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Is a Guardianship an Important Part of Estate Planning?

— February 8, 2023

Guardianships are very important as that person will be making medical and financial decisions on behalf of an individual who is unable to care for themselves.

Estate plans are important for those who want to make sure vulnerable loved ones including young children, aging adults, and people with special needs are taken care of when they die and can no longer oversee care for those individuals.  A Nevada estate planning lawyer can assist clients to make sure loved ones are supported by the directed distribution of assets to sustain stability for loved ones when an individual is no longer able to manage their affairs, either due to illness or death. Because estate plans are unique to an individual and what they will leave behind upon their death it is important to maintain a voice in the will, or trust that will dictate what happens to property, who will raise minor children, and how an individual will spend their last days, in the event of long-term illnesses where an individual may not be able to speak for themselves.  The will can also provide the additional security of naming a trusted person to conduct prescribed wishes (executor).  Closing out Nevada estates can be time-consuming and dragged out, depending upon the nature of the assets left to distribute and instances of beneficiaries contesting a will, requiring the service of an estate planning lawyer. 

Guardianships are very important as that person will be making medical and financial decisions on behalf of an individual who is unable to care for themselves or their property. To obtain and administer a guardianship can be challenging and should be made part of an estate plan so the person creating it has a voice in who will care for them or their loved ones.

Estate plan

Specific areas of an estate plan that may need attention include: 

  • a last will and testament, with guardianship if there are minor children.
  • an advance healthcare directive for end-of-life care.  
  • a durable power of attorney for financial matters and durable power of attorney for medical decisions as important parts of an estate plan that may help individuals to avoid court appointed guardianship. 

Will administration

A Las Vegas estate planning lawyer will do their best to effectively and expediently administer the will to save an executor the frustration of holding up payment on bills and costs related to the decedent. These can include paying off creditors, burial costs, and upkeep on property for example, along with fees for professionals who perform services for the benefit of the estate such as appraisals.  

Who needs a will?

Lawyer at desk writing; image by advogadoaguilar, via
Lawyer at desk writing; image by advogadoaguilar, via

A living will should not be confused with a last will and testament, as one provides for  action when a person becomes incapacitated and the other is for decisions that are made for an estate and surviving loved ones after death. If a person dies without a will, state laws may determine the distribution of an estate’s assets or care of dependents. Because the outcome may not coincide with the decedent’s wishes, it is prudent  for individuals to create a last will and testament.

Non-probate assets

A last will and testament can only direct estate owned assets and property. Interested parties to a Nevada probate action should consult with a tax lawyer about the impacts of non-probate assets that include those assets that have pre-designated beneficiaries, or joint interest with the right of survivorship that pass automatically to the named individual(s) upon a person’s death.  

Seek legal counsel

Administering a Last Will and Testament requires the assistance of experienced lawyers who understand the state and federal laws that will impact the financial outcome and care of surviving loved ones.  


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