Have you been thinking about creating a living trust but have not known where to begin? Has estate planning been on your to-do list for longer than you’re willing to admit? Are you unsure whether you should establish a trust or whether a will would be sufficient? There are a number of things to consider when you make a living trust in Nevada or any other state.
Do It Yourself
For some people, establishing a living trust will begin with a do-it-yourself trust kit. Such living trust kits have plenty of problems. To read about potential pitfalls of DIY living trust kits, please see my prior blog post. For most people, how to prepare a living trust will begin with a visit to a competent estate planning lawyer.
Use A Lawyer
When meeting with the trust attorney, you will be able to discuss the many options available to you when establishing a revocable living trust along with the various other documents that make up a complete estate plan, such as powers of attorney and a pour-over will. To help facilitate the initial meeting with the lawyer, there are a number of things you should consider.
First, think about who you would like to administer your estate if you are no longer able to do so. A successor trustee will be needed if you become incapacitated or upon your death. You should not only think about one individual that you trust in order to administer your wishes regarding the living trust, but you should also think about who may serve as a backup successor trustee in the event your original choice is not able to serve as the successor trustee. You may also consider co-successor trustees. You will be able to discuss the pros and cons of this with the attorney. In addition, you may also consider using a professional trustee such as a bank or trust company. There are many advantages to such a trustee.
If you have minor children, you should also think about who you would like to be their guardian in the event of your passing. You may also consider whether you would like the guardian of your minor children to be married at the time. For some people this is important and for others it is not important.
You should also carefully consider who you would like to have your medical power of attorney in the event of your incapacity. If you are married, this is often your spouse. But it is important to list one or two alternates.
One of the main issues to consider in your estate planning is how you would like your estate distributed after your death. Again, a good estate planning attorney can help you consider the various options. Living trusts are very flexible and are able to provide for many different contingencies. So even though an attorney can help you understand the various options, having a basic idea of how you would like your estate distributed and to whom is helpful when you have the initial meeting with the trust attorney.
And in order to properly advise you regarding your estate plan and estate tax implications, it will be important to have a list of your assets, including life insurance policies, at that initial meeting. This will also help if there are assets that require special attention in the estate planning process.
If you live in the southern Nevada area and would like to discuss setting up a revocable living trust for your estate, please call our office for a free initial consultation.