Colorado residents who are creating an estate plan should also make sure they review the documents regularly and update them if necessary. Failing to do this can lead to other problems. For example, a North Dakota congresswoman has talked a great deal about how the federal estate tax hurt her family when her father was killed in a farming accident. However, a closer look at the documents shows that the issue was more one of not updating his will. Furthermore, his family did not take advantage of several opportunities that could have made the tax they had to pay less onerous.
Colorado is one of a number of states that have enacted a Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. This allows a person who is the fiduciary for the estate to have some access to the person's digital records and accounts. This is a complicated area that is not yet fully covered legally although this act goes some way toward addressing many issues.
Colorado residents may already be aware that estate planning can be used to make sure that assets are managed according to specific wishes. If individuals want to ensure that they leave behind a certain type of legacy, however, they should understand the principle behind legacy planning.
There are many reasons why a person in Colorado would not want to go through the probate process. Regardless of how large or small an estate is, there may be ways to help a person accomplish that goal. For instance, using a transferable on death (TOD) deed could turn homes into assets that don't have to go through probate.
With today's higher divorce rate, and the decline in so-called nuclear families, that has changed. It is completely common for people with children from previous marriages to marry partners who also have children from their previous marriages.
The estate plans of people in Colorado often include spouses as beneficiaries. A divorce filing, however, triggers the need for people to review the terms of their estate plans in light of the ending relationship. Sudden death or incapacity could cause an ex-spouse to receive distributions or even be in charge of someone's medical decisions.
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.
Many people remember Hugh Hefner for his Playboy enterprise and his fondness for pinups. However, it should also be noted that he had an excellent business sense when it came to planning his estate. Careful estate planning is important for anyone, even for Colorado residents who do not own a global enterprise or have an estate as large as Hefner's.
Many Colorado citizens may consider whether signing a power of attorney document is in their best interests, particularly as they age and accumulate wealth. A financial power of attorney grants an "agent" the authority to make financial decisions for the "principal". The principal can decide what types of financial decisions the agent is authorized to make on his or her behalf.
Many people living in Colorado will one day be asked to be the executor of an estate. While most people consider this an honor, it is also a huge responsibility. An executor is responsible for the total management of an estate, beginning with finding a will, notifying pertinent individuals, agencies and businesses of the death, and then ensuring that the deceased's wishes are carried out.