Kevin Walsh, Managing Attorney of 1Source Law and the Living Trust Source, discusses Wills, Trusts and Probate at the Estate Planning Series in Reno. The series is presented by KNPB Channel 5 and the Community Foundation of Western Nevada with the support of other nonprofit sponsors. If you missed the presentation, stay tuned. Later this month KNPB will be recording the presentations for television and Youtube.
According to a Caring.com 2017 survey 62% of people ages 35 to 44 don’t have a WILL or LIVING TRUST. Nor do 60 percent of people ages 45 to 54. It’s a surprising finding when you consider your loved-one’s financial futures and lifestyle may depend on good estate planning.
A LIVING TRUST can help ensure that your WIFE and CHILDREN can remain in the family home and that your gifts will pass seamlessly to your heirs. If you pass away without a Trust or other succession plan your family will most likely be faced with hiring a lawyer or trying to navigate the probate court alone.
Most of us don’t want to think about death, especially our own. But failure to act now will be costly and stressful for your family when you’re gone. Probate courts are publicly funded and generally back logged. Avoid burdening and the judicial system and your loved ones with the probate of your estate.
The LivingTrustSource.com believes the safest way for most people to avoid probate court is with a LIVING TRUST prepared by a licensed attorney.
A good estate plan involves more than deciding how and to whom property will be transferred. Unless they know your final wishes your grief-stricken family and friends can be faced with stressful decisions. These are things that will happen to your remains after your death, as in burial or cremation, funeral and/or reception, or for some a quite departure without much fanfare.
When you pass away make life easier for your grief-stricken family and friends. Take the time to write your Final Instructions. Keep them with your Trust or Will. This way your loved ones won’t face the stress of making decisions about what you ‘may have wanted.’
If you’re having a service or other occasion for a eulogy, help ease the burden on your loved ones by recording personal information they can use to prepare. Collecting these details can be difficult for people in mourning. You can include schools you attended, work history, birthplace, hobbies, clubs, service organizations, accomplishments, stories, military service, personal philosophy, lessons learned in life, and so on. Often this kind of biographical information is displayed at service programs. It’s also used in newspaper obituaries. Also, what should happen with your social media accounts?
Understandably, it may be difficult to think about your last wishes. But when you have completed the task, you will feel better knowing your preferences will be known and your family and your passing will not cause the burden of making these decisions.
Let’s face it – we’re all human and we all make mistakes. And there’s two types of mistakes. The first kind is caused by carelessness or negligence. The second type of mistake involves bad intent.
When a TRUSTEE of a Family Trust acts with the intent of depriving a BENEFICIARY, or improperly enrichens his or herself with family Trust assets, Nevada law can help the victim BENEFICIARY.
Most TRUSTEES who intentionally deprive one or more of their sibling BENEFICIARIES of Trust assets have never read the law of trusts and don’t understand, or appreciate, their fiduciary responsibilities. And they generally have no idea how much trouble they may be getting themselves into by raiding the family nest egg.
A “FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP” exists between the TRUSTEE and the BENEFICIARIES. This means the TRUSTEE must at all times act in the best interest of the BENEFICIARES’. It’s a special relationship that requires an elevated level of care. The law takes fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.
As a matter of law in Nevada, a TRUSTEE who intentionally acts in a way that hurts other family member BENEFICIARIES can be required to repay all of the assets they burnt through. They can also be forced to pay the ATTORNEY FEES of the BENEFICIARY who was damaged by the greedy TRUSTEE.
If the TRUSTEE of your family’s Trust is acting for his or her benefit, and not the TRUSTEES, the LivingTrustSource.com by 1Source Law LLC recommends that you see a trust attorney with experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Even the most sinister TRUSTEE who has violated his or her fiduciary duties will consider reversing course when confronted by a skilled advocate ready, willing, and able to recover damages AND their client’s attorney fees.
Living Trusts have become popular as a mechanism for succession planning. As the American population ages, and baby boomers enter their golden years, more people seek information about Living Trusts. One of the most common questions we receive is about funding a trust. Here are some common questions and answers about funding a trust.
Question: What does it mean to “fund a trust”?
Answer: A living trust is an entity separate from its creator. It can hold property for the beneficiaries. In order to hold the property for the beneficiaries the property must be held by the trust. Property that has a title, such as the family home and other real property, is not held by the trust until it is transferred, by a deed recorded at the county recorder’s office, to the Trustee of the Living Trust.
Question: Why is funding your trust so important?
Answer: One of the main advantages of having a Living Trust is that when you die, the property held in the Trust does not go through probate.
Question: What is probate?
Answer: Probate is a judicial process that involves the court determining whether a Will is valid and overseeing the distribution of deceased person’s estate assets to their designated heirs. Creditors are also paid through the process.
Question: How does avoiding probate help your heirs?
Answer: There are many reasons why it may be beneficial for your heirs to avoid probate. Perhaps the most often cited reason is cost related. Establishing a Living Trust and avoiding probate generally saves the estate thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. Another reason is that probate is public. The descendant’s personal estate information is open to the world. Anyone can easily challenge the probate if they believe they have a claim against the estate or don’t agree with the Will. In this way probate is an invitation to challenge the estate. Another compelling reason is that most people would prefer that their heirs are not required to attend court, which can be stressful. Also, probates can take months or sometimes years to complete. Your beneficiaries won’t have to wait before receiving the property left to them if it’s transferred from a Trust rather than through a probate court.
If you have a Living Trust, or plan on establishing one, the LivingTrustSource.com recommends that you have a qualified attorney assist you in identifying assets that must be transferred to the trust to avoid probate. The proper funding of your Living Trust will help ensure your assets pass quickly and smoothly to your beneficiaries.