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Colorado Estate Planning And Estate Settlement Legal Blog

The limits of transfer on death account designations

For many people, concern about their family's financial well-being is the primary motivator for creating an estate plan. Particularly for those who do not have a legal or biological tie to the individuals they love the most, an estate plan is necessary to protect their intentions for who receives which assets.

When someone dies without a will, the state of Colorado has a very specific manner in which it handles the intestate estate. Assets typically pass to a spouse first, then to children and then to other close family members.

Address death and medical care in an advance medical directive

The aging process has a way of removing people's autonomy regarding everything from their living situation to their own finances. Individuals who were once capable of performing complex surgeries may no longer be able to dress themselves or choose where they live.

Cognitive decline is another major issue that affects the independence and decision-making authority of older adults. As you age, issues with memory or other important mental functions could give your family the ability to challenge your right to make your own medical decisions.

Understanding palliative care in Colorado

If a loved one has been recommended for palliative care or hospice care by their doctor, it is likely that they will be moving into the later stages of an illness. This means that they need specialized treatment to help them be as comfortable as possible during this time.

It can be very difficult to come to terms with the fact that your loved one is nearing the end of their life. However, by understanding the philosophy of palliative care, you will be able to gain comfort in the knowledge that they will be cared for and comforted in the best possible way.

Have you made these plans for your children?

You might think of senior citizens when the term "estate planning," comes to mind but they aren't the only individuals who need to have their affairs in order. All adults should take the time to get things together, but it is especially important for parents of young children to have essential documentation for important decisions.

As you think about what might happen if you were to pass away, you can start to figure out some of the most important decisions you have to make. While your children are still minors and living at home, most of the things you will think about have to do with them.

How to choose the right trustee for your estate plan

There are many reasons why someone planning an estate in Colorado will want to include a trust as part of that plan. If the estate has substantial assets, a trust can protect heirs and beneficiaries from estate taxes. If there is worry about dispute within the family about the distribution of assets, moving those assets into a trust can make it harder for your family members to change your intended legacy.

Trusts can also help you provide for a special needs child, a loved one with a serious addiction or spending problem, and even a charity that you support. The benefits and overall flexibility of trusts make them a great inclusion in many people's estate plans.

Estate planning steps that help you avoid litigation

If you go through all the trouble of creating an estate plan, you obviously have a legacy you wish to leave behind. Sadly, the beneficiaries of your last will and your family members may not respect your legacy as you intend it. Instead, they may have their own expectations and wishes regarding the assets you leave behind when you die.

Dissatisfied heirs and beneficiaries can challenge your estate plan or last will in court. They can also bring a challenge against the administrator or executor for your estate. Thankfully, there are certain steps that you can take during the estate planning process that will drastically reduce the potential of litigation during probate administration.

Work with your attorney to set up a trust regardless of value

You may not be the wealthiest person on the planet (to be serious, few people are), but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't protect what you do have. A trust is a great way to do that.

Some people believe that trusts are something for the wealthy and well-to-do, but the truth is that a trust can be a good choice for anyone with any assets to protect. Even if your only asset is going to be life insurance, that is enough to consider setting up a trust to receive those funds.

Do you worry about your parent's ability to live independently?

As we grow up from adolescence to adulthood, living independently is often a source of anxiety and pride. Young people want to prove themselves to the world by striking out on their own and building a life for themselves.

For many people, that sense of independence and self-sufficiency is inherent to who they are as an individual. Many older adults struggle with the idea of being dependent on others for any part of their care or daily needs. Whether it's financial support or medical care, many older Americans are reticent to admit when they need help.

How does a trust end once it is created?

Trusts are one of the most essential estate planning tools in use today, and there are many kinds of trusts to choose from when considering your options. However, no matter what type of trust you use, they all must come to an end one way or another.

If you've done much research into estate planning, you know that there are a wide variety of trusts that offer different advantages and restrictions, but you may not have a clear picture of how a trust ends. Of course, all trusts do end. The important part when creating a trust and considering when it will terminate is making sure to plan for the ending just as one plans other aspects, like creation and payout of assets.

Have you allocated funds to pay an executor in your last will?

There are so many important decisions you need to make when setting up your last will and estate plan. People can overlook some of the more important considerations, perhaps because they aren't familiar with standards for last wills and estate administration.

The average person creating a last will understands how important it is to name the right person as executor of the estate or trustee. Too often, the testator may overlook specifically allocating compensation to the executor for their efforts.

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