Estate Planning: A Focus on Family
“Nevada is widely regarded as having the greatest asset protection laws in the country.” – Kalicki Collier, Probate Attorneys, Asset Protection, and Estate Planning, Reno, NV.
The death of a loved one brings with it a tidal wave of anxiety, grief, and insecurity. When someone loses one or both parents, the question of the family home and assets takes center stage. It will loom over various decision-making processes for some time to come as children and family members adjust to reality without the physical presence of those they have known for a lifetime.
It is especially hard when there is love between people. One way to ease the sense of loss is to provide security in the wake of death.
American Law and Inheritance
Once we reach adulthood, we become aware of a laundry list of responsibilities and capacities. We can get a driver’s license. If a business employs us, we are alerted to tax laws. Once we start saving money and/or purchasing things like cars, a home, or a business property; we are distinctly aware of the eventual giving up of these material possessions.
Upon realizing that we are one of a family, the question immediately becomes, “to whom will my things go” when I inevitably leave them behind. When a spouse leaves the earth, most countries’ laws generally entitle the surviving spouse to inherit their assets. But judicial laws will differ. In the United States of America (U.S.A.), the federal government guarantees that states that are party to its Constitution are permitted to create unique laws to govern certain aspects of citizens’ activities and what is deemed lawful and unlawful within their borders.
An important consideration is when a person has multiple families and children. How to begin to divide and allocate assets when possessions like a car or business cannot be divided?
The Last Will and Testament
You must have heard the term. It’s easy enough to infer what it identifies. However, you need a lawyer to fully comprehend such a document and its legal implications, especially if your wishes must be executed lawfully after your death.
Kalicki Collier is a law firm based in Reno, Nevada (NV) specializing in Probate Law, Asset Protection, and Estate Planning. They are the perfect example of what was mentioned above: attorneys who assist you in understanding the law regarding your things (assets) and drafting the appropriate document to accurately state your final wishes. Such a document is useful to lawyers, judges, law enforcement, and commercial enterprises, all of whom are bound to follow the legal procedure set forth by the law of that town, city, state, or country.
In the instance of multiple families, the children, and especially children born outside of married relationships, a Will serves to name the various family members known to the deceased. It can also include language that includes or excludes other persons, called claimants. A last will or testament can be a comprehensive document stipulating who can and cannot claim part of or the entire estate and assets.
Estate Planning: A Focus on Family
It is not surprising that when you visit the website of Kalicki Collier Attorneys (Reno, NV), there is a sentence that stands out amongst the rest (the statement that is the title of this section and this blog’s main title).
It is always apparent that when a deceased person’s assets are measured, counted, and allocated, there is a direct effect on the family. The focus is definitely on the family. Protecting one’s family is not incidental—it is vital!
Which is satisfying to read. To understand the legal precedents that operate in a given area, specifically in the state of Nevada or elsewhere, a person who isn’t a reader of law books needs to access the technical expertise of probate law and/or asset protection attorneys.
Many would assume that the judicial system would automatically operate in the family’s best interests. However, there can be complications. When a person dies without a Will, this is an instance where the situation is unclear. A probate attorney working in Reno will definitely understand the laws that apply but will have to represent the interests of the deceased’s family to ensure their needs are met.
When a spouse dies suddenly, an existing will can be contested. Claimants who enlist the services of an attorney are entitled to have their voices heard. The overarching constitutional law of the U.S.A. grants this freedom to everyone.
Thus, focusing on family is very relevant and even inspires trust and/or faith that the correct and lawful process follows the death of a loved one.
First and foremost, when a deceased person’s death is recorded, any estates they own are subject to tax. Secondly, if a person dies without paying their debts in full, those who are owed money or were promised some form of compensation are entitled to seek remuneration from the deceased’s estate.
Likewise, if your spouse or parent dies, their retirement policies, savings accounts, and life insurance payouts must be passed onto their descendants/persons named in their will.
If you die with debts attached to your name, persons or companies – Creditors or Debt Collectors – have a legal right to seek compensation. However, none of your family who can inherit from your estate are obligated to repay those debts.
“As a rule, a person’s debts do not go away when they die. Those debts are owed by and paid from the deceased person’s estate.” – Federal Trade Commission.
This makes a probate attorney, business attorney, and estate planning attorney essential. As said before, there may be complications since one’s business revenue and properties become part of the pool of resources attached to your name. Thus, debt collectors have a right to seek from your estate compensation to balance the owing you left behind.
The Executor of the Estate
This is something not mentioned before, as it deserves an adequate explanation. When a person dies having written a will or testament, they will have discussed with their business planning attorney(s) and/or estate planning attorney(s) about who is named the executor.
“An executor of an estate is an individual appointed to administer the last will and testament of a deceased person. The executor’s main duty is to carry out the instructions to manage the affairs and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed either by the testator of the will (the individual who makes the will) or by a court, in cases wherein there was no prior appointment.” – Investopedia.com.
This is, in essence, the representative of the deceased, who is legally required to act for the deceased, i.e., see that their wishes are fulfilled and respected by all interested parties, family members, and even the agents of the justice system. Courts can make errors in judgment. Individuals can be jealous, angry, unsatisfied, or attempt to complicate matters for their gain. The executor is named for this reason, as families, former spouses, business partners, or longtime romantic partners may disagree over the interpretation of the wishes of the deceased and things they may or may not have said during their life. Death is already a troubling experience for those who grieve the loss of their loved one: acting unreasonably is something probate and estate planning attorneys are aware of and must guard against.
The Law in Nevada
In conclusion, the best part of this topic’s unfolding is the Law in Nevada regarding inheritance, assets, and debts.
It is always advisable to seek a professional opinion, especially if you intend to file a claim and/or initiate a lawsuit to challenge the declarations in a last will.
Nevada-based Probate Attorneys, Reno being the city discussed here, must comprehend the law completely. Sometimes, a particular town or city is granted unique powers to stipulate what the law in their area protects, what law enforcement policies, and what the collective agrees to deem unlawful.
The federal government in the U.S.A. has unique powers too. A Probate Lawyer, Reno-based and operating, may still have a conversation over the phone with someone outside the state. There could be a situation where a spouse or child or named person lives outside the U.S.A.
The statement that this blog began with is to be understood in comparison to other states of the U.S.A. Various sources agree: Nevada’s legal precedents, and its courts’ judgments, protect people’s wealth and assets even after their death. This is crucial to family members and very important for children, especially when they are too young to understand the situation or too young to enlist the help of legal representation.
A Final Word
Children are never too young to be protected adequately! Additionally, a family member may not fully grasp the legalities of a deceased not leaving behind a last will or testament. This means it is important to know you can consult a probate lawyer. Reno-based lawyers will be the best lawyers to contact if the deceased’s estate and assets exist within that city’s borders.
This blog is important reading as an adult or a person who will reach adulthood. You will probably have to, or rather it is prudent to write down your wishes and have an attorney draft your will for you. Protecting your assets is protecting your family.
If you live in the state of Nevada, once lived there, or are named in a will, contacting an Estate Planning Attorney from Reno, NV is the best course of action. Knowing your legal rights is one of those things that will be on your laundry list of responsibilities!
Interested to know more? Curious about Nevada’s Inheritance Law? Click here: Find a Reno Probate Lawyer Near Me.
Retired Investor (2022). “Lessons I Learned From Being The Estate Executor For My Parents”. Online Blog. Website address: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4481008-lessons-learned-from-being-the-estate-executor-for-my-parents
Alliance Trust Company of Nevada. (2018). “Nevada’s Beneficial Trust Laws Set it Apart and Provide Strong but Flexible Protection”. Online Article. Website address: https://alliancetrustcompany.com/news/nevada-trust-estate-planning-advantages/
Robert Bolick. (2016). “Nevada Asset Protection Trusts: How Effective Are They?”. Online Article: Legal Opinion published in the Nevada Business Magazine. Website address: https://nevadabusiness.com/2016/11/nevada-asset-protection-trusts-how-effective-are-they/