Monday, March 25, 2013

Revocation Of Will as to Surviving Spouse

Under Nevada law, if an individual marries and has a Last Will and Testament that predates the marriage, a revocation of a Will as to the surviving spouse may take place when the individual dies in certain circumstances.  For example, under Nevada Revised Statute 133.110 if a person marries after making a Last Will and Testament and the spouse survives the maker, the Last Will and Testament is revoked as to the spouse unless:

(a) Provision has been made for the spouse by marriage contract;

(b) The spouse is provided for in the Last Will and Testament, or in such a way mentioned therein as to show an intention not to make such provision; or

(c) The spouse is provided for by a transfer of property outside of the Last Will and Testament and it appears that the maker intended the transfer to be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

When a Last Will and Testament is revoked as to the spouse, the spouse is entitled to the same share in the estate of the deceased spouse as if the deceased spouse had died without a Will.  This will result in the community property interest of the decent to pass to the surviving spouse, and all, one-half or one-third of the sole and separate property of the decedent to pass to the surviving spouse depending on if the decedent was survived by issue, parents or siblings. This may not be what the decedent intended.  The remaining provisions of the Last Will and Testament remain intact to the extent those provisions are not inconsistent with the rights of the surviving spouse.

Accordingly, when one is contemplating marriage, he or she should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney regarding the ramifications a marriage may have on his or her estate plan. 
 
 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AFR's for April

The AFRs
Annual
Semi-annual
Quarterly
Monthly
are as follows
Short-term 0.22% 0.22% 0.22% 0.22%
Mid-term 1.09% 1.09% 1.09% 1.09%
Long-term 2.70% 2.68% 2.67% 2.67%

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Losing a Spouse or Parent

Not infrequently our office receives telephone calls from a distraught spouse or an adult child that there has been a recent death in the family. Invariably, the caller is overwhelmed with grief and has little idea or direction as to what needs be done.

Our advice to the caller is always the same - take care of the family and most of the legalities can wait. However, there are some matters that are more urgent and do require attention quickly:
1) Locate the pre-need funeral or burial insurance policy.
 
2) Order copies of the death certificate.
 
3) If the burial is to be in the Veterans’ Cemetery, locate the DOD-214 form.
 
4) Gather documents such as the will, trust, insurance policies, stock and bank accounts.

5) Contact the Social Security Administration - a phone call is sufficient.

6) Notify any life insurance companies.

7) Contact the executor named in the will and the trustee of the trust.

8) Call the banks and credit unions.

9) Contact credit card companies.

10) And most importantly, take care of the family.

While this is a difficult time for families, most of the remaining determinations following a death can wait until decisions concerning the decedent’s final affairs might be better made.  After these are accomplished, please feel free to contact any one of our attorneys so that they may further assist you.
 

 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What is Probate

During a person’s lifetime, assets are generally owned in a person’s individual name.  After a death, title must be transferred from the decedent to  his or her beneficiaries.  Probate is the legal process of paying all debts and taxes and transferring title from a decedent’s estate to the beneficiaries.  This legal process includes:

  • Appointing a personal representative (also known as an executor or administrator) to manage the probate estate
  • Admitting the will (if any) to probate and verifying that the will is valid
  • Allowing creditors to file claims against estate assets
  • Identifying and locating heirs and beneficiaries
  • Completing final tax returns and making payment of taxes
  • Gathering and valuing all assets of the estate
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

Although probate sounds simple, it can be a long and difficult process.  There are several steps in the probate process and each step is supervised by the court.  These steps make probate both time-consuming and costly.  Beneficiaries can generally expect that the probate process take from 6 months to over a year.  Extremely complex cases may take even longer.  Should you or anyone you know need help with the probate process, or if you are interested in discussing how you can avoid probate, feel free to contact our office.