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Colorado Estate Planning And Estate Settlement Legal Blog

What an executor should do if confronted by creditors

One important question executors might have in administering an estate is whether creditors can have claims satisfied by bringing lawsuits against the estate. After all, many people in this position may be confused about whether they could be personally held liable as the administrator of the estate, or whether a creditor may have a legitimate claim against the estate at all.

Under Colorado law, a creditor may bring suit against a deceased person’s estate to satisfy unpaid bills and judgments. Essentially, the probate process is meant to facilitate the orderly transfer of assets from the deceased to his or her heirs. As part of that process, creditors are allowed to stake their claims and even bring lawsuits to enforce an outstanding judgment.

Will you be paying for your loved one's long-term care?

A study published this summer in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that the average cost to care for a dementia patient for just five years is more than $320,000. The cost of caring for a loved one who does not have dementia is over $130,000 on average. Unfortunately, the bulk of long-term care expenses are typically paid by the patients' families.

A two-pronged long-term care issue

2 estate planning tools Hugh Hefner may have used for his widow

Hugh Hefner, of Playboy fame, recently passed away. He reportedly had an “iron clad” prenuptial agreement with his third wife that kept his fortune from his young bride. Yet, current reports state that the widow will “be provided for” after the death of her husband.

Is it possible for both reports to be true? 

Blended families and estate planning

Estate planning can get complicated when multiple marriages and children from prior relationships are involved. However, the time spent establishing long-term goals and taking the steps to meet your objectives within with an estate plan is well worth it.

Provisions in the plans of Hugh Hefner and Jerry Lewis

Now is the time to discuss nursing home plans with your parents

In recent blog posts, we discussed the importance of talking to your parents about their nursing home and estate planning strategies. This step is critical to making sure your parents have the care they need in their later years and that their assets are transferred according to their wishes.

However, the most significant problem with talking about estate planning and late life care issues is that people don't do it until it's too late. Too many people continue to procrastinate having this conversation. Then, when nursing home care becomes necessary, for example, they are not prepared and they end up losing significant assets as a result.

Jerry's 'actual' kids left out of his will

In our prior post, we highlighted the importance of taking time have clear direction in a will to avoid inheritance disputes. This is because in times of sorrow, some may develop a sense of entitlement that may lead to disappointment when finally learning the contents of a will.

In essence, some may be surprised to learn that they are not included or disinherited. An example of this is seen with Jerry Lewis' will.

Three tips to avoid inheritance disputes

It may be surprising how people react after the death of a wealthy loved one. There may be those who expect to inherit specific items or assume they have the authority to take control of property, such as a home or ranch despite what is written in a loved one's will.

It is not uncommon for those receiving less than what they were expecting to contest the validity of a will. Like the action suggests, a will contest is a legal proceeding where the testator's (the person creating the will) intent is reviewed to interpret vague or ambiguous terms, or to determine if the will should be invalidated.  A will contest can result property being redistributed.

What to consider when aging parents live far away

The natural beauty of Colorado is undeniable and draws people from all parts of the country. But some children grow up and develop lives outside of the state, leaving their aging parents behind. When the parent of an adult child gets older, it may be difficult for the child to make continual trips to Colorado for welfare checks and doctors appointments.

Further, aging parents may not tell their adult children about their difficulties, especially if they involve money or significant health issues. They may feel particularly insecure about sharing these issues after being caregivers for decades, and they may have trouble accepting the fact that they now need help.

Starting a conversation with your elderly parents

In a recent post, we discussed why it's important to talk to parents about aging and finances as they approach their later years. That blog also provided some guidance about preparing for those often-difficult conversations.

This blog gives you some pointers for getting the conversation rolling and includes ideas for questions you may wish to ask.

Talking to your aging parents about the future

Are you uncomfortable talking to your parents about money, estate planning or death? Recently, this blog discussed how to talk to your adult children about your own death and their potential inheritances. Now it's time to switch it around to having "the talk" with your aging parents.

It's not easy. Here's how one woman's conversation went:

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