the probate process. Trusts are also helpful for married couples who would like to avoid the double-assessment of estate taxes, if their estate is eligible. Special needs trusts or Miller Trusts are helpful for families with beneficiaries who have unique medical needs or are seeking to qualify for government medical assistance, respectively. There are many advantages to having an estate planning attorney advise you on the creation of a trust.

Contact a Nevada Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you are interested in pursuing your estate planning options, be sure to contact an estate planning attorney at Stone Law Offices by calling 877-905-0890 today. 


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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.



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