Estate planning is how you can take care of your loved ones even after you are no longer able to do so. The three purposes of estate planning are: 1) Control your property while you are alive and well; 2) Provide for yourself and your loved ones if you become incapacitated/disabled; 3) Give what you have to whom you want, the way you want, when you want.
Estate planning addresses the consistent and hardest parts of life, which is when someone passes away. In my opinion, estate planning’s purpose is to help a family’s transition as they cope during such a difficult period in their lives. It is a gratifying and purpose-filled legal service.
Comprehensive estate planning takes the whole person into account. It involves selecting trusted individuals to carry out one’s wishes and drafting documents that carefully guide and protect future generations. Estate planning also goes beyond taxes, wealth, and medical decision making: Many people choose to include things like recorded oral histories and precious heirlooms in their plans. This makes estate planning not just about property, but about the legacy, values, and vision you want to pass along to future generations.
Every individual has different needs, and to receive a full appraisal of your needs for estate planning, I would advise you to schedule a complimentary initial meeting to discuss your situation.
A will is a document that is filed with a court after an individual has passed away. The will tells the court what the deceased person wants to have happen with their property. The court then supervises the deceased person’s Personal Representative as the Personal Representative distributes the deceased person’s property to its heirs.
One great advantage of the will is that it is so well known. When most people think of estate planning, they think of a will.
A will is also generally the most affordable estate planning strategy, and so it allows some individuals to have an estate plan when they otherwise would not be able to afford one.
In Colorado, the process to administer a will (or to distribute a person’s property to their heirs) is one of the most advanced and efficient in the United States. It is therefore relatively quick and cheap to administer a will in Colorado.
A will does not help protect you if you ever become incapacitated.
The administration of a will is public, so anyone can read what the will says. While this is not a true concern for most individuals, it is a factor to consider when deciding which estate planning strategy to adopt.
The Personal Representative is also known as an Executor. This is the individual or institution named in a will who becomes responsible for carrying out the instructions provided in your will during the probate process and distributes that property to the heirs. The Personal Representative works under the supervision of a judge and has to report back to the judge on what the Personal Representative has done.
Even an 18-year-old has property, and that 18-year old probably cares who would get their property if they pass. Also, a good estate plan also has incapacity planning, which protects the 18-year-old in case of incapacity.
The decision to have a will or trust is an incredibly personal and unique decision. I advise that you meet with an estate planning attorney to help you understand your options and to help you make the best decision for yourself and your family.
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