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Estate plans are for more than just the rich

Colorado residents might not think that they need a will if they don't have much money or a lot of assets. What they and others may not understand is that a will is designed to help survivors settle an estate regardless of its size. As a general rule, anyone who owns anything has an estate that will need to be settled after passing on.

A will could be beneficial because it covers assets that may not be transferred by a beneficiary designation or other means. Although wills cannot avoid probate, they offer a guide as to how a person wishes to handle assets and other issues that could arise. In many cases, it may be a good idea for a person to create a will as soon as he or she reaches the age of majority.

This may allow parents or other trusted individuals to make medical or financial decisions on behalf of someone who is now an adult. The document might need to be revised or updated as a person gets married, has kids or experiences other life events. As the estate holder ages, it may be worthwhile to revisit the document as he or she accumulates assets. In some cases, a living trust in addition to a will could be beneficial for older folks.

There may never be a bad time to start the estate planning process as almost anyone can benefit from it. Regardless of the type of assets a person may have, it might be necessary to determine heirs. In addition, an estate plan could establish durable powers of attorney as well as living trusts. A lawyer could help with the planning process.

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