Friday, July 18, 2014

Nevada Transplants-The Need For An Estate Plan Check-up

According to a recent news article, the vast majority of the recent population growth in Clark County, Nevada, is from an influx of baby boomers relocating from different states. This trend is expected to continue as baby boomers reach retirement.  A baby boomer is commonly defined as a person born during the post World War Two baby boom period of 1946 to 1964.  Most baby boomers have established estate plans consisting of revocable trusts, last wills and testaments, powers of attorney and living wills.  The potential problem is that these documents were prepared pursuant to the state law where they were residing at the time. State law governing these type of documents can vary substantially. For example, Nevada is a community property state, one of only nine (9) community states in the nation.  A person can also incorporate certain Nevada trustee powers in his or her revocable trust by reference. However, almost all revocable trust agreements provide that the law of the state in which the person establishing the trust is residing at the time of the establishment of the trust controls the administration of the trust. 
 
Another potential problem is powers of attorneys and living wills that have been prepared to conform to non-Nevada law.  A health care power of attorney in which you appoint someone to make health care decisions for you and set forth a statement of desires regarding your health care, is particularly sensitive to state law. The same is true for a living will that states your intentions regarding life-sustaining treatment such as hydration and nutrition when you have an incurable or terminal condition.  (In fact, a living will is called a “Directive To Physicians” in Nevada.)  Some states are very liberal regarding your health care options and some states are very conservative.  If you have a health care power of attorney and a living will that was prepared in conformity with say, Michigan law or some other non-Nevada state law, a Nevada health care provider may not accept them.  Needless to say, this can have very serious ramifications for you and your family. 
The answer is a simple estate plan check-up.  The Jeffrey Burr Law office provides a free one-half hour consultation during which an estate planning attorney can review your current estate plan documents.  All estate planning attorneys at the Jeffrey Burr Law office are certified public accountants or hold advanced degrees in taxation.  Although a periodic estate plan check-up is always a good idea because of changes in circumstances or changes in Nevada or federal law, an estate plan check-up is especially important to someone moving to Nevada.
-Attorney John R. Mugan



         

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