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Nevada estate planning can be beneficial for blended families

Having a blended family can lead to big challenges for a person considering estate planning in Nevada. The estate plan that is created must reflect the wishes of both spouses and provide for a surviving spouse after the death of one of the spouses. Without effective planning, families may end up in a legal battle over the distribution of assets after a death.

One method used by some Nevada families in such situations is using estate planning tools to create a life estate for a surviving spouse in the family home, with the remainder of interests left for the heirs. In such cases, a surviving spouse can live in a family home until their death, at which time the heirs would inherit what remains of the asset. At that point, the property would be divided as directed by a will or trust.

This method of estate planning may also have the benefit of helping to protect an asset from a Medicaid lien. These liens can attach to a property if a person requires the assistance of the government program. Under the program rules, the person would be able to remain in their home until their death, at which time the lien would have to be satisfied.

A thorough estate plan can assist in making sure that the wishes of both spouses in a blended family are addressed in the event of death. When a person remarries, they still often wish to leave their estate to their children or a combination of their children and step-children. With tools such as a life estate, they may be able to both take care of their new spouse after their death and also leave assets to their children.

Source: nj.com, "Biz Brain: Planning for inheritance makes a big difference," Karin Price Mueller, Aug. 5, 2012

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