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Important things to consider regarding estate planning

For those who may be facing hospice care or who have a terminal disease, preparing a last will and testament can lessen the burden on family members who might otherwise have to pay taxes, burial fees and other legal matters pertaining to their loved one's estate. Nevada residents might be interested in reading several main points regarding estate planning, whether it is for themselves or for elderly family members.

One important move to make regarding estate planning for those approaching death is to prepare a durable power of attorney. This legal document allows a person to elect an agent to handle his or her personal affairs. The agent can be an attorney, a close friend or trusted relation who will carry out the person's wishes and end-of-life decisions if the person becomes incapacitated.

Making charitable donations is another good move in estate planning. In fact, whether people have a large or small estate, they can reap a significant amount of income tax savings when they make charitable gifts or transfers before they pass away.

If the person may be near death, it may be a good time to review any life insurance policies and confirm payments are all up to date and if reinstatement is necessary. For people who have an estate that exceeds the estate tax exemption, they might consider exchanging their life insurance policy for an irrevocable life insurance trust. If the cash value is too low, there may be a way to reduce or stop the payments, based on the person's life expectancy.

Another estate planning technique is to place assets in a revocable trust. This can avoid probate and help to ensure that beneficiaries get their bequests more expeditiously. Having the assistance of an attorney can be advisable when doing so.

Source: Nasdaq, "6 Estate Planning Tips for Those Approaching Death", John Goralka, July 26, 2016

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