Estate Planning

Estate planning in Colorado

If something unexpected happened to you, would you be able to answer the following questions?
• Do you know what would happen to your assets?
• Do you know if your loved ones would be taken care of?
• Do you know if any of your assets could be lost to creditors, a divorce, federal estate taxes, or the high costs of long-term care?
If you’re not sure what would happen to your assets and loved ones in the event of death or incapacity, it’s time to find out.

How does anyone know if they need estate planning?

The answer is simple. Every single adult needs some type of estate planning. The real question is what kind of estate planning do you need. Estate planning is not about how much money you have, but rather it is meant to protect the things that you value during your life and for those who will care about you are gone. Proper estate planning ensures that what you have worked so hard to obtain during your life, gets to your loved ones, in the way that you want, and in the time that you want.

Confusion in estate planning often starts with the question of where to get it.

Many people tell us they have already taken steps to ensure their future by sitting down with their financial advisor, banker, or CPA. There are two aspects to estate planning, one legal and the other financial. Financial advisors, Certified Public Accountants, and other financial professionals are there to help you grow and manage your assets. However, they cannot assist you with creating and implementing your estate plan.

Proper estate planning is not about drafting a set of documents

proper estate plan takes into consideration your specific family dynamics, assets, and values, and ensures your plan will adapt to changes in the future. A proper estate plan considers how to protect your assets from creditors, accidental and professional liability issues, divorce, federal estate taxes, and the rising cost of long-term care costs.
A proper estate plan should consider whether and in what manner you should maintain control of your assets so you don’t lose them. An effective estate plan should provide sufficient instructions to others to guide them on how to carry out your wishes for your benefit and the benefit of the people you love. 
Additionally, an effective estate plan will identify not only who’s in control and who benefits, but when. If you become incapacitated, you will want to make sure your loved ones are taken care of in the manner you want. Once you die, you should also be able to identify who benefits and who controls your assets.

Don’t rely on the state’s plan to carry out your wishes

If you are an adult the State of Colorado already has a plan for you. However, it is highly unlikely that the state’s plan will coincide with how you will want to protect your assets for your loved ones. With the state’s plan, it is much easier for other parties, i.e. new spouses, or predators or creditors to attempt to go after your assets. The state’s plan will also not include any tax strategies to minimize or avoid federal estate taxes.

Should I complete my own estate plan without the help of a skilled estate planning attorney?

Most DIY plans are no plans at all. They consist of pre-made templates that insert your name and the names of your beneficiaries in the right boxes. These services create documents and are no plans at all. In fact, almost all DIY services will recommend that you consult with an estate planning attorney to review your documents.

We make it easy and affordable
to complete your estate Plan.

Protecting your assets and your loved ones is too important

Online tools like LegalZoom or RocketLawyer do not work because estate and elder law asset protection planning laws change often. Estate planning is important, but it’s not something that you should complete without the assistance of an estate planning attorney that focuses solely on this complicated area of the law. Contact Colorado Wills and Estates to find out how you can obtain the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you and your loved ones will be protected in the event of your incapacity or death.