Why Unmarried Couples in Nevada Need Estate Planning: A Must-Read Guide

If you’re unmarried and live in Nevada, estate planning is essential for you and your partner. 

Without an estate plan, Nevada state law will decide who gets your things when you die. It’s possible your partner won’t inherit anything. 

If your partner can’t make their own choices, estate documents will help them have the care they need.

Finally, proper estate planning documents can also help with taxes.

In this article, we’ll look at the laws and rules in Nevada. We will discuss how to make an estate plan. You’ll find out what to do if one of you dies or becomes disabled. And we’ll give you some insider tips for creating an effective estate plan.

Let’s get started.

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Understanding the Laws and Rules Governing Unmarried Couples in Nevada

If you live in Nevada and are not married, knowing the rules about planning for your future is essential. 

It’s like packing a suitcase – but instead of clothes, you decide what will happen to your assets when you are gone.

In Nevada, common-law marriages do not get recognized. Instead, property ownership gets determined by the title.

You should also be aware of the low estate and inheritance tax rates compared with other states. In Nevada, the estate tax exemption is $11.7 million. And there is no inheritance tax.

Working with an attorney can help protect your future. They will ensure your assets get distributed to the right people.

Types of Property Ownership for Unmarried Couples

When you aren’t married, you have many choices for how to own property. 

Choosing the right option is crucial because it can affect your money and legal rights.

What follows are some types of ownership that unmarried couples may consider.

Sole Ownership

When one person is the only owner, only they get to decide what happens with it. The other partner has no ownership interest in the property and no say in its use or management. This is not a recommended option for couples wanting to share property ownership.

Understanding the Laws and Rules Governing Unmarried Couples in Nevada

Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

If you die, this is how to make sure your partner will get your stuff. 

With this type of ownership, both people have an equal share of the property.

If one of them passes away, their share goes to the other partner without going through probate court.

Tenancy in Common

Tenancy in common is a way for two or more people to own a property together. Each partner owns a different percentage, which can be different sizes.

If one partner dies, their part is passed on to their heirs and not their partner. This type of ownership lets couples control their share of the property.

Talk to an Las Vegas planning lawyer for which type of ownership would be best for your situation. They can help you decide based on taxes, liability, and inheritance.

Process for Creating a Will and Trust in Nevada

Creating a will and trust is vital to protecting what you and your partner have built together. 

It’s a complicated process, so it helps to have an expert estate planning attorney help you out. They’ll talk to you about your assets, goals, and concerns. They will recommend the best type of will or trust for your situation. 

Once that plan is in place, you must sign some documents. This could include the following:

  • powers of attorney, 
  • advance directives, 
  • and the will or trust agreement. 

To keep everything up-to-date, you must review and update these documents. 

You also have to transfer ownership of your assets – this is called “funding the trust.” 

Proper guidance can make setting up a will and trust much more straightforward.

Young couple playing outside after setting up an estate plan

The Importance of Having Durable Powers of Attorney

Having durable powers of attorney is integral to estate planning for unmarried couples. 

It lets you appoint someone to decide for you if you can’t do it yourself.

If you can’t make decisions for yourself, a durable power of attorney allows someone else to:

  1. Pay your bills.
  2. Manage your investments.
  3. Make medical decisions.

It also means you don’t need a time-consuming and expensive guardianship proceeding.

Putting a durable power of attorney in place can give you peace of mind. It ensures your wishes get respected if you cannot decide for yourself.

Please speak with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure it gets set up right.

The Importance of Setting Up a Living Trust

A living trust is an excellent way for unmarried couples in Nevada to plan for the future. 

It lets you decide how your assets should get managed and distributed. It also keeps your affairs private. 

A living trust is more flexible than a will. You can make provisions for pets. You can plan for children from previous relationships after you’re gone. And you get to keep control of your assets during your lifetime. 

Plus, it can help speed up distributing assets after you’re gone.

Tips for Creating an Effective Estate Plan

If you’re unmarried and live in Nevada, making a plan for your estate is essential.

That way all your possessions get passed down how you want them to be. Here are some tips to help you do this.

The Importance of Having Durable Powers of Attorney

Have an Experienced Lawyer Help You

Estate planning can be complex.

An experienced lawyer can help ensure your plan meets your needs and goals.

A lawyer can help you navigate the legal requirements. They will make sure to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your situation.

Keep Your Estate Plan Updated Often

Life changes, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the sale of assets, can impact your estate plan.

Reviewing and updating your estate plan often is vital. This ensures that your plan reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

Communicate with Your Partner

Open communication is essential for creating an effective estate plan.

Discuss your goals, wishes, and concerns with your partner.

Work together to create a plan that meets your needs.

Doing this can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes down the line.

Make Sure Your Wishes Get Honored After Death

Ensuring your wishes get honored is essential. This can include designating beneficiaries for your assets.

Create a living trust and provide instructions for caring for loved ones.

Ensure that your executor and other relevant parties know your wishes.

Also make sure they have the necessary documents to carry them out.

The Importance of Setting Up a Living Trust


Estate planning can be crucial to securing your future, yet it often gets overlooked. 

Unmarried couples can help protect their interests by creating an estate plan. 

With proper legal guidance, you can ensure you get prepared for the future. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this process alone. 

Help is available, both in resources and experts. 

Take the time to explore your options. 

Ensure you have a plan to protect yourself and your relationship.

Further Reading

Here are some additional posts that can provide valuable information on estate planning:

  1. Tips On Estate Planning: How Not to Gamble Your Future Away” – This post offers useful tips and guidance to help individuals navigate the estate planning process and make informed decisions to protect their assets and secure their future.

  2. Estate Planning Services” – This post discusses the importance of estate planning services and highlights the various professional services available to assist individuals in creating comprehensive estate plans.

  3. 5 Simple Things Every New Parent Needs To Know About Making A Will” – This post focuses on estate planning considerations for new parents, highlighting important factors to consider when creating a will to protect their children’s future.

  4. Estate Planning Probate: Las Vegas Attorney” – This post provides insights into estate planning probate, discussing the role of an attorney in guiding individuals through the probate process in Las Vegas and ensuring their estate plan is properly executed.

  5. What is the Estate Planning Process in Nevada?” – This post outlines the estate planning process specific to Nevada, discussing the key steps involved and providing an overview of the legal requirements and considerations.

  6. Damar Hamlin – The Need for Estate Planning” – This post sheds light on the importance of estate planning, emphasizing the need for individuals to proactively plan for their future and protect their assets, with a particular focus on the insights shared by Damar Hamlin.

  7. Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples Is Necessary In Nevada” – This post addresses the significance of estate planning for unmarried couples in Nevada, highlighting the unique considerations and legal implications they should be aware of to protect their interests and wishes.

  8. Estate Planning Mistakes: Help for Nevadans” – This post discusses common estate planning mistakes that individuals in Nevada should avoid, offering helpful guidance and tips to ensure their estate plan is comprehensive and effective.

We encourage readers to explore these resources to gain a better understanding of estate planning and its importance in securing their future and protecting their assets.

"Resources" in large text, signifying a section of helpful materials.

Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

Here are two offsite resources related to estate planning for unmarried couples in Nevada:

  1. State Bar of Nevada: Offers comprehensive information on estate planning, including guides and FAQs specific to Nevada law.

  2. American Bar Association: Provides an overview of estate planning basics, including information relevant to unmarried couples.

Stick figure running with "What's Next?" in bold text above.

What's Next?

If you’re in a committed relationship and want to ensure your loved one is taken care of if something happens, an estate plan is essential. 

But where do you start? That’s where an Las Vegas estate planning attorney can help. 

We bring over 20 years of experience and knowledge to create the perfect plan for you. Plus, when you choose us, you get our attention and 24/7 availability. 

We will help you navigate the complex legal process and answer any questions or concerns. So what are you waiting for? 

Call us at (702) 433-2889, and let’s start creating your perfect estate plan today.

Frequently Askjed Questions

Can unmarried partners benefit from estate planning services?

Absolutely. Even though they are not legally married, estate planning can help unmarried partners protect each other’s interests, designate beneficiaries, and make vital medical decisions through medical directives.

Is estate planning necessary for married couples?

Yes, estate planning is crucial for married couples. It allows them to optimize their estate, plan for incapacity, and ensure their assets pass to their intended beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient and seamless manner.

What is a revocable trust, and how can it benefit me?

A revocable trust is a legal document that allows you to manage and control your assets during your lifetime and efficiently distribute them after your passing. It helps avoid probate, maintains privacy, and provides flexibility, as it can be modified or revoked during your lifetime.

What does joint tenancy mean regarding estate planning?

Joint tenancy is a form of shared ownership where multiple individuals jointly own an asset. In the context of estate planning, it can impact how assets are distributed upon the death of one of the joint tenants.

What is a health care proxy, and why is it essential in estate planning?

A healthcare proxy is a legal document that designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. It ensures your preferences are followed when you cannot communicate your wishes.

How can estate planning protect minor children’s interests?

Estate planning can establish guardianship for minor children, ensuring they are cared for by trusted individuals if both parents pass away. It also helps manage and protect the financial inheritance of minor children until they reach a certain age.

What are the implications of joint ownership on estate planning?

Joint ownership can have both advantages and drawbacks. While it allows for seamless asset transfer, it may also lead to unintended consequences if proper estate planning is not in place to address potential issues.

What are beneficiary designations, and why are they significant?

Beneficiary designations determine who will receive specific assets, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts, upon the owner’s death. They are crucial in avoiding probate and ensuring assets pass directly to the intended beneficiaries.

How does estate planning relate to Social Security benefits?

Estate planning can help optimize Social Security benefits, especially in cases involving married couples, divorced individuals, and surviving spouses. Proper planning can maximize benefit amounts and address potential pitfalls.

What is considered a legal document in the context of estate planning?

Legal documents in estate planning typically include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and living wills. These documents are legally binding and ensure your wishes are followed during incapacity or after your passing.

What are medical directives, and why are they important?

Medical directives, also known as advance directives, comprise documents like living wills and health care proxies. They guide medical decisions in critical situations when you cannot express your preferences, ensuring your medical wishes are respected.

How does estate planning address real estate properties?

Estate planning involves strategies to efficiently protect, manage, and transfer real estate assets to intended beneficiaries. It may include utilizing trusts, joint ownership, or other methods to avoid probate and minimize taxes.

Do health care providers play a role in estate planning?

While healthcare providers are not directly involved in estate planning, they are crucial in implementing medical directives and ensuring your medical wishes are carried out when you cannot communicate with them.

What are the benefits of a revocable living trust in estate planning?

A revocable living trust provides flexibility, privacy, and control over your assets during your lifetime. It enables a seamless transfer of assets to your beneficiaries after your death without the need for probate.

Can estate planning help with making important life decisions?

Yes, estate planning can include provisions for critical life decisions, such as medical treatment preferences, appointing guardians for minor children, and designating someone to manage your finances if you become incapacitated.

How can estate planning impact life insurance policies?

Estate planning ensures that life insurance policies are coordinated with the overall estate plan and proceeds are distributed according to your wishes, avoiding potential conflicts or unintended consequences.

Are common law marriages recognized in estate planning?

The recognition of common law marriages varies by state. In states that recognize them, estate planning can protect partners’ rights in a common-law marriage and ensure their interests are safeguarded.

Why is it essential to seek legal advice for estate planning?

Estate planning involves complex legal and financial matters. Seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney ensures that your estate plan complies with state laws, minimizes tax liabilities, and aligns with your specific goals and desires.

What is the marital deduction in estate planning?

The marital deduction is a tax provision that allows an individual to transfer an unlimited amount of assets to their spouse, either during life or at death, without incurring federal estate or gift taxes.

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