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Estate planning is not just about figuring out what will happen to your assets after you pass. It is also about setting up protections for you and your loved ones. In fact, a comprehensive, effective estate plan can save a significant amount of stress, grief and money in the future.
As you start to develop an estate plan, think about the basics below. Then, contact us for help taking the next steps to formalize your plan so that you can achieve your estate planning goals.
Do you have minor children you want to make sure are protected in the future? Or do you have loved ones with special needs? Maybe you are more concerned about helping your loved ones minimize their future probate obligations?
Whatever your goals may be for your estate plan, pinpointing them upfront is a good move because it can help you figure out the additional features you may need to put in place, aside from some of the basics.
A will is fundamental to estate planning and is typically the best place to start officially putting down your plans and wishes for future.
Here, we want to point out that wills are central to estate planning basics. Your will does not have to be basic (or too complicated). In other words, your will can be as detailed or simple as you would like. The key here is to understand what steps need to be taken to authorize your will and ensure that it is legally binding moving forward.
Another essential component of an estate plan is the powers of attorney. Powers of attorney like wills can be customized to be as detailed, broad and/or limited as you need and want. When it comes to powers of attorney, it is generally advised that people set up a:
Not having powers of attorney can lead to the court appointing someone to make these decisions on your behalf in the event of an accident or incapacitation. This can compromise people’s interest and/or welfare when someone they would not have chosen ends up with this power or authority.
Additionally, at this stage, figure out whether you need to develop trusts or additional estate planning features. This is where an experienced attorney can be extremely helpful in preventing you from overlook anything. Not only that, but also an attorney can give you that legal advice that you need to have a successful estate plan.
Once you are satisfied that you have a comprehensive estate plan in place, make sure you set up a schedule for reviewing the plan and updating it as needed. A lot of people make the mistake of not updating their wills and entire estate planning periodically, and this can lead them to not have the protections in place they believe they may have especially if or when major life changes occur. When you have major changes in your life, or even when you lose a person you had appointed as your personal representative or trustee, this is when you should revise your will or living trust.
Scheduling a free estate planning consultation is the first step to developing your estate plan. During your consultation our attorney will get to know you, and how you would like things carried out when you pass. Our experienced attorneys will give you the best option for you, as well as for your family. We try to make the process as easy as possible when developing the right estate plan for you.
We can discuss your estate planning needs and different options during our consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 713-9147 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.
From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village, Englewood, Centennial, Wheat Ridge, Golden and Arvada.