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Power of Attorney Documents

Do I Need an Attorney to Sign Power of Attorney Documents?

What are Power of Attorney Documents?

When you think of estate planning, you most often think of wills and trusts. With a will and/or trust you can direct your loved ones on how to handle your affairs after you die. But what if you are alive and sickness or age has left you incapable of caring for yourself? A will or trust will not help in this situation. If you want to decide who will take care of you and your financial affairs in the event of your incapacity, then you must execute valid power of attorney documents while you still have capacity to do so.

What are the Different Types of Power of Attorney Documents?

Power of Attorney DocumentsPower of attorney documents are generally split into two types of documents: financial power of attorney and health care power of attorney. The financial power of attorney will authorize an agent to make decisions regarding your financial affairs. The health care power of attorney will generally authorize your agent to accept or reject medication or medical treatment on your behalf.

Must an Attorney Prepare Power of Attorney Documents?

Clear Counsel Law Group believes it is best to consult with an attorney when signing power of attorney documents (we realize that sounds self-serving), but no, an attorney is not required to prepare valid power of attorney documents. Indeed, in the current COVID-19 environment, meeting with an attorney may not be desirable or even possible. In hopes of helping those that want the peace of mind of having such documents prepared and in place during this troubled time, below are simple instructions on completing your own power of attorney documents.

In Nevada, the forms for financial and health care power of attorney can be copied and pasted directly from Nevada Statutes.

  1. Financial Power of Attorney (Statutory Form Power of Attorney). The form for financial power of attorney can be found in NRS 162A.620. You should include ALL the language from that provision.
  2. Health Care Power of Attorney (Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions). This form can be found in NRS 162A.860. You should include ALL the language from that provision.

Once printed, you must coordinate with a notary public to properly execute and notarize the document. If you are unable or unwilling to physically interact with a notary, then you can use an electronic notary.

https://www.nvsos.gov/sos/licensing/notary/electronic-notary-solution-provider-information-1678

Clear Counsel Law Group is currently accepting in-person meetings, but we are also available for phone calls and video conferences to discuss your estate planning needs.

Taylor L. Waite
702-476-5900
taylor@clearcounsel.com

Typing a Will

How To Prepare Your Own Simple Will, including Witnesses

The start of school looks very different this year for teachers and students alike. Instead of worrying about backpacks, binders, and what to wear, many are thinking about lost wages, loved ones, and a last will and testament.

Typing a Will

Yes, you can type a will rather than hand write it, but there’s a few rules to follow.

Clear Counsel Law Group is grateful for the lifelong impact teachers, administrators, coaches, and many others have, and will have, on the education and growth of our children. We hope the information below regarding preparing a simple will is helpful in these troubled times to all our educators and any others that work high-risk jobs in the current pandemic.

While a handwritten (holographic) will is valid in Nevada,[1] a signed and witnessed will is a more secure way to make your wishes known. With the help of a couple of neighbors, friends, or co-workers (the law requires 2 competent witnesses), you can prepare a valid will, including witness statements. Follow these simple steps to prepare a valid will in the State of Nevada:

  1. The Document – The Last Will and Testament of the Most Amazing Teacher in the World. Sit down at a computer or laptop and type up a will that answers the following important questions:
  • Who are you?
    • This section should identify:
      • Your full legal name,
      • If you are married and to whom, divorced, consciously uncoupled (whatever that means), and
      • If you have kids, pets, etc (list them).
    • Who is in charge?
      • This section should identify the individual(s) that you want to be the executor of your estate after you die, including address, phone number, and email if available.
      • You can identify a backup as well if you want to.
    • Who gets your stuff?
      • This section should direct your administrator on how to divide your assets among your beneficiaries. Try to be as clear and specific as possible in describing who gets what.
    • Anything else? The questions above are enough, but you can also include details regarding the following:
      • Whether you want a traditional burial or cremation.
      • Where you want to be buried.
      • Who should take care of your children or pets.

(See NRS 133.020 and 133.040 regarding details of a valid will)

  1. Your Signature:
    • Sign in the presence of the witnesses.
    • The documents must be dated and signed.
    • Your signature should be accompanied by a statement declaring that you are of age, of sound mind, and that you are signing of your own free will.
  1. Witness Statements and Signatures.
    • A typed will requires signatures from at least two (2) competent witnesses. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of your will or related to any beneficiaries of your will.
    • The witness signatures should be accompanied by a statement declaring that:
      • They watched you sign the will,
      • You watched them sign the witness statement, and
      • That they believe you are of age and of sound mind. (see NRS 133.050 for specific language regarding witness declarations).
    • Your witnesses should provide address, phone number and email, if possible.

You can invite a notary to notarize the execution by yourself and your witnesses, but a notary is NOT required to complete a valid will in Nevada.  Once prepared, signed, and witnessed, put the will someplace safe.

When things are clearer in the future, Clear Counsel Law Group will be glad to review your will for free to make sure that it is valid and says what you want it to say. We are currently accepting in-person meetings, but we are available for phone calls and video conferences to discuss your estate planning needs.

Taylor L. Waite
702-476-5900
taylor@clearcounsel.com

[1] Holographic Wills. If you are home alone and unwilling to venture out, you can still prepare a valid will. The following blog post from Clear Counsel Law Group will give you simple guidance on preparing a handwritten will at home. https://www.clearcounsel.com/how-to-write-your-will-while-stuck-at-home-during-the-corona-virus-pandemic/.

 

Write your own will

How to Hand Write Your Will (While Stuck at Home During the Corona Virus Pandemic)

The current Corona Virus pandemic has caused all of us, to some degree, to recognize that our time on earth can be fleeting. I know that I have felt an increased desire to have those I love close to me, and to know that they are, and will be okay.

Write your own will

Yes, you can even write your own will on a napkin.

Maybe you have previously thought about preparing a will, and now you are worried that you will not be able to see an attorney to help review and prepare the document. Do not despair, Nevada, and many other states, allow for what is called a Holographic Will that you can prepare on your own while in lock down. To prepare a valid holographic will in the State of Nevada requires:

• You are over the age of eighteen and are of sound mind;
• All material terms – the important parts – must be written in your handwriting; and
• The document must be signed and dated (NRS 133.090).

So grab a sheet of paper, or anything you can write on, and write down your desires and last wishes (though I’d suggest you save the toilet paper for other uses right now). Date it, sign it, and put it somewhere safe. There are betters to come, so let us be hopeful and do what we can right now. Stay safe out there.

For more information see https://www.clearcounsel.com/holographic-wills-you-may-write-out-a-will-on-almost-anything/.

When things are clearer in the future, Clear Counsel Law Group will be glad to review your holographic will for free to make sure that it is valid and says what you want it to say. We are currently accepting in-person meetings, but we are available for phone calls and video conferences to discuss your estate planning needs.

Taylor L. Waite
702-476-5900
taylor@clearcounsel.com

power of attorney, guardianship

Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship: What’s the Difference?

 

Transcript:

Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m an attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. A large part of my practice is in estate planning and guardianship.

In doing estate planning we often do what’s called a power of attorney for people and sometimes we get to the point where we have to file for a guardianship for people.

We’re going to talk about what those two things mean, especially for elderly people in southern Nevada.

 

First, I Will Define the Term “Capacity”

An important concept though, before we discuss those two things, is capacity. That’s going to come up over and over again in the discussion of power of attorney and guardianship. What is capacity?

Capacity simply means for you, as a person, your ability to mentally appreciate and understand the consequences of your decisions.

Decisions, whether they’re financial decisions, whether they’re health care decisions, have risks and rewards and consequences.

Your mental ability to appreciate the consequences of those decisions and act rationally in relations to those risks and consequences is essentially capacity.

As we all know, there are medical conditions and other reasons that people begin to lose capacity over time and sometimes it happens very quickly through accidents and other things that may happen, such as traumatic brain injuries, where that person loses capacity.

What that means is they are no longer mentally able to appreciate those risks and rewards and consequences of their decisions and thus it raises concern about the person’s well being, about their safety, about them being subject to potential exploitation by other people or undue influence from other people.

There’s processes put in place to protect a person in the event of incapacity.

That’s a brief nutshell of what capacity means.

 

Next, I Will Explain Power of Attorney

Let’s talk for a minute about what is a power of attorney and how it can help an elderly person.

A power of attorney is essentially kind of like a contract where you’re going to sign a document that is going to grant rights and authorities and powers to a person, who is called an agent under the power of attorney, to make decisions for you or to exercise rights and authorities that only you can exercise.

Let me give you some examples of what the person can do for you under the power of attorney.

 

Medical Power of Attorney vs. General Power of Attorney

Let’s assume you’ve named your son Frank to be your power of attorney.

There’s two types of power of attorney, excuse me, sorry for this side track, but there’s a medical power of attorney and there’s general power of attorney. There’s generally two different documents. Same concepts. We’re naming Frank to make decisions.

Under the medical power of attorney, that’s fairly straight forward. It allows Frank to make medical decisions for you in your place, again, only if you are not able to make those medical decisions for yourself.

For instance, he’d be able to determine what medications you would receive, what doctors you were treated by, what hospitals you might be admitted to, what rehab facilities you went to after being treated in a hospital, where you’re going to live after being treated in a hospital or rehab facility.

Those are medical decisions related to who you are as a person and your well being as a person.

Under a general power of attorney an agent can make decisions, or has authority over, such as your bank account.

They can access your bank account and use it. They could sell your house for you. They could prepare and file your tax returns for you.

They’d have authority over your insurance policy such as homeowners insurance, car insurance, health insurance.

Essentially, anything you can do in you general the agent would have the ability to make those decisions and has the authority to do that under the power of attorney.

 

power of attorney, guardianship

 

Now That You Understand Power of Attorney, I Will Explain “Springing” Power of Attorney

There’s an important concept in power of attorney that you need to understand and it’s a protection for most people and I often recommend it for almost all of my estate planning clients.

That’s called the spring power of attorney or springing rights under power of attorney.

Let’s think in your mind about that point in the future at which point you have lost capacity. What we talked about again, you are incapacitated.

Think about that point in the future.

If you have designated your power of attorney to be a springing power of attorney, Frank, your son who you named to be your agent, though you’ve named him as your agent in the power of attorney, he has no rights, he has no power or authority, until you become incapacitate and then his rights spring into effect, in essence.

How does Frank accomplish that?

How do his right spring into effect?

Frank has to go to a doctor, to a physician, and obtain an opinion from the physician that says, “My mom or my dad has lost capacity. That they are incapacitated.”

Once he gets a doctor’s opinion, his power of authority under the power of attorney spring into effect.

It’s a protection for you. If you want to put that power of attorney in place to protect that time when you’re incapacitated, you can do that but you want to reserve to yourself and only yourself.

Even though you love and trust Frank, while I have my capacity I’m the only that is going to make these decisions. When I become incapacitated, his authority spring into effect.

It’s a great protection and something that most people should think about and consider rather than the opposite which is if it is not springing, Frank can use the power of attorney tomorrow while you have your capacity to run your life for you.

Some people want that because they want the assistance, most people say, “I love Frank, I trust Frank, but let’s wait until I’m incapacitated.”

Power of attorney is very good for elderly people. It’s relatively inexpensive to have a power of attorney.

 

Let Us Now Contrast Power of Attorney and Guardianship

It avoids the need for a court guardianship process when that incapacity arises and it allows the person to act pretty quickly without needing to wait for court authority. Which transitions us now to court guardianship process.

Many people don’t get a power of attorney while they have capacity and they come to the point of incapacity and suddenly, Frank or other families, become concerned that you are not able to make your decisions or that you’re making unsafe decisions that are putting you at risk.

They don’t have a power of attorney document they can rely on.

The only way that they can have those same rights and same authorities to take care of you is to file papers in the guardianship court asking that Frank, or whoever, be named as the guardian for you.

Assuming that you are incapacitated and other legal standards apply that show that the guardianship is appropriate, once the court appoints Frank as the guardian, Frank has essentially the same rights as he would have under power of attorney.

Same rights to make medical decisions for you, to decide what health care you’ll receive, to manage your money and finances for you, your property, to take care of all those general matters. Same rights happen under the guardianship.

However, he’s stuck in this court process that requires annual reports, it requires annual filings with the court, annual accountings, and so it can be a little bit burdensome and it can be costly and time consuming to go through the guardianship process.

Nevertheless, they have the same rights under power of attorney and guardianship, both meant to take care of you while you’re incapacitated.

 

How To Revoke Power of Attorney

Last thing we want to talk about, if you’re still with us here at this point in the video1)Of course you are!, is what do you do if you are concerned about the agent under your power of attorney or you’re concerned that you’re stuck in a guardianship with a guardian named for you and in both situations you feel like you’ve lost control of your life.

Where Frank is running your life for you and you’re not happy with what he’s doing for you, both under the power of attorney and guardianship.

A power of attorney, if you still have capacity, you can always revoke your power of attorney.

Tear it up, get rid of it, notify other people who might be aware of it that you have revoked Frank’s rights under the power of attorney.

That’s fairly straightforward and easy.

 

It Is Difficult to Terminate a Guardianship

Now, if Frank has gone ahead and got that doctor’s opinion that says you are incapacitated or if you’re stuck in guardianship, in both situation you’re unfortunately you’re going to be stuck in some court process to prove your capacity.

You’re going to have to try to prove that you do have the ability to make your own decisions, that you have the mental ability to understand the effect of those decisions. If you can do that and prove your capacity, then you can revoke the power of attorney and get rid of Frank or you can get out of the guardianship.

The guardianship would be cancelled, it’d be terminated, and you’d have your right back to take care of your person, your own finances, at that point.

Both situations are not desirable because, again, you’re stuck in a court process. It’s uncertain.

It’s difficult to get a doctor to give an opinion that you have capacity when another doctor has already determined that you’re incapacitated. Especially if there’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia or something like that, it becomes very difficult.

Another protection I want to point out as we finish here, is that third parties, other people, Frank’s siblings, your other children, other family or friends, can watch Frank’s actions whether under power of attorney or under guardianship and they can come into those processes and file things or try to protect you.

There is a court process allowed to challenge the agent’s actions under a power of attorney.

That allows a third party that’s interested in your welfare and interested in your well being to bring the agent into court and ask the court to review his actions to determine whether they’re appropriate under the power of attorney.

If they’re not appropriate his right would be cancelled under power of attorney and may be required to repay or things that he’s done and correct it. Same thing in a guardianship.

Third parties can come in and ask the court to either remove the guardian and replace him with somebody more appropriate or to cancel the guardianship altogether for you if it’s appropriate.

 

If You Are Getting Older, Please Consider Power of Attorney Documents

If you’re an elderly person or getting to the point where you want to think about a point where you may reach incapacity, you definitely need to think about this.

You should come in and at least get some power of attorney documents put in place where you can choose proactively who you want to name as your agent to make those decisions for you.

Who you trust rather than leaving it to the whims of the guardianship court to determine who the court thinks is best to make those decisions for you.

In any event, if you’re stuck under a power of attorney or a guardianship and need help getting out, definitely come and see us and we’ll talk you through those processes of what needs to be done to help you gain your independence back, to gain your capacity back, to make those decisions for yourself and to protect yourself.

Either way, we’re happy to help here at Clear Counsel Law Group and we have a lot of experience helping people with these issues.

Give us a call here at Clear Counsel and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you have about this and we look forward to talking to you soon.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Of course you are!
contesting a will

How to Contest a Will in Nevada

In the state of Nevada, a Last Will and Testament is presumed valid – even if it was written by the deceased person themselves on the back of a napkin just days before their passing. In fact, a valid holographic will only requires 3 things to be valid: that it be hand written, hand dated, and signed.

This, of course, leads to potential problems. What if the deceased didn’t have the mental capacity to make a will? What if he or she was coerced or influenced by somebody to the point that the will doesn’t actually represent their true desires?  That’s when the will must be contested.

woman writing a will

The challenge of contesting a will in Nevada

Proving any of those things will be a fight.

Contesting a will in Nevada is basically just another form of litigation. The contestant is in the role of the plaintiff, and the petitioner for the probate of the will is filling the role of the defendant. The regular rules of civil litigation also apply to will contests. Each party can gather information about the other side’s claims in the “discovery” process using the usual litigation tools of “interrogatories” and through depositions. There is going to be an evidentiary hearing, which is a lot like a trial.

The contestant has to make their case very well. As described above, the judge is going to have the default view that whatever will exists is valid. Therefore to prove the will is invalid, your case must prove one of the following:

  1. the will was not properly signed and witnessed,
  2. the testator lacked mental capacity, or
  3. there was coercion or undue influence by somebody and therefore the will is not representative of the testator’s true desire.

 

The process of contesting a will in Nevada

First, you must have “standing” to contest a will, meaning you have the legal right to bring your challenge to the court. Nevada has strong rules about who qualifies as an “interested person” in these cases and is therefore qualified as to their standing. Basically you have to have some kind of claim to the estate.

Once a will is contested, the probate court will probably appoint somebody to act as “Special Administrator” to administer the estate until the contest reaches resolution. The special administrator is not to distribute the estate until after the case resolves. The special administrator must be a Nevada resident, or a bank, or a trust company (or be associated with one of those as co-Administrator).

The litigation will proceed along established rules for Nevada. It is important to have an experienced Nevada probate law firm help you. Litigation is complex, and probate only makes it more complicated. A will being “unfair” is not good enough to get it thrown out. You will need a team to build your case and present your evidence in a way that the probate court will accept.

If you need to contest a will in Nevada, please call us today.

What You Need to Know about a Special Needs Trust

 

 

How a Special Needs Trust Will Help You

Hi, I’m Jordan Flake with Clear Counsel Law Group. I do a lot of estate planning in my practice and one question that I see from clients is what do I do about my son or daughter who has special needs? When we think about a special needs beneficiary, we’re thinking about somebody who maybe is receiving government assistance or who can’t live on their own or maybe has some kind of incompetency that prevent them from being able to handle all of their own affairs. Often times, these individuals are receiving government assistance that we don’t want to disrupt. That’s the really big concern. If you leave your child maybe $100,000 under a life insurance policy, that money will just land in their lap and could threaten their ability to continue to receive government assistance or government benefits.

You don’t want to just list your special needs child on a bank account or list them in a life insurance policy because you might actually end up harming them to the extent that that gift would limit their ability to receive financial assistance from the government. What you may wish to consider instead is doing what’s called a special needs trust. The essence of a special needs trust is that the money, all the money set aside for the special needs child will go for their use, benefit, and enjoyment. However, all that money will go to them in a way that will not prevent them from receiving government assistance. It can go to them, but just not in an outright, direct kind of way that would prevent them from receiving government assistance.

So if you do know of anybody who has special needs and their parents or their loved ones are trying to set up a trust for their benefit, it’s absolutely necessary that you come see an attorney so that that special needs trust is set up properly so that it doesn’t end up hurting the special needs individual in the long run. Feel free to meet with us at Clear Counsel Law Group and we’ll do a free consultation and we’ll discuss your different options for dealing with giving gifts to special needs individuals.

Vintage key

Help! My Trustee has Gone Rogue

What is a rogue trustee and how can s/he be stopped? A rogue trustee is someone who stops following the instructions set forth in the trust documents1)Contrary to popular belief, a rogue trustee is not necessarily from Alaska. In legal terms, the failure to follow the trust is termed a “breach of fiduciary duties.” In such cases, the beneficiaries of the trust are responsible for holding the rogue trustee responsible. If the trustee refuses to admit and correct the breach, this process will require the Court’s intervention. The following brief article provides some background on trusts that I hope will protect you from the actions of a rogue trustee.

 

A rogue trustee: what to do next

After reviewing their options, the majority of my estate planning clients choose to prepare a revocable living trust as a means of distributing their property upon their passing. A trust is the best estate planning vehicle for many folks because it does not require probate for the estate to be distributed, and because it is more flexible than other estate planning options. Trusts are flexible, in part, because they allow for the appointment of a successor trustee; an individual who will administer the trust upon the passing of the clients if the primary is unable or unwilling to do so. A trust empowers a trustee to exercise his or her discretion to achieve the objectives of the trust. However, generally, a trustee may not simply decide what s/he would like to do and disregard the instructions of the trust entirely. A trustee who has substituted his or her own wishes in place of the instructions of the trust is a rogue trustee.

Our firm once represented a beneficiary of a trust who was the victim of a rogue trustee. Shortly after our client’s mother passed away, the trustee sent out a letter stating that she was in charge and that she could decide who got how much money and the conditions from which the listed beneficiaries would receive the gifts. The trustee withheld money from our client and our client’s daughter because the trustee felt like the beneficiaries were ungrateful, and because they refused to do exactly what was demanded of them. The problem was, of course, the trustee’s actions were contrary to the language contained in the trust2)The trust contained no language requiring our client-beneficiaries to make the trustee feel appreciated. As to if this type of condition is legally legitimate is another matter. To make matters worse, the rogue trustee took money from the trust and purchased a property for herself. Immediately upon recognizing the problem, we filed a petition to the Court asking that she be removed as trustee and otherwise held accountable for her actions. The Court forced her to provide an accounting showing how she had managed the money. Once the Court saw the extent of her breaches of fiduciary duties, the Court also removed her as trustee and appointed our client in her place.

If you or anyone you know is the beneficiary of a trust, and you are concerned that the trustee is not doing as instructed by the trust’s terms, please let us review the situation to ensure that a trustee has not gone rogue.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Contrary to popular belief, a rogue trustee is not necessarily from Alaska
2. The trust contained no language requiring our client-beneficiaries to make the trustee feel appreciated. As to if this type of condition is legally legitimate is another matter
Pet trust, estate planning, dog trust

Is a Pet Trust Right for You?

 

According to news reports, hundreds of thousands of pets each year are left homeless after their owner dies without specifying how the pet should be cared for.  Certainly, this omission is not a product of pet owners not loving their little, fury family members. Often, it is because pet owners overlooked the matter during estate planning.  Do not let this happen to you! More than forty-five states permit pet trusts (including Nevada), making this a great option for you and your family.

 

Elements of a Pet Trust

A pet trust requires these four elements:

The trustee: The person responsible for the trust.  It is best to select a trustee that will be vigilant in ensuring that the money is being spent responsibly.

The caretaker: The person assigned by the trust to care for your animal(s).  The trustee and the caretaker can be the same person; however, it is advisable for each position to be separate person (for increased accountability, see below).  It is best to designate a second caregiver just in case the first person is unable to care for your pet.  To be even more thorough, you may want to designate an organization, like the SPCA, to care for your pet in case the caretakers selected are unable to carry out their functions.

The pet(s): You will want to be specific in stating if the trust applies to one or all of your animals.  If you want more than one animal included, it is best to describe each and not use broad phrases like “all my pets.”

The remainder beneficiary: The person that will inherit the remaining amount of money once the pet has passed away.  A pet trust may not be extended to cover the living expenses of the offspring of your pet, so this is an important element.

 

How Much Money Needs to Be Allocated?

To determine how much money needs to left in the trust, you will need two estimates:

  1. The approximate life-span of your pet.
  2. The amount of money it costs each year to care for your pet.

An animal healthcare provider can assist you in estimating these amounts, although it is fairly probable that you know better than anyone exactly what your pet’s dietary needs are.  Once you have an estimate of each of these amounts, just multiply to determine the total.   It is best to be conservative in your estimates as you do not want your pet’s living expenses to be underfunded.

 

A Pet Trust Creates a Binding Obligation

If you were to leave instructions with a family member or friend stating how to care for your pet, there would be no legal recourse to ensure that your pet receives the care you desire.  However, with a pet trust, you are creating a legal obligation for the caretaker to follow the terms dictated by the trust.  If the caretaker does not abide by these terms, he or she may be taken to court, where a judge might enforce the terms of the trust, or transfer responsibility of your pet to the other caretaker listed in the trust.

 

Should You Create a Living Trust?

Yes! And here are five good reasons why:

 

  1. Control

With a revocable living trust, you will retain control over your assets while alive and after you are deceased.  Other estate-planning documents, such as wills, only come into effect once you are deceased.  With a living trust, you control your assets now and in the future.  If, unfortunately, something were to happen to you that left you in a state where you could no longer control your own affairs (sickness for example), the living trust would direct a trustee (of your choosing) to speak and act on your behalf.  Without the living trust, there may be complicated court proceedings to determine who will be in control of your livelihood and affairs.  Worse, a court may appoint a person you do not want to control your health, assets, and affairs.

 

  1. Saving Money

Less of your hard-earned money will go toward paying court and attorney fees.  The state charges a fee for having to settle estates through the probate courts (there are additional fees as well).  You can avoid paying these higher fees by planning ahead and working with a trusted attorney to establish a living trust for a fraction of the cost.

 

  1. No Delays

Distribution of the estate assets to your beneficiaries (those heirs you have left the assets to) will occur upon your death without delay.  If you decide to use a will, (or worse, allow the state probate system to settle your estate), to distribute your assets, it could take as long as two years for the beneficiaries to receive their assets.  Again, by using a living trust, you can avoid the wait-time that usually occurs while the courts settle your affairs.  If you have a will, for example, that is disputed, there is no telling how long the court proceedings may take to settle the estate; those whom you care about most will have to wait in limbo without access to any of the assets until the courts have worked through the matter.

 

  1. Investment Flexibility

The trustee (the person you designate to take care of your affairs) will have the maximum flexibility to take the necessary action with your assets.  If there are potential investment opportunities that will increase the value of your portfolio, the trustee will have the necessary authority to buy or sell assets to get the most out of your money.  Other estate documents do not provide the same flexibility and you may lose potential money-making opportunities just because your estate document will not permit the trustee to make a timely investment.

 

  1. Easily Make Changes

A living trust provides you with the maximum flexibility to make desired changes to your estate plan.  If you decide you want to add or remove assets, or determine that you no longer desire your assets to be held in the trust, this can easily be done.  To amend or revoke a will, (or other estate instruments), is a more complicated process.  There is no telling what challenges life may throw your way next, the living trust will be your best tool to meet those challenges and secure what matters most.

quiet trust

What is a Quiet Trust, and How Will It Help Your Estate Plan?

 

A lot of parents with substantial assets worry about how those assets will be distributed and used by their children. That is one of the reasons why many choose to establish trusts. Another large concern is how the assets or the existence of a trust may affect the way a child acts or behaves financially.

For this reason, more and more people are establishing a quiet trust. Though some states require that you inform beneficiaries about their trusts, there are also many states where parents can establish quiet trusts that do not have to be reported to the beneficiaries.

A quiet trust functions the same way a normal trust does. The only difference is that the language in the trust document specifically states that the beneficiary will not be notified about the trust or its assets.

Like other trusts, the trustee will be responsible for managing and administering the trust.

It is also possible to create a trust wherein some beneficiaries are notified of the trust’s existence and others are not. By including quiet trust provisions into a discretionary trust, you will have total control over which beneficiaries are notified about the trust and when they will be notified.

 

Why Create a Quiet Trust?

There is actually a number of reasons to keep trust information away from the beneficiaries.

One of the main reasons is that many people do not believe their children are financially responsible and are worried that knowing they have a trust will actually make them even less responsible.

In fact, only one-third of wealthy parents have fully disclosed their wealth to their children.

That is because they want to make sure their children learn financial responsibility. If a child or teenager knows that there is a large trust in his name, it may cause him to develop the wrong types of character traits.

 

Safety is an Important Consideration

Another reason is concern for privacy and safety. If a beneficiary has a large trust in his name and others find out about it, he may become a target for financial exploitation and fraud.

By keeping the trust quiet, you will reduce the risk that others will try to take advantage of your child beneficiary.

This can also reduce the risk of your beneficiary becoming involved in frivolous lawsuits or identity theft. You can structure the trust so that your children are notified once they have reached an age where they can better protect the assets from others.

Some people also choose to create quiet trusts if they are giving non-voting interests in the family business to the beneficiary. If the trust wasn’t quiet, the beneficiary may start requesting input and information regarding the business.

Keeping the trust quiet will keep your beneficiary’s involvement limited until you pass away.

If you are interested in arranging a trust, our firm can help. Give us a call today and we can schedule an appointment. Our attorneys specialize in helping individuals safeguard their assets and arrange how their assets will be distributed to their loved ones.

Clear Counsel Law group

Contact Info

1671 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy Suite 200,
Henderson, NV 89012

+1 702 522 0696
info@clearcounsel.com

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