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Denver Estate Planning Attorney

If you’re at all familiar with estate plans, you’ll know that these documents outline how your assets will be treated in the event of your death, and who will make your medical and financial decisions should you become incapacitated.

But that’s not all they do. A well-formed estate plan can also provide asset protection, reduce or even eliminate taxation, provide guidance and protection for heirs, and more.

It’s easy to put off estate planning until tomorrow or later in life, but unexpected events can occur at any time, and tomorrow might never come. When these events happen, having a well-thought-out and legally binding estate plan can make all the difference for you and your loved ones.

estate planning attorney denver

Speak with a Denver estate planning attorney at our firm, we’ll create a complete estate plan that can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but it will typically include the following: a will or trust, powers of attorney, and specifying your healthcare wishes with a living will.  

At Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., our team of Colorado estate planning attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients create comprehensive estate plans that fit their unique needs and goals to ensure that their plans will be carried out exactly as they intended. To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (303) 713-9147.

Giving you the power to plan for your future

No matter your age, stage in life, or health status, now is the time to start thinking about your estate plan. 

When a person dies without a will in place (intestate), their assets are subject to Colorado’s probate laws, which include a very specific set of instructions, which may not be in accordance with the decedent’s wishes which could leave their loved ones frustrated, angry, and disappointed. This process is often more complicated and more expensive for their heirs than if they had taken the time to create a will. 

In contrast, when a person dies with a will in place, their assets are distributed according to the wishes laid out in that document. This allows them to have control over what will happen to their hard-earned assets and have peace of mind for their loved ones after they’ve passed.

Estate plans aren’t only for the wealthy

A good Denver estate planning attorney would tell you that if you don’t have significant assets, you should still consider creating an estate plan. For example, if you have minor children, you should name a guardian who will care for them in the event of your death. You might want certain sentimental items to go to specific family members or friends, something that might not be achieved if not for a will. You might have specific wishes for your medical care if you’re no longer able to make those decisions. 

Trusts, health care directives, assisted living plans, and powers of attorney are all part of estate planning and are all customizable to fit your specific needs. Working with our estate planning lawyers will help ensure that you choose the right tools for your unique circumstances.

Who could benefit the most from a solid estate plan?

While anyone can benefit from having an estate plan, there are certain groups of people who might need one most pertinently. If any of the following describes you, don’t wait to consult with a Colorado estate planning attorney.

Parents of minor children or children with special needs

If you have children under 18 years of age, an estate plan can help you prepare for the worst-case scenario by naming a legal guardian to care for them in the event of your death. You can also use an estate plan to establish a trust which will financially provide for your children, including releasing funds at certain ages or milestones. 

 estate planning lawyer in Denver can keep your family having a good time

People with substantial assets

From savings and investments to real estate and family heirlooms, your assets comprise your estate. Without an estate plan, the fate of your assets will be at the mercy of the court system and may be fought over amongst your family. An estate plan can save your heirs needless bickering and costs and you’ll decide exactly how your assets will be distributed when you die.

People with disabilities

Having a disability can present unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. For example, you might need to establish a trust to ensure that you continue to receive government benefits. 

You might also need to appoint someone to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf if your disability leaves you incapacitated. An estate plan can help you address these challenges and make sure that you are taken care of both now and in the future.

Seniors

Your estate plan should evolve with you as you age. This may include updating your will to reflect changes in your asset base, changing your health care directives, or setting up a trust to help you qualify for long-term care benefits. Whether you have an existing estate plan or are just getting started, our experienced estate planning lawyers can help you make sure that your plan meets your current needs.

Documents that can help you and your family achieve your goals

Whatever your situation, having a comprehensive estate plan in place helps reduce financial and familial risk in the future. A Denver estate planning attorney from our firm would make sure your complete estate plan includes:

  • Will or trust
  • Powers of attorney or living will
  • Deposition of final remains
  • Assets and contact lists
  • Property memos
  • And more, depending on your specific needs.

The compassionate team of lawyers at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. have the know-how to help you navigate the estate planning process with ease.

When you work with a reputable estate attorney in Denver, you can be confident that your documents will be prepared based on your wishes and in compliance with Colorado law. 

Assisted living and long-term care plans

If you’re concerned about the cost of long-term care, we can help you develop an assisted living plan, also known as a long-term care plan, which can help ensure that you can afford the care you need without depleting your life savings. This can involve anything from the purchase of long-term care insurance to the creation of a trust to pay for your care.

estate planning lawyer in Denver can help you take care of the elderly members of your family

Medicaid and disability planning

The cost of care for disabled people can be significant, and conventional health insurance often doesn’t cover these costs. Medicaid can help you pay for care should the need arise, but it has strict eligibility requirements, so proactive planning is essential. Our attorneys can help you prepare for the possibility of disability and ensure that you’ll be able to access the care that you might need.

Powers of attorney

You can establish either a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, or both, which will give another person the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. This can be helpful if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions independently. For example, if you are hospitalized and unable to communicate, a power of attorney can give your spouse the authority to make decisions regarding your medical care.

Advanced healthcare directives

An advanced healthcare directive is a document that allows you to express your wishes regarding your medical care in the event that you’re unable to communicate them yourself. This can include everything regarding your preferences for end-of-life care, being resuscitated, or whether or not you want your organs donated.

Life insurance trusts

A life insurance trust is created for the purpose of owning a life insurance policy but with extra potential benefits, such as keeping the policy proceeds out of your estate for tax purposes and to better control how the proceeds are used.

Revocable and irrevocable trusts

A trust is a legal entity that can own property and assets on your behalf. A revocable trust can be modified or dissolved at any time as long as you are alive and competent. An irrevocable trust, on the other hand, cannot be modified or dissolved once it has been created.

Wills and testamentary trusts

A will is a document that describes how you would like your property and assets to be distributed when you die. A testamentary trust is a trust that’s created by a will and can be used to provide for minor children or disabled adults, or to control how your assets are distributed after your death.

Asset protection plans

If you’re concerned about the possibility of losing your assets to creditors or lawsuits, our asset protection planning services can help you shield your assets from unexpected legal claims while still allowing you to access them if you need them.

Begin the path to peace of mind

The future is impossible to predict, but proper estate planning can help you be prepared for whatever might come your way. 

A Denver estate planning attorney working for Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., takes a simple approach: we take the time to understand your goals, values, and concerns so build an estate plan that works for you now and that evolves with you as you age, always keeping you one step ahead.

If you’re ready to move into your future with the peace of mind that you and your estate will be handled appropriately should an unfortunate situation arise, contact the Colorado estate planning attorneys today. To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call at (303) 713-9147. We look forward to serving you.

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Common Probate Questions

What is probate in Colorado?
Probate in Colorado is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets are distributed and their debts are paid under court supervision.
When is probate necessary in Colorado?
Probate is typically required when a person dies with assets solely in their name, and those assets exceed a certain value, or there’s any real estate. The threshold amount changes over time, so checking the current limits is essential.
How do I start the probate process in Colorado?
To initiate probate in Colorado, you need to determine if formal probate is required, and then file an Application or a Petition (as well as the necessary ancillary documents) with the appropriate court, depending on the circumstances.
What assets are subject to probate in Colorado?
Generally, assets that are solely owned by the deceased, such as real estate, bank accounts, and personal property, are subject to probate. Jointly owned assets with rights of survivorship, assets held in a trust, and assets with designated beneficiaries typically bypass probate.
How long does the probate process take in Colorado?
The duration of probate in Colorado can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that may arise. Often it takes a year or more to complete.
What are the costs associated with probate in Colorado?
Probate costs in Colorado can include court fees, attorney fees, personal representative fees, and other administrative expenses. These costs can vary based on the size and complexity of the estate.
Can I avoid probate in Colorado?
Yes, there are strategies to avoid probate in Colorado, such as creating a revocable living trust, using beneficiary designations on assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts, and jointly owning property with rights of survivorship.
What are the rights and responsibilities of a personal representative in Colorado?
The personal representative (executor or administrator) is responsible for managing the estate, paying certain debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the law and the deceased person’s will (if one exists).
How are disputes handled in Colorado probate cases?
Disputes in Colorado probate cases can be resolved through mediation, negotiation, or litigation in court if necessary. Common disputes may involve the validity of the will, claims by creditors, or disagreements among beneficiaries.
Is estate tax a concern in Colorado probate?

Colorado does not have a state-level estate tax, but federal estate tax may apply to larger estates. It’s important to consider federal tax implications when dealing with an estate.

Is estate tax a concern in Colorado probate?

Colorado does not have a state-level estate tax, but federal estate tax may apply to larger estates. It’s important to consider federal tax implications when dealing with an estate.
 It’s essential to consult with an attorney or legal professional experienced in Colorado probate law to get accurate and up-to-date information and guidance on your probate matter.

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