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Estate Planning

Blatnik Law, LLC assists clients in planning their estates to best suit their needs.  This planning may include HIPAA Releases, Durable Power of Attorneys, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Wills, Last Wills and Testaments, Trusts, and in some cases organization of a business entity such as an LLC.

What is a HIPAA Release and why do I need one?  A HIPAA Release authorizes your medical care providers to release sensitive medical information to a person (or entity) you designate.  Without the HIPAA Release, the health care provider will be unable to release the medical information due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Kennedy-Kassebaum Act).

What is a Designation of Health Care Surrogate?  A Designation of Health Care Surrogate informs your medical care providers of who possesses authorization to make decisions for your medical care in the event of incapacity.  Example:   You are injured in an automotive collision and unconscious.  Your health care surrogate may instruct your medical care providers as to the nature and extent of medical care you will receive.  This is important in the event that you have religious views that prohibit certain medical interventions or if you desire not to be resuscitated.  

What is a Living Will?  A Living Will instructs your family and health care providers of your desires regarding end of life care when you are no longer able to communicate your needs.  By providing detailed instructions to your family and care givers regarding your preferred medical intervention when you are in a persistent vegetative state, you relieve your family the emotional burden of making the decision for you.  This does not mean that you must instruct your family to pull the plug, but you may instruct your family whether you prefer all intervention, some intervention (such as pain management), or no intervention.  Such decisions are better made while you are healthy and well and not after a medical crisis occurs.

What is a Last Will and Testament?  this is the typical Will that people think of when they imagine a will.  This documents instructs your heirs as to what is to be done with your worldly possessions after you have passed to the next life.  

What is a Will Contest?  A Will contest occurs when two or more heirs dispute the validity of a particular will.  They typical scenario is the shortly before grandma dies and while grandma is very sick, some relative that has not seen grandma in years, swoops in, professes undying love, and convinces grandma to change her will while she is heavily medicated.  [Please keep in mind grandma could be grandpa, stepdad, stepmom, or anyone else.]  Although there are many reasons for a will contest, many of them relate to lack of capacity, fraud, duress, and or undue influence.

What is Lack of Capacity?  Lack of Capacity refers to the inability of a testator or testatrix to execute a will due to an inability to understand or appreciate what he or she is doing.  Taking our example from above, if Grandma is so sick that she has no idea what she is doing and simply signs whatever documents is placed in front of her, then grandma lacked capacity and the will may be contested.  The person making the will must understand what they are doing and want to do it without undue influence or duress.  

What is the different between an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust?  In an irrevocable trust, the grantor may not obtain a return of items placed in the trust whereas in a revocable trust the grantor may obtain the return of the items placed in the trust.  An example would be that is Jim placed $1,000 in an irrevocable trust, Jim could not get the $1,000 back but if the trust was revocable, Jim could get the $1,000 back.  Please keep in mind that in Florida, a self-settled irrevocable trust does not enjoy the actual benefits of an irrevocable trust.  This means that if Jim is trying to hide money from creditors by creating a trust wherein Jim is the beneficiary and settlor, then creditors may obtain the $1,000 Jim placed in the trust in order to pay bona fide debts.  

What is a trust beneficiary?       A trust beneficiary is a person or entity for whom the trust was created.  Essentially this means the person that is to receive money or benefit from the trust.

What is a trust settlor?  A trust settlor is the person or entity that funds the trust.   

What is a trustee?  The trustee manages the trust and assures that the trust is well maintained for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Want more information?  Please call (702) 996-1123 to schedule an initial consultation.

Blatik Law, LLC focuses its estate planning practice in the Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and North Las Vegas, Nevada areas.


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