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Estate planning and challenging family members

If you are like many people living in Nevada, you have concerns about estate planning. This may be particularly true if you want to provide for a family member who you believe may not be able to effectively manage any money or property left to him or her in a will.

Being realistic about your heirs

When planning your estate, it is important to consider each of your heirs as individuals. While most may be responsible adults who are perfectly capable of managing an inheritance, there may be one or two who don’t yet have the ability to handle a lump sum of money or a valuable piece of property.

You may be concerned that this heir will spend all the money irresponsibly or be taken advantage of by unsavory companions. You may also be concerned that this heir relies on the promise of an inheritance and is therefore not taking steps to get an education or establish a career.

There is nothing wrong with making an honest evaluation of anyone who might be a beneficiary of your estate. In fact, it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with an estate planning attorney so that they can make recommendations suitable to your situation.

Consider a trust

Trusts can be an excellent option in cases where you have concerns about how a beneficiary might manage or spend an inheritance. Trusts reflect your desires and concerns for how your assets are managed. For example, if you have an heir with a drug problem and difficulty holding a job, you might set up a trust that provides basic living expenses and funds for a rehabilitation program but does not otherwise allow the heir to access large amounts of money.

You can also create a trust that incentivizes positive behaviors. For example, you might state that an heir can receive a portion of the funds held in trust after completing an educational program or holding a job for a year or more. This allows you to provide for someone you care about without enabling poor life choices.