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

In this age of do-it-yourself frugality, many surviving spouses and family members are unfortunately experiencing the hidden cost of a loved one’s use of internet and other legal forms for estate planning. Oftentimes the Trust or Will form used by the decedent is improperly completed, does not meet the needs and desires of the person and family, and is contradictory and/or ambiguous. In the latter situation, a court must try and interpret what the decedent intended after the death of the loved one. This is expensive and time-consuming, and the Court may or may not be correct in its attempt to decipher the true intent of the decedent.

Everyone’s estate plan is unique to his or her specific desires and needs. Some of the many considerations for your Trust and Will are:

  1. What are the federal estate tax ramifications of the terms of my Trust and Will;
  2. What powers should I give to my trustee and executor;
  3. How can I leave a child who receives governmental assistance an inheritance without disqualifying the child from such assistance, if at all;
  4. In what situations can I delay distribution to a beneficiary, if any;
  5. Can my Trust be the beneficiary of my qualified retirement plan;
  6. What, if any, “no contest provisions” should be included;
  7. What is the difference between “per stirpes” and “per capita”;
  8. Will the spouses of my children inherit the child’s share if my child predeceases me;
  9. What does “lapse” mean;
  10. What is the difference between an “option to buy” and a “right of first refusal”;
  11. What is the rule against perpetuities and how do I satisfy it, and
  12. Should a HIPAA release be included in my Trust or Will.

One of the best analogies to this situation is a medical prescription pad: just because you have a valid medical prescription pad, that does not mean you should be writing prescriptions. The same is true in the legal profession: just because you have a standard, generic legal Trust or Will form, that does not mean you should complete it in an attempt to meet your individual estate planning needs.

-Attorney John R. Mugan

We always encourage our clients to properly fund their trust.  Ideally a person’s trust should become the new owner on real estate, bank accounts, life insurance, non-qualified retirement investment accounts, and even cars.

Naturally, plenty of clients balk at our instruction to transfer title ownership of their cars to the trust.  After all, in Nevada this can require making a change to your liability insurance policy so that the registration and insurance can be verified to match by the DMV.  And why go to all the effort when you are just going to upgrade the car next year?

While transferring title of a vehicle to a revocable trust is the best advice for dealing with contingencies, we do often recommend the following alternative:  the use of Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Form VP239– titled Transfer on Death Application.  The form can be found here.  This form allows current title holders to add one transfer-on-death beneficiary to the title.  The vehicle cannot have a lienholder, but the form is useful for permitting a hassle-free transfer of ownership of a vehicle upon a person’s death.   So, if the vehicle is paid for and if you are satisfied with the vehicle transferring directly to just one beneficiary, then this method is potentially much easier than transferring title to the trust.

For those interested in doing it the official way, the form for transferring title of a vehicle to a trust is Form VP188 and can be found here.  Make sure to read the information on the DMV website here under “Family Trust” for instructions on how to properly accomplish the transfer.

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