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Colorado Estate Planning And Estate Settlement Legal Blog

Preventing a will dispute

When it comes to wills, there are numerous issues you may have to consider. For example, if you are thinking about setting up a will, it is important to make sure that you thoroughly assess your estate and carefully draft your will. However, disputes involving wills sometimes arise in Denver, and other parts of Colorado, and it is important for people and entire families to focus on preventing these disputes, if possible. At the Hughes Law Firm, we know that when a disagreement does arise, those involved should try their best to find solutions in an amicable manner.

There are different ways will disputes can be avoided. If you are drafting a will, you should take steps to avoid potential problem areas and try to set up a will that is fair. Moreover, disputes can be avoided even after family members pass away. For example, the executor of an estate can do everything in their ability to properly carry out the wishes of the decedent and distribute assets to beneficiaries appropriately.

Understanding a conservatorship

Trying to help family members and other loved ones in Colorado can be difficult, especially if they are not willing to accept your help. Sometimes, because of mental ailments or personality traits, a person who is no longer capable of managing financial affairs may be resistant to accepting the help of a loved one. This can lead to financial devastation and ruin. We at The Hughes Law Firm understand that sometimes the best choice is not an easy one when it comes to managing your loved one’s affairs. This is when a conservatorship becomes necessary.

 

You have an important advantage that Prince doesn't

Rock legend Prince, who died April 21 last year, was loved worldwide for his brilliant and passionate music. But as news emerges about the estate he left behind, family members must wish he had been as brilliant and passionate about his finances.

Lacking a will or any coherent statement by Prince about his wishes for his estate the courts in his home state of Minnesota have had to guess at his intentions. The current list of heirs numbers six, including sister Tyka Nelson and five half brothers and sisters.

Expectant parents should be thinking about estate planning

When you are expecting a baby, the last thing you want to focus on is your own mortality. There are so many other matters that need attending to – creating a new room in the home, communicating your needs to friends and family, learning a new role in life, taking care of your own and your baby’s health.

Nevertheless, there are steps you can take during this hectic period that can ensure financial peace of mind going forward.

What heirs need to know about paying debts after a death

If you are a surviving spouse, family member, heir, beneficiary or an executor of an estate, you may have many important issues to attend to in the aftermath of a loved one’s death. While a decedent’s debts are usually erased upon death, a blog posted last month discussed situations in which debts may remain.

While working your way through the probate or estate administration process, it is important to know how to deal with debt and collection matters that may arise.

What is a holographic will?

Colorado is a stte that allows for handwritten wills, known as holographic wills. Therefore, as a resident of Colorado, this is one option that you can consider when writing your own will or helping someone else write theirs.

The definition given by Legal Dictionary states that a holographic will is a will that is handwritten by the testator. However, because this method of writing a will has the potential to be fraudulent, there are many different rules and regulations that apply to holographic wills on both a state and national level. For example, some states don't consider holographic wills to be valid at all.

Should you avoid certain types of assets when funding your trust?

To conclude this serious about funding, not every asset should be retitled in the name of the revocable trust. A motor vehicle is such an example. In the event of an accident, the injured party may bring a lawsuit. If the trust is the named owner, the party may go after all of the trust’s assets for damages under a “deep pockets” theory.

Tax-deferred accounts, such as IRAs or qualified retirement accounts, like 401(ks), are another exception. Naming the trust as owner of these assets might be treated as a complete withdrawal of the funds, triggering income tax in the year of the transfer. Instead of retitling the ownership, the trust might be named as the primary or secondary beneficiary.  

Going through a divorce? Don't forget about estate planning

As anyone who has gone through a divorce knows, it can be a painful and overwhelming process. It is not uncommon for a divorce to take a year or more to complete due to the number of issues that must be resolved, such as:

  • Dividing and re-titling assets
  • Selling or refinancing your home
  • Relocating to a new home
  • Custody issues if you have minor children

These tasks and others must be completed so that people can begin the process of moving on. For this reason, estate planning often takes the back burner.

Can you retitle your house in the name of your revocable trust?

In our last post, we examined some of the time- and cost-saving benefits of a living revocable trust. However, if the revocable trust is not funded properly, the trust documentation will be of no more value than blank pieces of paper.

After creating the trust document, the next step is to change titles and beneficiary designations for every asset that you want to put in the revocable trust. The procedures vary depending on the specific asset, but generally the ownership and beneficiaries will be renamed to the trust.

The importance of setting up a will

While many people understand how crucial it is to plan ahead, some postpone setting up a will, for various reasons. For example, some people are hesitant to contemplate their own death or feel as if they are too busy to set aside time for estate planning. The Hughes Law Firm understands the different challenges that people may be facing in Denver, and other parts of Colorado. However, we also know how crucial it is for people to set up a successful will.

By creating a will, there could be a number of advantages that you and your loved ones will appreciate. When you have a will, your assets are to be distributed according to your terms, giving you more of a say in what happens to your assets after you pass away. However, there are other benefits that may come with a will. For example, if you have children who are minors, your will can allow you to name who will care for them if you die before they become adults. 

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