Las Vegas Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law Areas of Practice
At Grant Morris Dodds, we strive to deliver the best possible customer service to all of our patrons, no matter their legal issue. We offer legal services ranging from Estate Planning and Probate to Offshore Trust Management and Business Planning, and we will strive to get you the best possible outcome at an affordable fee.
This is a general term for the legal process of helping our clients arrange their affairs in such a manner as to ensure that in the event of injury, illness, incapacity or death, their finances and personal care will be handled in the way they have directed in advance and by those individuals or financial institutions which they wish to entrust with these important tasks.
Although the living trust is the estate planning vehicle of choice for most of our clients, for those individuals who have modest estates, such as where there is no real estate involved and only a bank and/or savings account and home furnishings, the traditional will may be the better choice.
Most of us will at some time experience a period where we are incapacitated or are unable to properly handle our legal, financial, and health care decisions. Incapacity can arise as a result of accident, injury, or old age.
The term “Probate” means literally to test, to approve, or to prove. In the legal context, Probate means to prove a Last Will and Testament, or generally carry out the administration of a decedent’s estate with some level of court oversight wherein title to assets in the decedent’s name are transferred to the beneficiaries of the estate.
One of the key features of the living trust is that assets held in such trust will not be subject to the estate administration process called Probate. Nevertheless, at a person’s death, even though all the assets may be properly titled in the name of the living trust, and are therefore not subject to the probate process, there remain important tasks to carry out incidentally to the passing of the person who established the trust.
Oftentimes due to age, accident, mental illness, incapacity, or another event, an individual may not be able to make their own health care or financial decisions. If the appropriate estate planning is not in place, a Nevada guardianship, or conservatorship, as they are sometimes called, may be necessary.
Elder Law in Nevada encompasses all legal issues related to aging, but specifically focuses on issues such as regulation of state and federal benefits, estate and financial planning, elder abuse, and guardianship.
Due to the recent increases in the estate and gift tax exemptions and the recent reductions in estate and gift tax rates, very few estates will actually be subject to estate taxes. However, because the current estate and gift tax structure expires on December 31, 2012, it is important that every estate plan take into consideration the possibility that estate tax rates and exemptions will not be as favorable in the future as these rates and exemptions are at the present.
Until only a few years ago, Asset Protection planning was of little interest to the general public. Most people viewed lawsuits, judgments, etc. as being very remote, something that only happened to other people. As a result, only a very few individuals, usually doctors and building contractors, actually put asset protection structures into place.
For persons who are serious about asset protection, the Nevada Asset Protection Trust, Domestic Asset Protection Trust (”DAPT”), or Nevada onshore trust, as they are sometimes called, should be the linchpin of the plan. Since 1999, the Nevada Asset Protection Trust statute (found at NRS 166) has been tweaked and improved to arguably make the Nevada Asset Protection Trust the best in the United States.
The granddaddy of trust asset protection planning is the Offshore Trust. The Offshore Trust is a tried and true structure which has proved to be impenetrable where properly established and when done in a timely manner.
In most cases, the administration of a trust or distribution of an estate under a will occurs in a fair, honest and prompt manner. Unfortunately, there are occasions where irregularities occur or where the person in charge of administering the estate is just not getting the job done. There may also be situations where a will or trust was improperly influenced by a person associated with the deceased.
Although Grant Morris Dodds primarily specializes in Estate Planning, Probate and Guardianship matters, we are highly capable in assisting our clients and their immediate family members with business planning needs.
A living trust is sometimes referred to as a revocable trust, inter vivos trust, or family trust. A living trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. The grantor (the one setting the trust up) can also be the trustee and beneficiary of his or her own living trust, keeping full control over all property held in trust.