Arizona Living Will Attorney infographicNevada Living Will Attorney

Well Drafted Documents Help You Memorialize Your Intentions.

A living will is important. A will is the traditional tool most often used to transfer assets to heirs and other beneficiaries upon death.

The last will and testament is the cornerstone of any effective estate plan. In many cases, a will alone can be sufficient to meet the needs and goals of an individual seeking to establish an estate plan. Other cases require more substantial planning documents and tools, including living trust and the restructuring of assets. In either case, powers of attorney for financial and health care decisions are essential elements that allow the estate plan to serve a wide range of goals, both during life and after death.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that should be drawn up by a Nevada Living Will Attorney.  A living will lays out your wishes regarding life support and if you wish to be kept on it if you become terminally ill and will die shortly without life support.  It is also used if you were to fall into a persistent vegetative state.

Additionally, when a living will is drafted properly, it may address other important questions that may arise.  Such as: detailing your preferences for tube feeding, artificial hydration, and pain medication in certain situations. A living will becomes effective only when you cannot communicate your desires on your own.

Proper planning reduces the chance that your will might face a challenge

Would-be heirs often challenge wills when they’re disappointed in the size of their bequests. Grounds they can use to challenge a will include:

  • Defect in execution — A will may fall short of Arizona law’s specific requirements for the necessary elements it must include.
  • Undue influence — If a person close to the testator is found to have used pressure to shape the content of the will, whether or not to their own benefit, the will is invalid.
  • Lack of capacity — If the testator is determined not to have been of sound mind when the will was executed, it is not valid.
  • Fraud — A will is void if it does not reflect the testator’s true intentions, either due to forgery or because someone fooled the testator into making the will.

A will challenge can tie up your estate in probate, causing your heirs to wait needlessly and endure added expenses.

THE RULE REGARDING INHERITANCES IN CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

The rule regarding inheritances for Chapter 7 is straightforward: Section 541(1) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that if a bankruptcy debtor becomes entitled to receive an inheritance within 180 days of the day that the bankruptcy case was filed, that inheritance is property of the bankruptcy estate, and subject to administration by the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee.

The key point here is that the death of a person, from whose estate the debtor will inherit property or money, is the event that triggers the inclusion of the inheritance into the bankruptcy estate. It does not matter if the money or property is not received until after the 180-day period post-filing ends.

Debtors are required to report the possibility of inheriting to their attorney, so that the existence of an inheritance interest is reported properly to the case trustee.

This rule also applies to the debtor’s right to receive a beneficiary payment from a deceased person’s life insurance policy. Again, the bankruptcy debtor who, through the death of another person, discovers the potential to receive a life insurance check has the absolute obligation to report that situation to his attorney so that the life insurance interest can be reported to the case trustee.

For those debtors who have used the Federal Bankruptcy Code to exempt their property, it is possible to exempt some, or perhaps all, of the inheritance interest, provided that the debtor has enough room to do so under section 522(d)(5) of the code. Debtors who do not own real estate, or those who own real estate with minimal equity, have up to $13,100 available to them to use to protect the inheritance interest.

The rule regarding inheritance, then, is fairly straight-forward with chapter 7 cases. Things get more complicated with chapter 13.

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