As with all legal issues, estate planning can be a complicated procedure.  If you have assets and beneficiaries and understand how they are titled, it can seem quite simple; however, this is not always the case.  If you have spent many years accumulating banking accounts, real estate properties or other assets, it is not uncommon to forget to update information.  By not keeping updated on which beneficiary is entitled to which asset upon your death, there can be a problem regarding estate distribution later on.  Of course, speaking with an estate planning attorney would be the best option in these personal situations.

People who choose to designate beneficiaries need to be careful when making these designations.  If a person designates beneficiaries incorrectly or fails to update the details, it can result in detrimental and far-reaching consequences.  For example, failure to update estate planning details on retirement accounts you opened during a previous marriage may result in the account being left to your past spouse instead of your children.  Unfortunately, people do not realize the significance of these facts and do not keep this information updated.

To be safe, it is important that you review the beneficiary designations on all accounts regularly and particularly after major life events such as a divorce or gaining of an asset.  This article will discuss how contacting attorneys who specialize in estate planning in Las Vegas can assist with this procedure.

The Different Types Of Estates

When completing estate planning in Las Vegas, it is recommended that these two key accounts into consideration as they can help you avoid probate.  The first is joint ownership and the second is naming a “transfer on death” beneficiary.

  1. Joint Ownership

Joint ownership can be structured in different ways that can influence an estate planning in Las Vegas procedure.  Despite the different structures, all of the joint ownership features present with an undivided right to use the property.  The difference lies in the specific classification of ownership and the consequences of property transference change when the joint owner dies.  There are three basic means to title a joint account and each has distinct implications for estate planning dependent on the personal situation.

  • Joint Tenancy With Rights Of Survivorship

When one property owner dies, the property ownership will transfer to the living owner or owners through the rights of survivorship.  Probate can be avoided on death of one owner in a jointly held account, but not on the passing of the surviving owner.  This is because the property was originally held jointly can now be titled as a sole asset for the surviving joint owner.

  • Tenancy By Entirety

This structure is similar to the above joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.  The difference is that it applies to married couples exclusively.

  • Tenancy In Common

Unlike the joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common indicates that a property owner’s interest in the property will become part of the deceased owner’s estate when the owner dies.  It will be passed on according to the deceased owner’s will; however, this can lead to probate issues if there are additional heirs.

  1. “Transfer On Death” Beneficiary

Another simple method to avoid probate is by naming an individual as a “transfer on death” beneficiary.  This type of account involves the beneficiary being named as an official recipient on all financial accounts and in real estate.  It typically does not cost anything to make these changes and can be altered easily using an estate planning attorney.

Despite the ease of this account, one disadvantage to the “transfer on death” beneficiary title is that there is inefficient coordination with overall estate planning methods.  Many individuals do not realize that this beneficiary entitlement will override what is written in a will and if there are enough “transfer on death” entitlements, the will can be considered ineffective.

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