Henderson Office: 702.433.4455
Las Vegas Office: 702.254.4455
Jeffrey Burr Logo

Often times with the passing of a loved one, handling the burial and final disposition of the loved one’s remains can become a point of contention if there has not previously been clear direction provided on how this is to be handled. In the absence of specific instruction, funeral homes may require a court order authorizing the disposition of the remains of a decedent. Also in the absence of clear instruction, parties may be at odds with how the remains are to be handled, thus, requiring court intervention and added expense and delay.

In light of these potential issues, it is important to note that Nevada state law allows an adult, while living, to execute an affidavit authorizing the burial of his or her remains at death. Specifically, NRS 451.024 provides a priority of individuals authorized to handle the burial of a decedent’s remains. Pursuant to NRS 451.024, the individual designated in the aforementioned affidavit has priority in handling the remains of the deceased loved one. Thereafter the statute specifies priority based on relationship to the decedent, e.g. spouse, adult son or daughter, parent, adult brother or sister, and so on and so forth. To avoid potential issues regarding the handling of a loved one’s remains, care should be taken ahead of time to include these arrangements as part of one’s estate plan so that this matter can be dealt with during life.

My general and limited observation is that more and more people are selecting cremation for their end-of-life plans. As one might imagine, estate planning attorneys hear some interesting requests regarding cremation and the ultimate disposal of one’s ashes. Our office is no exception. Most requests are dignified and tasteful. Some are also very entertaining.

On a serious note: Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 451.655) provide that a person may order his or her own cremation and instructions for disposition by signing an order and having it signed by two additional witnesses. One can avoid delay by providing this order directly to a funeral home that is to provide the mortuary services. Our office incorporates this statutory requirement directly into the Last Will, but we have also provided, on occasion, a separate order for the funeral home in coordination with the statute referenced above.

In an effort to be tastefully entertaining, and divert my attention from the 2010 Federal estate tax repeal which recently is a frequent topic on our blog, I thought I would share some cremation myth and lore. Several years ago I remember reading on a blog that Disneyland was having frequent issue with people disposing of cremated loved ones on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. (Keep your hands inside the ride at all times). Clients have instructed that we write up many specific instructions regarding scattering: mountain tops; beaches; rain forests; backyards; oceans; you name it, we have probably written it up in a Will. One particular client that I can recall instructed that his ashes be inserted into a number of helium balloons and that the balloons should be released into the wind. We usually make it clear that public scattering might technically be illegal and that permission should be obtained.

Just this week I read a Wall Street Journal article and discovered that the scattering of ashes without pre-permission has a name. It is known in the funeral industry as a “wildcat scattering.” I found the above article interesting and it had some good stories regarding some verified wildcat scatterings. Feel free to comment and share any stories or wishes you might have regarding the distribution of your cremains.

-Attorney Jason Walker

In Nevada’s most recent legislative session, significant changes were made to NRS 166,Nevada’s statute governing asset protection trusts. We believe these changes, which became effective on October 1, 2009, further validate Nevada’s asset protection trusts, or Nevada On-shore Trusts (NOSTs), as legitimate and effective asset protection and wealth preservation tools.

Some highlights of the recent changes to the statute are as follows:

  1. Confirmation that a settlor of a Asset Protection Trust has the right to serve as a trustee of the Asset Protection Trust. NRS 166.040(3)
  2. Settlors of Asset Protection Trusts can remove trustees, direct investments and execute other management powers. NRS 166.040(3)
  3. The two year statutory waiting period does not restart if property is transferred from the Asset Protection Trust to be refinanced and then re-conveyed back into it. NRS 16.170 (4)
  4. Advisers (accountants, attorneys, or investment advisers) to the settlor or trustee of a Asset Protection Trust are protected from third party claims under certain guidelines. NRS 16.170 (5)

As a reminder, Nevada’s asset protection trust statute has been in place for nearly ten years. Nevada is commonly recognized as not only a pioneer in the area of asset protection, but one of the most favorable asset protection jurisdictions in the country. Other states are now joining Nevada and a handful of other jurisdictions to provide the same asset protection techniques Nevada offers to its residents. Fortunately, as a front runner in the industry, Nevada is a seasoned veteran in the field of asset protection and wealth preservation. Consequently, those who formed Asset Protection Trusts early on are now reaping the benefits of increased protection. We remain confident that Nevada’s Asset Protection Trusts are one of the most effective asset protection tools available.

-Attorney Jeremy Cooper

Henderson Office
2600 Paseo Verde Parkway, Suite 200
Henderson, NV 89074
Phone: 702.433.4455
Fax: 702.451.1853
Las Vegas Office
10000 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Phone: 702.254.4455
Fax: 702.254.3330
Subscribe to Our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram