You Must Specifically Disinherit in Nevada

 

Disclose All Uncomfortable Facts to Your Lawyer, And How to Disinherit

Transcript:

Hi my name is Jordan Flake, I am an estate planning attorney at Clear Counsel Law group and today I want to talk about why it’s really important to tell your estate planning attorney everything.

Sometimes we have these clients who have a child who they just don’t really associate with them as a child anymore.

In fact, often times they’ve considered themselves to have moved on from that relationship. It may not necessarily be a child it can also be a brother or sister or in an estranged situation it could be a spouse.

We have had cases and we have seen cases where someone will come into our law firm and say well ask, “How many children do you have?” They’ll say, “Well I have 2 kids. I have Bob and Susie” and we’ll say, “Okay great.” We’ll include those 2 individuals in their estate planning and then we’ll find out later on down the road that in addition to Bob and Susie they have a child named Johnny.

The problem is they haven’t talked to Johnny in 10 years. It ended badly and they didn’t wish to provide for him.

The client over on the other side of the table is thinking, “If I just don’t tell the attorney at all about Johnny, then only Susie and Bobby will show up in the estate planning and only Susie and Bobby will get part of my estate.”

That seems to be a good idea from their standpoint. Now, some of you who are viewing this may already be able to anticipate what is wrong with that. In Nevada and in other states, it’s necessary to specifically disinherit your next of kin.

 

Why Nevada Requires You to Expressly Disinherit

Otherwise there’s a presumption in the law that you just somehow made an error and excluded them on accident and so if I say,”I want to give everything to my 2 kids Bobby and Susie” and I don’t mention my third kid Johnny, Johnny can come along after I pass away and say, “Hey, here I am. You know dad said he wanted to give everything equally with his kids.”

Bobby and Susie will say, “Whoa Johnny first of all we haven’t seen you in 10 years. Second of all there’s a problem because we can point very clearly to the language in the estate plan that says he wants everything to go to the 2 of us.”

Then Johnny could say, “Whoa, no it says equally between the kids and he just forgot to put me on there. That’s all that’s happened here.”

That’s why it’s very necessary in Nevada when you’re doing your estate planning to specifically disinherit Johnny.

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Often times we’ll put a provision in there that says,”For the purposes of my estate planning I desire to disinherit Johnny and I desire that he be treated as though he had pre-deceased me” so that literally nothing goes to him and so that he won’t have any power over the estate planning at all.

There’s different language you can use.

Sometimes it’s the case that you have Bobby, Susie and Johnny and you just gave Johnny his share of the inheritance before you passed away and in that case we can use a little bit more amicable language where you say, “I do not desire to provide for Johnny through this estate plan that I am preparing because I provided to him a living gift several years ago” or whenever it was.

 

There’s No Good Reason to Lie to Your Lawyer. S/He is Your Lawyer.

These are different things to take into consideration but the real red flag and the thing that I want you to remember and take away is don’t hold anything back from your estate planning attorney precisely because you’re not sure of the impact of withholding that information on your eventual estate plan.

It’s really good to know for example, do you have a prior marriage where there may not have been a divorce finalized. We see this happen a lot too. A couple will get married, they’ll have a falling out.

They’ll intend to divorce. They may even start the divorce process but they never ever really finalized it.

They never did a divorce discharge and what happens is later on down the road they meet somebody else and they say, “Hey, I want to give you all of my assets when I die.”

They’ll basically draft up an estate plan but then they’ll fail to properly get rid of that spouse who under the eyes of the law is still a spouse.

This is really a scary situation because you don’t end up getting exactly what you want. Make sure you talk to an estate planning attorney about all of these types of issues so that with the benefit of our knowledge and experience we can make sure that there’s not going to be some land mine that crops us later.

If you’re in a situation like this where you may want to disinherit someone. You may have some kind of legal issue that was never fully wrapped up from earlier in your life or maybe you just want to know that you don’t have some sort of landmine that’s going to crop up, please come to me with your estate planning.

I’ll do a no charge consultation.

I’ll sit down and review your estate plan whether you have documents or whether you just, your estate plan maybe right now is just in your mind and you need to get it out on paper.

In either situation, I am more than happy to meet with you and for sure when we meet make sure you tell me everything.

Thanks so much.

 

By Addressing Tough Estate Planning Questions, You Will Feel So Much Better

 

 

Transcript:

Hi. I’m Jordan Flake. I’m an estate planning attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group.

One of the biggest barriers to getting people to actually come in and see me and meet me for a complimentary estate planning consultation, is just the fact that estate planning inherently deals with questions that we sometimes don’t want to answer at all.

Sometimes it’s really unpleasant to think about our own mortality or our own potential incapacity.

Sometimes it’s really hard to think about who would raise our children if we have minor children. It’s hard to think about how you want your assets to be distributed because it brings up questions or fairness and what’s right with respect to different children who may have either been extremely nice to you or wrong to you.

 

Estate Planning for Difficult Questions

One of the questions is how do we deal with these uncomfortable questions and these uncomfortable situations? I think the very, very first thing that you want to know when you do this is don’t avoid estate planning because you don’t feel like you have all the answers. That’s the first thing.

Sometimes I get people who say Jordan, we got your card last September. We know we need to do an estate plan, but my wife and I have been talking and talking. And we just can’t figure out what we want to do.

We can’t figure out which of our kids we can trust? who gets this stuff? Who would take care of us if we were both incapacitated? We’re going to think about it for a little while longer and see what we can come up with and then we’re going to schedule a consultation.

Please do not do this precisely because a lot of what we’re going to discuss in the complimentary consultation is basically some of the different answers to these questions that you might consider.

I regard my job as an estate planning attorney, somebody who can help guide you through some of these uncomfortable and ambiguous situations. I’ve seen it all in the last 10 years of practicing law. I’m very familiar with a lot of the different situations that can cause this to be hesitant or confused about estate planning. Please don’t let those hold you up.

I’ll talk about that a little bit more in a moment. The other thing that we sometimes need to worry about is just getting in here at all to do your estate planning. Never mind the fact that you have questions that are hard to answer. Let’s just focus on your need to come in and see me in the first place.

 

The Importance of Starting Your Estate Planning

Please understand that as an estate planning attorney I also look at my position as one that confers peace of mind. I feel like I’m somebody who, my job is to give you peace of mind.

What that means is that before you meet with me and before you have your estate plan set up, you’re sitting here thinking, “Oh geez, this is tough to think about. This is tough to do. It’s confusing. It’s complicated and I don’t want to answer these questions.”

What do I do if I pass away? I’m just not comfortable with that.

After you meet with me and after we sign the documents that through your wishes I have prepared to become legally and forcible and valid, I can immediately see it’s almost like clockwork, a big sigh of relief from my clients who say, “You know, I just feel so, so much better. Thank you so, so much.”

 

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Please don’t look at what I do as something scary that makes you have to ask all these difficult questions.

Instead, do what I do which is look at the finish line, that moment where you say, “Hey, I’m so glad I got that taken care of. It’s one less huge thing that I have to worry about and I just don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

Of course we’ll look at it every 3 to 5 years to make sure it’s still says and does what you want it to say and do. Other than that you’re in a place where you now have peace of mind. Specifically though, what are some of the tough questions that come up?

 

Tough Estate Planning Questions for Parents with Minor Children

For those of us who have minor children, I happen to have minor children.

One big question that my wife and I had is how do we decide who will take care of our children? Here’s just one example of what I was talking about. I have seen couples refuse to come meet with me as an estate planning attorney because they say, “Jordan I’d love to but my wife and I can’t agree on who’s going to watch our kids so I don’t want to come to an estate plan yet.”

Please don’t do this. Come meet with me and we can talk about it.

That’s one of the touch questions that we get is who’s going to watch the kids? One of the reasons this is a tough question is because a lot of parents look at the person whom they’re appointing as a potential guardian as a replacement for mom and dad.

This can be too daunting if you think about it. If heaven forbid, something happens to a husband and a wife, a mother and a father, realistically there’s not going to be any really great 100% replacement for the love and the care and the attention and maybe the physical environment, the emotional environment. It’s going to be very, very difficult, if not impossible, to replicate all of those things.

If you’re sitting here saying I don’t want to do my estate planning until I figure out who can totally replicate the same life for my kids that my wife and I would’ve given them, then you’re never going to be able to really do your estate planning.

That’s a big hangup. It’s really, really difficult, if not impossible, to figure that out.

That’s something that we can talk through so that you say so you’re saying I should do my estate planning because having something is better than having nothing?

Good, okay. You’re saying I should be doing my estate planning because listing a guardian who has good fiduciary sense is 9/10 of the battle. You’re saying Jordan that I can go ahead and do my estate planning because I don’t need to worry about who has an extra room where we can fit bunk beds.

 

What to Look for in a Guardian

What I’m getting at is that people look at these concerns without the benefit of experience of knowing really what you’re looking for in a guardian. If you just come in and see me you’ll find out for example, what you should be worried about it fiduciary sense.

That’s the number one thing that you can be concerned about. Morals, you can’t force somebody to have morals that go onto your kids. We do worry about finances because you actually can hold them accountable for that.

What about physical accommodation? Your guardian doesn’t necessarily have to be the person where your kids actually reside with that person.

Your guardian might say I’m going to be the guardian of your minor children. I’m going to make sure they’re provided for financially because I have good fiduciary sense.

I happen to know that sister Becky and her husband have a really big house because he’s done great at his dental career. They have room to take the kids and a good setup in the basement there.

 

We Will Help Through Difficult Questions

Thinking through these things with the benefit of practical experience will make it so these big scary confusing questions actually become a lot more manageable. I just picked one out of the air.

I picked the idea of this guardian of minor children as a potential barrier. For every barrier that you’re facing in your mind right now with respect to estate planning, I can promise you that we’ve seen it, we’ve been there, and we can ask the questions to help you discover what the best solution is for you.

In no case are we going to recommend a solution that’s uncomfortable to you or try to force your hand.

Estate planning always has been and always will be about putting your wishes down into legally and forcible documents.

Helping you understand what you really want and what’s going to be best for your loved ones, absolutely that’s something that we can help you out with and we will help you out with. We really want to. Please pick up the phone, schedule a complimentary consultation and I’d be happy to walk through some of these things.

I look forward to seeing you. Thank you. Bye.

 

Watch This Before Revising Your Own Will

 

 

Pitfalls of Amending Your Own Will

Transcript:

Jonathan Barlow: Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m an attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. A question that frequently comes up from my clients is: If they have a Will, can they make their own handwritten changes on the face of that Will within the document themselves or do they have to go to an attorney to the Will changed?

This question comes up surprisingly all the time, both while somebody’s alive and they’re wanting to change their own Will and after that person has died and the family member comes in and they say, “Hey, I have Mom’s Will, and look. There’s all these handwritten changes on it.”

So the question is: Can you do that? Number two, more importantly, if they did make those handwritten changes, are those handwritten changes valid? Are they legally enforceable?

We see this all the time where someone comes in, they bring a Will, and I’ve got scratches out or there’s crossing things out. They’ve got arrows pointing here and there. They may have a 25% with an X through it that says now 15% next to it. They’ll have a scratch-out across Johnny’s name, and they’ll write in Sally’s name underneath it. So we see these kind of changes happen frequently.

 

Will with Pen, estate planning, probate, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The biggest question overall is, we’re trying to figure out what was the intent of that person. Did they intend to make that change? Is that what they wanted to do?

So if the person has already passed away, that’s what the probate court is going to do. They’re going to look at those handwritten changes, and they’re going to determine: Is that what the person intended? If it is, they’re going to do the best they can to enforce that intent.

While you’re still alive, you can make those handwritten changes, but you’re setting things up for some messy things down the road after you pass away.

We’re going to look at the second question, which is: If you have those handwritten changes, are they legally enforceable? Are they legally valid changes?

 

An Example

Let’s assume that someone came in, mom’s passed away, and they have a Will. Mom’s done one of those things where she scratched out one of her son’s names and instead, wrote in the friend down the street, Susie, and gave Susie 25% of the estate.

The son, in this case, is concerned about this scratch-out. He asks me, “Is that legally valid? Can Mom disinherit me like that by scratching me out and writing in Susie’s name from down the street?”

The answer, as is often the case in the law, it depends.

 

What is a Holographic Will?

In order for those handwritten changes to be determined to be valid, they have to meet the requirements of what’s called a holographic Will.

A holographic Will is a handwritten Will, where the entire Will is written in the hand of the person; they sign and date it.

So in order for a holographic Will to be valid, you have to have three things:

  1. It has to be handwritten by the person in their own handwriting,
  2. it has to be dated by the person, and
  3. it has to be signed by the person.

There’s no witness requirements. There’s no notary requirements in order for it to be valid.

Those same three requirements are going to apply with these handwritten changes in the Will. We’re going to look at these changes, which by the way are called interlineations which technically means a change within the margins or change between the lines.

We’re going to look at these interlineations and determine as to each one of those, did it meet those three requirements for the holographic Will? Was it in the person’s own handwriting? Did they date it? Did they sign it?

 

Common Problem Regarding Interlineations

The most frequent problem that we see in trying to enforce these interlineations is that we’re missing one of those three requirements. They either didn’t date it or they didn’t sign it. Sometimes people question whether it’s in the person’s handwriting. Most frequently that’s not the case. It usually is in the person’s handwriting.

So what we’ll see is, say, on page two of the Will, they cross out something there, they make an interlineation change in their writing, they flipped to page four and they changed the executor provision by scratching out Bob’s name and writing in Joe’s name.

Then on page four, that’s where they put their initials or they sign it there and they date it there, but they didn’t do that as to page two.

So the big question becomes, and I would argue, that those handwritten changes on page two don’t meet the requirements of a holographic Will because it wasn’t dated and it wasn’t signed on that page.

How are we to know that the person made the changes on page two the same day they made the changes on page four? Again, in order for those to be determined valid by the court, the court would be looking at those requirements of a holographic Will.

 

Why Intent Matters

Another problem that often comes up is the question of intent. Is this really what the person intended to make these changes? Is that really what they wanted to do?

I’ve seen personally circumstances where somebody has been, essentially they’ve just been brainstorming, and they’ve been using their Will as a way to brainstorm about how they might want to change it; not necessarily that they did want to change it. So they’ll get out their Will, and they’ll look at the percentages that they put in there for people. They’ll start doing some math and doing some changes and trying to add it all up, but that’s not necessarily what they intended to have as their final document. That was simply brainstorming or doodling on their Will.

 

How Will a Probate Court Address an Invalid Will?

So we have to ask: Is that what they intended to do or is that what they were simply thinking about doing? Brian has a question on this issue.

 

Brian: If someone amends a Will incorrectly, will a probate court throw the whole Will out and their estate will be administered intestate?

 

Jonathan Barlow: That’s an excellent question. Let’s say we’ve looked at this. The interlineation appears to be improperly done. It doesn’t meet one of those requirements. Will the court necessarily not follow that change? Will the court, in and of itself, say, “No. No good. We’re not going to follow it”? This really only applies if there’s some type of contest, if people are fighting about the interlineation.

If everybody who has an interest – say, all of the kids or everyone that’s named there – if they all agree and say, “Even though it’s missing a date, we want to enforce that part of it,” they can all agree and sign an agreement saying, “Even though it’s missing a date, even though it might be missing a signature on that particular place, we agree that that’s what Mom wanted to do and we agree that that’s what she intended to do, so we are going to collectively agree to have the Will distributed in that way.” The court would honor that agreement amongst the interested parties, amongst the beneficiaries. It would honor an agreement.

So really, we’re only talking about situations where somebody has raised a concern or raised a contest about the validity of one of those changes. Did that kind of answer that particular question about?

 

Brian:    Sure did. Thank you.

 

Jonathan Barlow: Again, I highly don’t recommend interlineations. People do it frequently. They don’t want to go to a lawyer. They may not have time to go to a lawyer, but it’s just setting things up ripe for potential disaster down the road.

Your estate may not be distributed the way you want it to, either because what you intended wasn’t done clearly enough or you didn’t actually intend to do what you doodled on your Will.

So if you want to make those changes, certainly go and see a lawyer or make sure that it’s done in a nice formal way so it’s very clear what you intended to do unless you want to leave a disaster for your children, which most people don’t want to do.

If you want help with making these changes to your Will while you’re alive or if you have concerns after someone’s passed away and you’ve got Mom and Dad’s Will and it’s got these interlineations and you don’t what to do with them, give me a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group, and I’ll be glad to answer your questions about that and help you determine what Mom or Dad intended and whether it’s legally enforceable.

 

Estate Plan Advice for Snowbirds & People with Assets in Multiple States

 

 

An Estate Plan for Snowbirds

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jordan Flake. I am an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I focus primarily in estate planning, and today we have a question here from one of our clients. It says, what if you have an estate plan that is out of state, but then you buy a condominium in Nevada to retire and make Nevada your long-term residence? Do you need a new estate plan? Could Nevada estate plan cover out of state assets, such as those that you may have left in Illinois?

I’m going to try to answer this question. Basically the idea is that when you move to a new state, you probably should as a good practice meet with an estate planning attorney in that state. I’m going to talk about why that might be a good idea.

Also, I’m going to talk about how assets work in a revocable estate plan and why it’s okay owning assets in different states, and how to make that function.

 

Updating Your Estate Plan After Moving to Nevada

As you can imagine, I practice here in Nevada, and I get a lot of retirees who move here from other states around the country. Often times, they’ll buy a property here, such as in the question that was asked, and yet often times, they’ll leave property in their former state as well.

In fact, a really common scenario is these self-described snowbirds. What a snowbird is, it’s someone who lives off in Wisconsin during the summer months, when it’s nice and temperate, and then when it gets freezing cold in Wisconsin, the snowbirds move here to Las Vegas, and they spend maybe roughly from November to March where it’s temperate here in Las Vegas, living at their condo here.

 

estate plan, snowbirds, estate planning, probate, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

I meet with these individuals and they say, “Hey, Jordan, we have changed our long term residence. We really intend to retire in Las Vegas, but we still have our house back in Wisconsin that we go to every summer. Where should we do our estate planning and why?”

My recommendation is to first answer the question, which is really going to be your state of residence? As soon as you answer that question, if it’s Nevada, then you should probably do your estate planning in Nevada. If it’s Wisconsin, then possibly do your estate planning in Wisconsin.

 

Why Nevada?

The reason why a lot of people will opt to have Nevada be their estate planning destination is because Nevada has really good robust estate planning laws that are very highly developed, to the point that different provisions have been tested here in the court setting, which means that as an estate planning attorney, we can have the confidence to implement various provisions that have undergone robust testing at the court level, so that we know they’re highly enforceable.

We actually have a lot of clients who live out of state who opt to do their estate planning here, precisely because Nevada’s estate planning laws are so favorable and so protective of the clients and the grantors in these situations.

I would say that if you intend to make Nevada your long-term residence, then the answer is very easy. You should do a Nevada estate plan. Even if you don’t, you may still wish to consider it because Nevada has better laws.

That of course raises the question, let’s say I’m intending to make Wisconsin my long-term residence. How can I do a Nevada estate plan? Are estate plans enforceable across state lines? The answer is generally yes. Generally, states will give effect to legal documents created in other states. The mere passage from one state to another does not automatically nullify estate planning documents. I know that’s true of Nevada, and I’m pretty sure it’s true of every single state in the United States.

Basically, if you want to think of it another way, imagine you and your buddy both lived in California at the time, had an agreement that he would paint all your houses for $50,000, and you basically have this agreement for the next 3 years, your buddy’s going to paint all your houses, any houses that you own, for $50,000, and you both live in California at the time of that agreement.

Both of you decide to move to Nevada, and the question is, is the agreement that you made in California still enforceable in Nevada? The answer is yes, that contract will go from one state across state lines and still be legally enforceable. That’s true of your estate planning as well. The things that you put in place in one state are generally going to be enforceable in the next state.

It is a little bit different because each state has different laws with how little tiny particulars will arise, or with how probate is handled for example, so that’s why you’ll definitely want to have your estate plan reviewed by an attorney in the state where you intend to make that state your personal long-term residence.

 

Developing an Estate Plan with Property in Multiple Jurisdictions

Come see us. If you have property in Nevada, we can get you set up with a Nevada estate plan. The second part of this question, let’s say you do have a property in Nevada and you do make Nevada your long term residence, and you do have a condo here, and you have transferred that into your estate planning, and that condo now becomes part of your estate plan. What do we do with the summer house in Wisconsin? The answer is very simple. If we create a Nevada estate plan, you can think of it like a box. We create that box and we transfer some of your assets into that box. There’s nothing about the fact that that house is owned in Wisconsin that prevents us from taking that house and transferring it into the Nevada trust. There’s really nothing about that that prevents it.

Regularly, as estate planning attorneys, we’ll sit down and meet with clients who have assets in various states and properties and various states. What we’ll do is we’ll go request a deed from that state and we’ll copy down the legal description and we’ll prepare a deed for that state. We’ll send it out saying, my Wisconsin summer house now is to be transferred into the Johnson family trust, or the Johnson estate planning. You definitely can have a Nevada trust that owns property in various states.

If you’re in either of these situations, if you’re maybe mixing residence between 2 states like Wisconsin and Nevada, and you’re not sure where to do your estate planning, please come talk to me. If you’re a Nevada resident and you have property that’s outside of the state, and you want to make sure it passes according to your wishes, please come see me. Those are both questions that we handle very often. They’re both things for which we can do a complimentary consultation, and please give us a call, set up a consultation, and we’ll be happy to help you out with this. Thanks so much.

Important Legal Knowledge for Real Estate Professionals

 

Getting Ahead as a Real Estate Agent

Transcript:

Hi, my name is Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I have some advice for real estate professionals out there. We deal with a lot of real estate professionals, we like a lot of the ones that we use, and if you do need a good real estate professional, I can certainly put you in touch with somebody that we trust.

My unsolicited, I guess, advice for real estate agents is this: Learn a little bit about the law, especially when it comes to real property and estate planning. Understanding the law, with respect to real property and estate planning will make you seem a lot smarter to your clients.

Now, I’m not trying to give you advice on how to conduct your career, but I will tell you that in sitting down with a lot of  agents, going out to lunch, what they tell me is, these days, because of the internet, because of websites like Zillow and just because of the ability to go online and do a lot of the selling and buying, a real estate agents’ job is really changing from simply listing properties, showing properties, which are things that, now, everyone has a better opportunity to do them on their own, to really being experts about the things that they’re trying to accomplish for their clients, and getting their clients the help they need, and so that’s one reason why a real estate agent should consider getting a deeper understanding of how estate planning works.

 

Real estate agent, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

How to put your house in a trust, differences between joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and tenants in common, or community property with rights of survivorship. There’s really a lot that a lawyer knows about real property and estate planning that would make it so that a real estate agent was that much more impressive and conversant and savvy with their clients.

If you’re a real estate agent listening to this video and you’re interested in meeting with me or setting up some kind of a seminar or presentation, reach out and we’ll see if it’ll work.

I have a few different presentations that I do for real estate agents, and I’d be very interested, in this upcoming year, to sit down with you personally, or with a group of you, to talk about how to learn a little bit more about the law and how that might benefit your career. Thank you.

How Long Does It Take to Sell an Estates Assets?

 

The Time Period to Sell Estates Assets

Transcript:

Hello, I’m Jonathan Barlow. I’m a probate and estate planning attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. People often ask us the question of how long does it take to have assets transferred to me after Mom or Dad have passed away? How quickly can I get the bank account transferred to me or how soon can I have the house put into my name? The answer to that question depends largely on the value of those assets. The Nevada statute set out what those values are and what we have to do in those circumstances.

 

Estates under $25,000

First, there’s total assets under $25,000. There’s a level between $25,000 and $100,000, and in general, anything above $100,000. I’m going to describe briefly these three categories. Under $25,000, if there is no house or land importantly, you can have those assets transferred to you in about 40 days. The statutes say you have to wait 40 days after date of death and after 40 days, you can prepare a document or have a document ready that says, “Mom passed away. She had the following bank account, the following car. We list the assets there. I’m the closest next of kin. I have resolved her debts and I’m entitled to receive her assets.”

Assuming you’ve filled that document out appropriately, you can take that into the bank on Day #40 after Mom passed away, present them with that affidavit, and they would process it through their legal department and in about an hour’s time, they should come back to you with the check with Mom’s bank account and giving that money to you. That’s the fastest you can do it, when it’s under $25,000. There’s a same process with the DMV that you can get car tiles transferred in the same manner when it’s under $25,000.

 

Estates between $25,000 and $100,000

The second level is between $25,000 and $100,000. This is also a fairly quick process but you have to wait 30 days after date of death and after 30 days, you can file a document in the probate court. It does require probate court filing. However, it’s quick and abbreviated. Within about three weeks time after filing, you can have a court order that says, “Hey bank, transfer the bank account or give the bank account to so and so or to so and so.” To whomever it’s supposed to go to.

estates, asset, inherit, probate, Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

That court order could also transfer the title to the land or the house also and so you take that down to the county recorder and that would transfer the house to you. That’s a 30 day wait after Mom or Dad have passed away. You’ve filed your document and then you have a hearing about two to three weeks after that. That’ll take care of estates under $100,000.

 

Estates over $100,000

Now if you’re over $100,000 in assets, you’re in a situation that’s going to require generally a full probate process. Those full probate processes can take … At the very quickest, you’re going to be done in about four months. That’s really cruising through there. In general those usually take six to nine to twelve months, possibly longer depending on what type of assets you’re dealing with and it’s a very involved process at the probate court, a lot of court filings, a lot of court requirements that you have to keep up on.

Now here at Clear Counsel Law Group, we specialize in the probate, in taking care of those things whether it’s under $25,000 or over $100,000, we file hundreds of probate cases to deal with those estates from very small to several million dollar estates. We also specialize in the estate plan part of it, so if you have an estate that’s over $100,000 and you’re concerned about your children having to go through this probate process that’s time consuming, it’s expensive, it’s public, and you want to make it very easy and very simple for your children to get your assets after you pass away, even if they’re over $100,000, come and see us and talk to us because there’s some really great tools that you can use right now and put in place that make it very simple for your children to get your assets after you pass away.

In any situation, whether you’re faced with the under $25,000, under $100,000, over $100,000, here at Clear Counsel Law Group we’re specialists in these areas. We’ve done hundreds of these cases. We’ll be able to help you answer your questions and get those assets to you as quickly as humanly possible as quickly as the statutes will allow you to do that. Give us a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group and we’ll be glad to help you with those things.

 

Three Essential Estate Planning Tools You Must Know

 

The Three Estate Planning Tools Everyone Needs to Know

Transcript:

Jonathan: Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m a estate planning attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. Today, we are talking about people who have relatively few assets and what estate planning tools they might use in order to transfer those assets after they pass away. I want to talk about three tools that they might use today. The first is a will. The second is joint ownership. The third is beneficiary designations.

In order to illustrate how these three tools might work, let me introduce you to one of my hypothetical clients. Her name is Helen. Helen lives here in the Las Vegas area. She has two children, Bob and Suzy.

 

An Estate Planning Hypothetical

Helen’s estate basically has three assets. She has a condo, has about sixty thousand dollars in equity in the condo. She has her bank account and the bank account has three, or four, five thousand dollars in it. She has a car that she’s paid of. The car is worth five or six thousand dollars. Now, Helen, can use all three of these tools to help transfer her assets after her death.

The first thing that she really should do is to prepare a will. A will is a document where Helen can say who she wants to receive her assets after she passes away, in what percentages, in what amounts, under what conditions. Helen can also say in her will who she wants to be in-charge of that process. Who is going to be the executor, the person responsible to make that happen.

Helen can use the will to say, “I want to split my assets equally between my two children.” She could also say, “I want to give Bob seventy percent and Suzy thirty percent.” Whatever the case maybe, she can say that in her will.

The second thing that Helen can also do is to use joint ownership as a way to transfer her assets after she passes away. What joint ownership means is that say she goes into her bank and explains to them, “Hey. I want to add Suzy on to my bank account.” The bank make designations and changes on bank account to add Suzy as a joint owner and she owns it as the same time as Helen.

When Helen dies, the joint owner, in this situation, Suzy, becomes the one hundred percent owner of that bank account, simply by virtue of Helen passing away. Suzy would just have to take a death certificate into the bank, say, “Hey. Mom has passed away.” The bank would essentially just give that money in that account to her without any other work necessary.

 

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The third tool that Helen might use to make it easier to transfer assets in a smaller size to say is beneficiary designations. The most common example of beneficiary designations that we think about would be a life insurance policy. Generally, if we have life insurance on our life, we name somebody as the beneficiary to receive that money after we pass away.

We can do the same thing with other assets. For example, in Nevada, there’s a special form of deed that somebody can sign to name beneficiaries on their house. Helen could sign this beneficiary deed and say, “Upon my death, the house shall be transferred to Bob and Suzy.”

After Helen passes away, Bob and Suzy prepare a document with her death certificate that notes that she’s passed away and the ownership of that house transfers automatically to them without any other work. No probate work or other work required. It becomes a very easy way to transfer that condo that only had sixty thousand dollars in equity in it to her children after she passes away.

Those are three simple tools that can be used to transfer that and there’s a frequent questions that Brian has right now that the people often ask me.

 

Brian: What if there’s a will that has two beneficiaries, but the asset is being held in joint tenancy?

 

Jonathan: That’s a great question. Again, same example. Helen has two kids, Bob and Suzy. Yet, she did just what I described earlier, she went in to the bank and she said, “I just want Suzy to get one…” She added Suzy as the joint owner of the bank account.

The effect of that is that even though she said in the will that she wanted Bob and Suzy to share whatever she had, the joint ownership designation, the joint account designation is going to trump the will. Meaning, Suzy is going to get that account one hundred percent with no legal obligation to share with her brother Bob. Even though the will says that were supposed to share it fifty-fifty.

Again, we want to be careful about how we use those joint designations to make sure that they do actually match up to what you want to do. You may say in the will, “I want to share it with him equally,” but if you make a joint beneficiary designation or a joint account ownership for a beneficiary designation, there’s contrary to that, those will apply and be enforced rather than what you say in the will.

With all three of these tools, the will, joint ownership, and beneficiary designations, there are pros and cons to how they’re used. You want to be careful that that matched up with what you want to accomplished and that they do what you’ve said they want to do.

If you have any questions about this and want help with discussing these three tools and how they work for people with smaller estates, it’s time to give us a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group.

How Should You Own Your Property?

 

 

What Is the Best Way to Hold Your Property?

Transcript:

Jordan: I’m Jordan Flake with Clear Counsel Law Group. I’m an attorney who does estate planning primarily. Occasionally, questions will come up about how property ownership works and operations of law. What I mean by that is how do you hold property in such a way that it will accomplish some of your estate planning objectives? We call this non-attorney estate planning, usually because it doesn’t necessarily require an attorney.

When you purchase a house, you can just tell your real estate agents and the title company how you want to take title to that property. Let’s just use the example of a client who said, “My wife and I and a friend own this duplex together, the three of us. We want to make it so that the last of us to die, the survivor among the three of us, gets all the property?” They don’t necessarily have to go see an attorney to make that happen. They can just tell the title company that they’d like to own the property in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship

What that means is that everybody just owns the property and then the survivors own the property and then the survivor of the survivors gets all the property. That’s called joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Now there are other ways to own it. There’s something called tenancy in common, which means each would get one-third, one-third, one-third and their undivided one-third share would go to their estate when they passed away.

 

property, estate planning, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

That wouldn’t accomplish the objectives of which they were requesting from me. Normally, a better way to do all of this is to put it all into a trust because then you can clearly delineate who gets what and when and under what circumstances. Brian, do you have any questions on this form of ownership?

 

Brian: Is it difficult to change the ownership from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common?

 

Jordan: You can do that just by recording a deed. We can help you prepare the deed that would change the vesting status, it’s called vesting status meaning what happens when a person passes away, but we can prepare a deed that will change the vesting status and we don’t charge much to do that. In fact, we don’t charge at all for the consultation. Any other follow-up questions on this though?

 

Brian: Of the options you described, you said that a trust is preferable to just having it recorded on the deed.

 

Jordan: When you prepare a trust, you also prepare a deed, generally transferring the property into the trust. A trust operates like a box, then you can put property inside that box. The house or the duplex in this case would be something that you’d likely want to deed into the trust. Then the trust gives specific instructions about what happens to that property. Say the husband and wife pass away, but their friend at that time is an elderly gentleman, who’s incapacitated just because of old age.

The trust will prepare for that contingency, whereas merely creating a deed that puts the house into joint tenancy with rights of survivorship doesn’t address that contingency. A trust is much more comprehensive and flexible in terms of addressing several different possible scenarios. That’s what we do as estate planning attorneys. We look out and say, “How can we preemptively address all of these things that can and do happen to people?” That’s why it’s really important to set up a consultation with me. I don’t charge for the initial consultation. I’d be happy to go over this or any other situation that you’re looking at. Thank you.

How to Disown an Adult Child

 

Is It Possible to Disown an Adult Child?

Transcript:

Hi. I’m Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I specialize in estate planning. One question that I sometimes get is, “Can I disown my adult child for various reasons?” You may have had falling out with your son or daughter and you just really don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Reality is a lot of the disowning process just happens by operation of law. When someone turns 18, they essentially are considered an adult and have their own rights, responsibilities, and duties, and are really no longer your legal responsibility once they turn 18.

Aside from that though, one thing that a lot of clients will do if they have a child who they have disowned or the relationship cease to exist is disinheritance. What that means is you come into an attorney’s office and whatever you were planning on giving to anyone, you need to explicitly state that you want to disinherit your child. It’s really important that the disinheritance provisions are drafted correctly because if not, you could be facing a situation where your disinherited child comes back and says, “Whoa, it’s very unclear that … They didn’t say anything. They didn’t say the right things about disown me. He told me before he passed away that he wanted me to have something.” They can make all kinds of claims in those circumstances.

 

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The law requires that you specifically disown your own children, and so those provisions have to be drafted correctly. If you’re worried about where your assets go after you pass away and possibly, you have a situation in your family where you don’t want your assets to go to a certain child, then please give us a call, so I can meet with you for a no-charge consultation. We’ll go over your options. Thanks.

What You Need to Know about Power of Attorney

 

Power of Attorney and Your Estate Plan

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I specialize in estate planning. I got a question from a client about how to become a power of attorney. Can you just essentially declare yourself to be power of attorney of someone? Or, do you have to write it down? What’s the process?

Power of attorney is a very important mechanism in estate planning because it essentially gives another person the right to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. It’s a right that you can give to someone else. Obviously it has to be somebody that you trust a lot, because you wouldn’t want to let somebody else make financial and healthcare decisions for you unless you really knew that they were going to act in your best interest. Also, you can’t simply just say it. It actually has to be written down. There’s also a lot of formalities in the law that need to be met and fulfilled in order to give that document credence and validity.

 

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One important thing to remember about power of attorney documents is that the entity that will often be enforcing those or rejecting them, as the case may be, would be a bank or a hospital or doctor’s office or an insurance carrier. It’s not always going to be interpreted by a judge. That’s why it’s very important to make it very crystal clear, so that somebody without a law degree can actually understand what the power of attorney is intending to do and what it says and leave no doubt whatsoever as to the fact that you’re giving someone else the right to make decisions on your behalf.

If you feel like you need to make a power of attorney document

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