Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lawyer's Edge
by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth,Woodbury & Standish

Estate Planning 101
Having an estate plan is important. Not having one is common. But having an out-of-date plan might be the worst situation of all. Many individuals have some kind of estate program in place, but among those who do, an alarming 89% admit that their plan is out-of-date, and 75% haven’t updated their plan in several years.

For any basic estate plan, these are some essential components.

SIMPLE WILL — This legal document can be used to leave instructions for the distribution of your estate and name a legal guardian to care for minor children. Without a will, you risk letting a probate court decide these matters. It’s a good idea to review your will every few years and after significant life events, such as a marriage or the birth of a child.

TRUSTS — There are many kinds of trusts, and determining which one might be appropriate depends on your personal circumstances and goals. Trusts can be used to avoid probate, help limit exposure to estate taxes and control how and when your heirs receive an inheritance.

LIVING WILL — This document can be used to specify the types of medical procedures you would want to be used (or not used) to sustain your life. For instance, you can indicate whether you would want to be put on a respirator in the event of a chronic illness or disabling accident.

GENERAL AND MEDICAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY — These documents empower a person of your choosing to make either financial or medical decisions on your behalf if you should become incapacitated. The designated individual acts as your agent to help ensure that your wishes are carried out.

An experienced estate planning attorney should be consulted to create or update your estate program. Most people who take these steps experience greater peace of mind.

Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish. The firm has offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas. To contact Bruce, visit his website at

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