Nevada wasn’t the first choice for most early settlors pushing westward. For them the thought of the fertile valleys and more temperate climate on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range would have been motivation to keep their wagons rolling across the desolate high desert basins and ranges of Nevada. Now the migration is in reverse for a number of reasons in addition to the unspoiled beauty of the Nevada desert. This includes favorable estate laws that new arrivals should be aware of.

If you’ve recently moved to Nevada, or are considering relocating here, you probably know Nevada does not have a state income tax. That’s great if you are still working. But if you are already retired, you’ll also be interested in learning Nevada has living trust friendly laws. It’s one of the states that does not levy an estate tax when you die a resident of Nevada. The Silver State is also making Nevada attractive to retirees with some new trust friendly legislative amendments.

The 2021 Nevada State Legislature enacted some new laws that will help ensure people with a Nevada with a living trust avoid probate. Living trusts avoid probate when the assets are properly titled in the trustee of the trust.  When the owner passes away and an asset was not transferred to the trust a probate is often the unintended result. Nevada’s newly revised NRS 147.070(b) is a type of ‘get-out-of-probate card’ if the decedent’s will “directs all or part of the decedent’s estate to be distributed to the trustee . . .” Whenever a living trust is drawn up in Nevada, the attorney should also draft a pour-over will to take advantage of the new and improved statute.

Nevada has benefited from the influx of out-of-staters bringing more culture, intellect, and wealth to the Silver State. Reno Estate planning attorney Kevin P. Walsh, founder of the Living Trust Source, welcomes these newcomers and recommends certain changes to estate documents that are drafted in other states. Chances are the out-of-state trust incorporates the law of the jurisdiction where it was drafted. The trust will not be deemed invalid if it was valid at the time of its creation, but it most likely applies the other state’s law of wills, trusts, and estates. For example, a living trust drafted in California would probably have numerous references to the California Probate Code. The foreign trust should be amended or restated to gain full advantage of Nevada’s estate-friendly laws.

Other out of state documents such as power of attorney for finances and health should be on the forms adopted in the Nevada Revised Statutes. Healthcare workers in Nevada are accustomed to Nevada forms and out-of-state forms sometimes cause confusion, doubt, or inaction on the part of Nevada doctors and staff. Nevada also has a special form for advanced directives that, which when signed, allows a doctor to stop artificial hydration and nutrition when there is no hope of recovery. If you’re ever in that situation, your doctors will appreciate having the familiar Nevada forms.

When you update your estate planning documents take advantage of the opportunity to make desired changes to your distribution pattern, or maybe select a different trustee or successor trustees. It’s also comforting to know you have established a relationship with a trusted estate planning lawyer. When unexpected deaths or illness occurs, the stress can make it difficult to find the right legal guidance. Get ahead of the game by finding an attorney who is customer-centric and will return your call, or the call from a family member.

Attorney Kevin P. Walsh grew up in Northern Nevada and has seen Reno mature from a sleepy town reliant on the casino industry into a hub of innovation and opportunity. He wants to make sure that our new neighbors are well positioned to take advantage of Nevada’s favorable trust laws. If you have recently moved to Nevada, or are planning a move to Nevada, you should consult a Nevada estate planning attorney to amend or restate your trust and pour-over will to take advantage of Nevada’s estate-friendly laws.

Kevin Walsh

Attorney at Law

1Source Law & Living Trust Source

Estate Planning Attorney Reno Nevada


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