Q: Is there more to an estate plan than just a will?
There is a common misconception in our internet-obsessed world that all anyone needs for an estate plan is a will. Many also think that a will is a simple piece of paper listing who gets their property after they die and something that can just be done with a DIY kit online.
The reality is that there are countless possible pitfalls to drafting your own will that can have serious financial consequences for you or your loved ones before as well as after your death. In addition to the increased likelihood that it would not be accepted by the court due to a drafting or execution error, it may not be able withstand a will contest by disgruntled heirs, may forget to provide for certain property, may attempt to disinherit a spouse, and so on.
An estate planning lawyer will not only be able to draft a proper will, but will counsel you on whether your situation calls for a trust in addition to or instead of a will. Plus, there are other documents which are part of a complete estate plan, including a Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will, which are documents that designate others to act on your behalf if you are unable to handle your own affairs or make your own medical or end of life healthcare decisions.
Estate planning attorneys review all of your assets in the context of your particular family situation and can not only draft a plan that will assure your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes, but can often help you or your estate save money in taxes and avoid or reduce fighting amongst your surviving children or heirs.
Already have a plan? When your family situation, assets, or financial needs change, your estate planning attorney can make the necessary revisions. Such changes can happen to anyone, not only high net worth individuals. And when changes happen, especially in the event of a divorce or remarriage, it’s wise to see how your estate plan could be affected.
On August 17, 2016, Vince McMahon, the Chairman and CEO of World Wrestling and Entertainment, Inc. (“WWE”), reportedly sold or traded a block of 1.547 million shares of WWE stock “for estate planning purposes”. This followed a prior large block stock transfer in May, 2016. The shares had reportedly been held by a trust for the benefit of McMahon and certain family members, but represent only a portion of the shares of stock owned by McMahon, whose remaining shares represent “approximately 85% of the company’s total voting power”. The combined sales reportedly “cashed out” the WWE stock held by the trust and reduced the stock ownership and voting power status of McMahon’s wife who was a beneficiary of the trust. There are any number of possible personal, financial, tax, and estate planning reasons behind this decision. There are many different kinds of trusts that can be used for estate planning purposes.
You don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to benefit from the peace of mind of proper estate planning. If you need a will or you would like to discuss updating an existing estate plan, 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. Contact us here or call 877-800-3424.