One question that often comes up during asset protection consultations between attorneys and their clients deals with what happens to their minor children or grandchildren in the effect of the clients death. Nevada has a statute on the books called Nevada's Uniform Act on Transfers to Minors. It is based off of the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) as drafted and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1986. To put it simply, the act provides a mechanism under which gifts can be made to a minor without the required presence of the minor's appointed guardian. The act satisfies the Internal Revenue Service requirements for qualifying a gift of up to $14,000 for exclusion from the gift tax. This extends the previously enacted Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA).

In Nevada the child will have access to the gift upon reaching the age of 18. Until then a custodian will manage and invest the property and be allowed to make payments on the minors behalf out of the corpus of the gift.

Should the donor choose to also act as the custodian and die before the gift is released to the child, the value of the custodianship property will be included in the donor's gross estate.


Undue influence is often used as a plot device in Hollywood movies. The non-technical explanation is that this is where one family member, or a care taker of an elderly person, uses their influence over this person to get them to change their will at the last minute before their death. The technical explanation is that undue influence is an equitable doctrine in jurisprudence. An equitable doctrine is a legal principal that supplements other laws. Think of it as house rules in the board game Monopoly. According to the game free parking should pay you nothing. Most house rules modify this to put all taxes and fees into the middle of the board to be collected when somebody lands on free parking. The only difference is that this wouldn't be a house rule. It would be a rule followed by all other states.

Having an attorney that is well qualified to deal with probate issues is very important when drafting your will. Even if you are going to set up a trust to manage your estate it is still very important if the trust is a living trust, also known as a revocable trust. The reason being that you can still make changes to what happens to your assets upon your death or you are found to be incompetent to manage your assets.

One of the psychological effects of aging on the brain is to induce paranoid delusions about ones family. This often gives the elderly subjects caretakers undue influence over them. Even if a trustor that has named you as a beneficiary to their estate makes a last minute change dropping you from their list of heirs you can hire a good Las Vegas attorney to work on your behalf and petition the courts that there was undue influence involved.


A common mistake people make when they forgo using an attorney during the estate planning process is to setup a Beneficiary Deed in place of a trust. Yes, a Beneficiary Deed does cost less and is nowhere near as complex as setting up a trust. Yes, it will allow your beneficiary or beneficiaries to avoid probate in the event of your death. A big problem is that a Beneficiary Deed will not protect your heirs from estate taxes and it does not qualify as a gift tax. On top of this there can be problems which bring it back into probate if a beneficiary is a minor or there are multiple beneficiaries with undivided interests.

If paying the fees to setup a trust is difficult it may be wise to talk to your beneficiary or beneficiaries to see about collecting the fees from them. Otherwise they could lose out on as much as 35% of the assets they could have received in full.


This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as tax guidance. Be sure to consult with a tax professional and/or a Nevada attorney that is experienced in probate and trust laws.


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