Last Will & Testament
If you die without a Last Will & Testament, Nevada Statute dictates who can represent your estate as Administrator, and who reaps the rewards of your hard-earned assets. These ‘heirs’ may or may not be the person(s) you would like to benefit from your estate and sometimes may be individuals you did not know existed.
Conversely, if you have a valid Will, the person(s) you named in your Will are generally appointed by the Court as your Executor(s), and your assets are distributed to your named beneficiaries upon final approval by the Court.
The Will sets forth your desires regarding:
- The Executor for your estate
- Your funeral/cremation preferences
- A preferred guardian for yourself
- A preferred guardian for your minor child(ren), and/or an individual over whom you are serving as guardian.
- A caretaker for your pet(s)
We would also create a Last Will and Testament when establishing a Revocable Living Trust, however this ‘Will’ differs from the Will referenced above. This document is referred to as a ‘pour-over’ Will and states that any asset(s) not in your RLT upon your death are to be transferred to your Trust.
Upon your death, your Last Will and Testament is filed with the Court, and becomes public record; however, if your Will is a pour-over Will, and your RLT is the named beneficiary, details of your actual beneficiaries and their distributions typically remain private.
Validating your Last Will & Testament during your lifetime
Nevada legislature has added a provision to the statutes to allow you, while alive, to appear before the court and ask the court to review your Last Will and Testament and/or Trust, take your testimony and if satisfied, the court can enter an Order confirming the validity of the document(s).
This is called “Declaratory Relief”. If the Court enters the Order, it will be a disincentive for anyone considering contesting your Will and/or Trust following your death.
This relief can be particularly important for a person who is disinheriting a family member, or who is competent but fears someone will claim that they were incompetent or under duress at the time of creating the Will.