Everyone’s estate plan is different. It may be that a simple Will is sufficient, or perhaps you have a need for a Living Trust. The most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about your estate plan is that there is more to it than just having the Will or Trust. Your estate consists of all property owned by you at the time of your death which includes real estate, bank accounts, life insurance policies, stocks and other securities, and personal property. Property passes three ways – by beneficiary designations, property title, and by will – or by the intestate statutes if there is no will. Every state has intestate statutes that decide where your property will go if you do not have a will. Sometimes this works fine. Other times it is not at all what you would have wanted.
Creating Your Estate Plan
The Murray Law Firm LLC takes a personalized approach to setting up your estate plan. During our first consultation, we will discuss your specific goals and circumstances to best determine the components of your estate plan. These components may include:
A will is the most common way to state, upon your death, who gets your property, who will be the guardian of your minor children, and who will manage your estate. A well-written will eases the transition for surviving family by transferring property quickly and avoiding many tax burdens.
In some cases, there may be a financial advantage to establishing a Revocable (Living) Trust. A Trust provides directions for how you want your property divided upon your death and empowers a surviving Trustee to carry out your wishes without court interference. A Trust is usually more expensive to set-up than a simple will but typically saves money if you become incapacitated and when you die.
Powers of Attorney and Living Will
No matter what your age or physical status, everyone needs a Power of Attorney, both Durable General (financial) and Medical, along with a Living Will. These documents assign an agent who has the authority to step into your shoes in case you are not able to take care of health decisions or financial matters on your own. The Living Will outlines your wishes if you were to become either terminally ill or are in a persistent vegetative state. Don’t leave your loved ones second guessing your wishes if you cannot speak for yourself.
Although probate in Colorado is not extremely difficult, we can help you file the appropriate forms, provide the necessary notices, guide you through, and help you out during a difficult time. We also have experience in dealing with difficult family situations that may arise due to a loved one’s death.