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An estate plan is important to protect the welfare of your loved ones and have a say in how your assets are distributed upon your death. However, heirs, relatives, beneficiaries, and fiduciaries may challenge the validity of a will or trust, potentially leading to costly and emotional legal battles.
At Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., we understand that no two individuals have the same needs and preferences when it comes to estate plans. With this in mind, we are dedicated to providing custom legal solutions tailored to your circumstances. Our experienced Colorado probate lawyers provide comprehensive services for drafting wills and trusts, contesting existing documents, and more.
To learn more about how we can help you draft or update a complete estate plan or if you’re contesting a loved one’s will or trust, contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Denver will and trust contests attorney by calling (303) 713-9147.
Trusts help manage and distribute your assets after you pass away. It’s an arrangement where a trustee holds legal title to property for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. The trust sets out who will manage and distribute the assets, as well as how and when they’ll be distributed.
Many types of trusts are available–your Denver will and trust contests attorney at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. will help you determine which one is right for you based on your circumstances.
Revocable living trusts are a popular option among many individuals as they give you the flexibility to update the terms of the trust at any time and remain in control of the assets.
On the other hand, an irrevocable trust gives all control of the assets to the trustee and allows you to take advantage of certain tax benefits and asset protection benefits.
Other types of trusts you may want to discuss with your Colorado probate attorney include:
Many other options are available, and your Denver will and trust contests attorney can help you evaluate the types of trusts that may be suitable for your situation.
Unlike a will, a trust isn’t required to go through probate, which will save your beneficiaries a lot of emotional strife and costs. However, trusts can be contested, which is another reason why you should enlist the help of an experienced Denver will and trust contests attorney.
The compassionate team at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. is ready to help. Call now to learn more.
If you believe that your loved one’s wishes haven’t been properly reflected in their will or trust, or if you suspect that the document is invalid, that it was signed under duress or coercion, or that it isn’t being administered properly, you may want to contest it in court. Even if you have a valid claim, successfully contesting a will is no easy feat.
Generally, only certain parties are allowed to contest a will or trust in court. These include “interested persons” such as:
By contesting the will or trust, these parties are seeking to challenge the validity of the document itself. They may also seek to have the document interpreted in a different way or for it to be modified or revoked altogether.
In Colorado, a will or trust may be contested on several grounds, one of which is lack of capacity. This means that the testator (the person who made the will) was not of sound mind when they signed it.
For example, if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or weren’t lucid due to a medical condition, the will may be invalid. Proving a lack of capacity can be difficult, so you will need an experienced Colorado probate attorney to help build and present your case.
Other disputes may arise over interpretation or fraud. In some cases, a trust or will may contain ambiguities or errors in drafting, which may lead to a dispute over the intended meaning.
When deciding whether to contest a will or trust, time is of the essence. We recommend that you discuss your options with an attorney as soon as possible. If your attorney determines that you have a valid claim, they can help you begin the process.
There’s no guarantee that your will or trust won’t be challenged, but with proper preparation, it’s possible to reduce those chances. The best way to avoid a will or trust contest is to work with an experienced Denver will and trust contests attorney who will ensure that your documents are accurate, up-to-date, and legally valid and that the language in your will or trust is clear, unambiguous, and free from inconsistencies.
For wills, it’s important to make sure that all of the necessary formalities have been followed and that any changes or modifications are properly documented. This includes making sure that two uninterested witnesses are present when the will or its amendment is executed and that it’s properly notarized.
If you are establishing a trust, you should make sure that it’s properly funded and that all assets are transferred to the trust in a timely manner. Your trust should have a reliable trustee with specifically outlined duties, responsibilities, and powers. All assets should be accounted for and regularly reviewed to ensure that the trust is being properly managed.
Although you don’t need to share your will or trust documents with anyone, make sure they’re kept in a secure place where they can’t be damaged (such as by a flood or fire) and that your executor or trustee knows where they are and how to access them when the time comes.
A will is the cornerstone of any estate plan. While the decision to contest a will is up to your beneficiaries, properly drafted documents and supporting evidence can provide you with peace of mind that you’ve taken the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of a dispute. Although all wills must go through probate in Colorado, if the will is legally sound, the probate process will be much quicker and less expensive.
After your will has been created, it’s important to consider how family dynamics and life might change things, including the death of persons listed in your will, or a significant change in your estate such as the selling or purchase of a property. Our Denver will and trust contests attorney can help you review and update your estate plan as needed over the years to ensure that your wishes are reflected in your will.
It’s a common misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy. While having a substantial amount of assets can certainly complicate matters, we all have financial responsibilities, regardless of the size of the estate.
Making sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes is one of the most impactful things you can do for yourself and your loved ones right now. Everyone should have a comprehensive, legally binding estate plan to secure their financial future before it’s too late.
Estate planning doesn’t only involve preparing for death, but it also includes planning for the possibility of your mental incapacity. For example, you need to appoint someone who can make decisions, medical or otherwise, on your behalf if you become incapacitated due to an illness or accident and are unable to make decisions for yourself.
By establishing a durable power of attorney and an advance directive, you can ensure that the person of your choice will be authorized to act on your behalf in these matters and that they will respect your wishes regarding medical treatment, end-of-life decisions, and more, all which will be stated on those documents.
Trusts can also be used to provide for individuals in the event of mental incapacity. For example, a trust can be set up with a designated trustee and specific instructions for how the assets should be managed or distributed if you become unable to manage them independently.
While nobody likes to contemplate these possibilities, proper estate planning can help ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of, regardless of what the future holds.
At Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., we understand that wills and trusts are personal matters which is why we take great care to handle your case with the utmost respect and confidentiality. We strive to provide personalized and compassionate legal representation that you can count on.
If you’re in need of a Colorado probate lawyer, we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation by calling (303) 713-9147 or by completing our online form. Together, we can pave the way for a secure future.