One way of finding the motivation to overcome your estate planning procrastination is to do a risk assessment. Here’s three questions to ask yourself:
- Without a will or trust what is the risk of my assets being distributed to a person I would not choose?
If you die without a will or trust, you die “intestate.” State intestate law will determine who gets your property. If you care about who receives your assets you probably need a will or trust to ensure the desired outcome. Otherwise the distribution will be according to the provisions of Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 134. Don’t let state law decide who gets your valuables.
- Without a will or trust what is the risk that my family will have to go to court?
Only very small estates escape probate. If your reading this article chances are you are above the statutory threshold so your family can expect court. The extent of the proceedings depends on the size of your estate. If it’s over $300,000, you get the full probate proceedings which can take 6 months or more. A properly executed and funded trust eliminates probate for your family.
- Without a will or trust what is the risk of my estate incurring substantial attorney fees?
Self-help forms are available at courts to help pro se litigants. But most people don’t have the time or inclination to complete probate without professional assistance. The larger the estate value the more likely attorneys will need to be involved. The cost of probating a will may exceed the cost of a trust by at least three-fold.
There’s a Latin term, “morse certa, hora incerta” which in English means “death is certain, the hour is uncertain.” We don’t know when our final hour will arrive, so it behooves us to get our affairs in order. The Living Trust Source says to break the spell of procrastination consider the risk of your continued delay. Organize a consultation with a Nevada attorney with expertise in wills and trusts.