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Denver wills attorney

A will forms the foundation of estate planning for many people. If you do not yet have a will or estate plan, call Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. at (303) 713-9147. An experienced Denver wills attorney at our firm can draft a basic will and accompanying documents at a reasonable price.

denver wills attorney

Why should I work with a lawyer? Can’t I write my own will?

While individuals can draft their own will, the process involves more than just jotting down their wishes on paper. Working with Denver wills attorneys can provide invaluable legal counsel, ensuring that your will is legally sound and accurately represents your wishes for your estate after your passing.

Navigating the complexities of wills and estates

One of the major reasons to hire a Denver wills lawyer is the complexity of the laws surrounding wills and estates. Each state has its own specific set of laws and regulations regarding wills and a professional Denver wills attorney will be well-versed in these laws.

They can guide you through the complexities of estate planning, considering potential tax implications and helping minimize the risk of future legal disputes amongst your beneficiaries.

Ensuring the legal validity of your will

There are certain legal requirements for a will to be valid. For instance, it must be signed by the person making the will (the testator) and witnessed by two other individuals. A wills attorney in Denver can ensure these requirements are met, reducing the risk of your will being contested or invalidated. An ambiguously worded clause in your will could cause a family rift, which could be avoided with the professional help of a Denver wills attorney.

Preparing for contingencies

A Denver will attorney can also help you to include various contingencies in your will, such as what should happen if a beneficiary predeceases you. A person might not think to include such details, but Colorado Estate Matters can provide the guidance you need.

Strategizing for complex financial situations

If your financial situation is complex and involves business ownership or significant assets, a Denver wills attorney can help you strategize how to best distribute your assets. They can guide you in establishing trusts for your children or making provisions for a disabled loved one.

Investing in peace of mind

Creating a will can be complex and fraught with potential pitfalls. While you certainly can write your own will, the assistance of a lawyer for wills in Denver can help ensure that your will is legally valid, that your wishes are clearly expressed, and that potential disputes or legal issues are minimized or avoided.

Consider hiring a Denver wills attorney as an investment in the peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Knowing that your will is professionally drafted can provide reassurance that your final wishes will be honored as you intended.

Why work with Colorado Estate Matters?

Our Denver estate planning attorneys have more than a decade of experience handling all estate law matters and innovative approaches to meet your needs and objectives. Attorney Justin W. Blow can assist you on contested wills, probate, and issues regarding common law spouses.

We’re also proud to offer a free initial consultation to prospective and current clients.

What is a will?

A Last Will and Testament is often known as a will.  It is a legally binding document that dictates your desires regarding your property and family after your death. It may refer to other documents and processes required to bring those desires into effect. Your will describes the distribution of your assets among your heirs. If you have minor children, you can name their guardians in the event of your death in your will.

Who needs a will and testament?

A will and testament is essential for distributing your assets according to your wishes after your death. Here are groups of people who particularly need one:

  • Parents: To appoint a guardian for minor children.
  • Married couples: To ensure assets go to the spouse or as desired.
  • Single adults: To prevent state-determined asset distribution.
  • Business owners: To manage business transition upon death.
  • People with significant assets: To direct asset distribution.
  • Individuals with specific goals: To ensure specific wishes are carried out.
  • People in non-traditional relationships: To allow partners or friends to inherit.
  • Individuals with pets: To designate and provide for pet caregivers.
  • People who value privacy: To simplify and privatize the probate process.
  • Elderly Individuals: To ensure wishes are known and followed as health risks increase.

Always seek legal guidance when creating a will to ensure it is valid and accurately reflects your wishes.

How do wills differ from trusts?

A will and a revocable living trust will serve some similar purposes. They both allow you to name beneficiaries for your property and assets, which can be revised in the long run.

Additionally, there are important differences between the two types of estate planning documents, including the following:

  • A will is used to convey property in your name only at the time of your death. A will cannot be used to convey property that is held in joint tenancy or in a living trust. A revocable living trust covers any and all property that has been transferred into the trust.
  • A will passes through probate, a process through which the probate court ensures the will is valid and oversees the distribution of assets. A trust passes outside of probate, without the involvement of the court.
  • A will becomes part of the public record, while a trust can remain private.
  • A will allows you to name a guardian for your children.  You cannot name a guardian for your children in a living trust.
  • Wills and living trusts both allow you to account for advancements in inheritances and to forgive debts owed to you by others.

Why should I plan now?

Estate planning, including creating a will, should not be delayed due to life’s unpredictability. Having a will in place protects your loved ones from disputes, outlines asset distribution, and, if you have minor children, ensures you can appoint a trustworthy guardian.

Planning ahead provides both efficiency and cost reduction, helping your heirs avoid a prolonged and costly probate process. Additionally, early planning allows for effective tax strategies, granting you peace of mind knowing your affairs are orderly and your wishes will be respected.

Denver wills attorney

What other documents do I need with a will?

If your attorney determines that a will should be used for your estate planning, you will also need the following:

  • Powers of attorney: Unexpected accidents and illness can leave people temporarily or permanently incapable of managing their own affairs. A power of attorney designates who will make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
  • Living will:  A living will is known as your advanced medical directive. In Colorado, a Declaration as to Medical or Surgical Treatment is also known as your living will. A living will is an instrument that allows you to make your wishes known to medical providers and family members, taking the burden off your family, about the treatment you would want to receive if you were ever in a terminal, vegetative state.

What are some things you should never put in a will?

A will’s main purpose is to legally state what you’d like to leave behind to beneficiaries.  There are things you should not leave in a will, such as:

ve minor or disabled beneficiaries, beneficiary designations specified with the company holding your retirement plan are typically the best way to handle retirement plans.  However, if you have minor or disabled beneficiaries, your will or living trust may be the best way to handle distributions of retirement plans upon your passing.  You will want to make sure your beneficiary designations correctly refer to your estate or living trust in that case.

Other things that are not legally enforceable in a will

  • A devise (gift) of an asset that already has a designated beneficiary.
  • A devise of property held in joint tenancy with one or more other owners.
  • A devise that violates public policy.
  • A devise that contradicts an operating agreement, such as, in the case of ownership of a business or a portion of a business.
  • Any provision that subverts the rights of creditors.
  • Any provision that violates a contractual obligation.
  • Providing funds to any illegal activities.

What is the difference between power of attorney vs. executor of a will?

A power of attorney (POA) and an executor of a will serve distinct roles in managing a person’s affairs, primarily differentiated by the timing and nature of their duties.

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a chosen person, often referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact, the authority to act on behalf of the person who creates the document (the principal) while they are alive. This authority can encompass a wide range of actions, including managing financial affairs, making health care decisions, or signing legal documents and it may be effective immediately or only when the principal becomes incapacitated.

An executor is a person appointed in a person’s will to administer their estate after their death. The executor’s responsibilities include collecting the deceased’s assets, paying off any debts or taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will.

Importantly, an executor has no authority until the death of the person who made the will. A Denver estate attorney can explain this in greater detail.

Ready to pave the way to a stable future? We’re here to help.

We take a comprehensive, knowledgeable approach to estate planning at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. Contact our Denver wills attorney today at (303) 713-9147 to speak with a Denver will lawyer who will provide legal guidance in creating a will and estate plan to best suit your needs.

Additional resources

Want to learn more about wills and estate planning? Check out these related articles:

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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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