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When you are getting ready to sit down and plan your estate, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are many different elements that need to go into strong estate plans. And before you sign documents that you do not understand, it is important that you carefully consider all of the different components of a well-crafted estate plan.
To get started on yours, reach out to an experienced Golden estate planning attorney at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. Schedule your free consultation when you call our office at (303) 713-9147 or contact us online.
There are many different reasons why it is important to start planning your estate today. Several elements go into well-crafted estate plans. If you want to be sure that your wishes are observed after you pass away, it is important that you make sure that they are accurately and thoroughly documented.
Having estate plans can also help protect your family from dealing with estate taxation after your death. When they are already mourning your loss, avoiding these types of frustrations can save them a considerable amount of stress.
It is also important to draw up your estate plans to prevent the likelihood of family disputes after your death. It is not uncommon for families to disagree with how property and assets are distributed after a family member passes away. But when you carefully explain your wishes in your estate plans, the opportunity for contests or disputes can be dramatically reduced.
Everyone needs an estate plan, not just wealthy people. An estate plan isn’t just deciding which relative receives which of your assets. Estate plans also protect you if you’re in an accident and can’t make your healthcare wishes known or can assign the right guardian for minor children.
Even if your possessions are few, you still benefit from estate planning. Your heirs pay less estate tax. You can ensure that a reckless spender doesn’t squander their inheritance. Or, you can allocate assets to provide a steady income for a loved one with limited means.
Some families have special situations that require specialized estate planning tailored to an unusual or complex situation. Our team of Golden estate planning attorneys advises you of protections that best suit your family circumstances and financial goals.
If both a child’s parents pass away before the child turns 18, the Golden probate courts appoint a guardian unless the parents have a legal document naming a particular individual or individuals as guardians. So, parents of a child with special needs should consider carefully who will make financial and healthcare decisions on behalf of their child. Even if your child does not have special needs, they still need a guardian; without estate planning, the decision is out of your control.
Families with a special needs child can establish a Special Needs Trust (SNT). SNTs provide supplemental income for children and adults with special needs. They’re set up to augment other government benefits the person with special needs receives without jeopardizing their benefits eligibility.
Unless the amount you’re leaving to a loved one with special needs is substantial, then regular trusts might not benefit the person with special needs, as that inheritance could potentially be counted as income by the IRS, Medicaid, and other government programs the person with special needs may participate in.
Estates valued over $12.92 million are subject to federal estate taxes. Although this may sound like a lot of money, once you realize that an estate contains real estate and land, fine jewelry and watches, vehicles, and even expensive power tools and collectibles, you’d be surprised how quickly assets add up.
Estate planning helps avoid excessive taxes, leaving more for your heirs. Establishing trusts removes certain assets from the estate into a separate financial entity, therefore lowering its taxable value.
Trusts aren’t the only form of legal protection for your assets. Depending on the composition of your portfolio and other assets, your Golden estate tax attorney can draft legal protections to fulfill your financial goals, protect and provide for your family, and preserve the bulk of your estate from taxation.
Estate planning for people with disabilities focuses on preserving benefits eligibility and qualifying for healthcare benefits.
For example, say you were injured in an accident and permanently disabled. You received a settlement from the accident, which is intended to cover your medical care and provide income for you. Estate planning protects your settlement or other considerations you receive. While personal injury settlements are not considered taxable income by either the IRS or the state of Colorado, some tax implications from a settlement could apply in your situation.
If you received punitive damages, that portion of your settlement is subject to taxation. Or, if you deducted part of your medical bills from a previous year’s tax return, then some of the settlement money could be taxed to account for this.
Your Golden estate planning attorney can help you structure your assets or create trusts to maintain your benefits eligibility and provide a steady income from any settlement you receive to help pay for ongoing personal and medical care needs.
Once you pass age 62, you can start collecting Social Security benefits, and once you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare. However, waiting to apply for Social Security may be more advantageous, depending on whether you’re still working and other financial considerations.
Estate planning for seniors isn’t just writing wills. It’s also providing specific advice to help them maximize their retirement benefits and ensure that they have steady income later in life.
Trust a Golden estate planning attorney from Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. to draft the right legal protections for your financial goals and to protect the people you love.
A will distributes your assets after you pass away and ensure your wishes are honored. You can choose who benefits from your estate; otherwise, all your assets are distributed per Colorado inheritance laws.
A trust contains assets or income owned by a third party (the trust, administered by a trustee) that benefits another, the trust’s beneficiary. It can protect assets from being unwisely spent or provide for specific situations, like college or a first home.
Living wills and powers of attorney protect you if you become incapacitated. A living will contains your healthcare preferences, while a power of attorney gives someone you trust the authority to make financial or healthcare decisions on your behalf.
These protections state your wishes for burial, cremation, or other disposition of your remains, such as donating your body to science.
Preparing an inventory of all your assets makes probating your estate go much faster, as the estate administrator will use your lists to identify everything that comprises your estate.
Contact lists include your family members, financial advisors, insurance agents, creditors, business partners, and your Golden estate planning attorney in Colorado. Your estate administrator uses these to notify interested parties of your passing and address business and financial matters.
Personal property memorandums leave a specific piece of property to someone in your will. These are usually more sentimental items instead of valuable items.
Your financial situation may require other types of estate planning protections, such as preserving a family home for a spouse, a “pour-over will,” or a living trust. Our first step is getting to know you and identifying your goals. We then plan for different eventualities and ensure you have a firm, legal, financial, and estate plan for each.
If you want to do your part to protect your family after your passing, the best way you can do so is by formulating a strong estate plan. Work with a dedicated estate planning attorney from Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. to get started on yours as soon as today.
Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free case reviews to residents in Golden and surrounding towns. Take advantage of this opportunity today. Fill out our online contact form or give our office a call at (303) 713-9147.