People put a substantial amount of effort into planning for everyday expenses but don't take into account the need for estate planning. Colorado residents may make all the necessary arrangements for retirement but still leave gaps when it comes to taking care of loved ones after their passing.
Many people in Colorado have important gaps or errors in their estate planning that can be rectified through review and the creation of additional important documents. As people age, it becomes increasingly critical to not only develop a plan for the future of assets but also to put in place a framework to address key concerns about healthcare, medical treatment and finances in case of incapacity. Around 40 percent of all older Americans do not have documents in place that can help to protect them and their future in the case of a serious illness or death.
Estate plans are meant to help provide direction for when the creator passes away. It lets the loved ones who are left behind know who is getting what assets. In some cases, the estate plan will make the transfer of assets easier. There are some common mistakes that people make with their estate plans that can cause the plan to not be effective. Colorado residents should make sure they aren't making these mistakes.
Some people in Florida might wonder whether they should include their wishes for funeral arrangements in a will. The advantage of putting this in a will is that it can be enforced. The disadvantage is that reading over the will is generally not the first step people take following the death of a loved one. Once the family finds and reviews the will, the funeral may have already taken place.
The information age has provided Colorado residents with new ways to stay in touch with one another and manage their financial affairs, but tracking down passwords and other login data for myriad banking, social media and email accounts can be an arduous and frustrating experience for friends or family members when a loved one has passed away. Financial planners and estate planning attorneys often recommend keeping track of bank and retirement accounts on what are known as estate document locators, and a number of technology-driven solutions have been released that can help to ensure that this information is complete and accurate.
Many people in Colorado want to ensure that their loved ones and families will be taken care of after they're gone. With an adequate estate plan, this goal can be achieved. However, many Americans avoid estate planning, often due to confusion about the process or because of the unpleasant topics and emotions that can be stirred by considering one's own mortality. A 2016 survey claims that more than 64 percent of people throughout the country do not have a will.
Living trusts may be useful for people in Colorado in a number of ways. With a living trust, assets will not go through probate and will instead be passed directly to beneficiaries or will remain in the trust according to a person's instructions. A successor trustee may be able to manage the trust if a person is incapacitated. A power of attorney may make it easier for the trustee to step into this role.
Colorado residents should take time to review their estate plans or have them reviewed by an attorney who practices estate planning law. Estate plans that are not periodically reviewed may contain outdated information and not be effective as people may think.
As people grow older and go through major life events, these changes can often bring the thought of estate planning to the forefront. By creating a plan for what will happen with one's assets and property after death, a person can help to avoid excessive costs and pain to their family members and other loved ones as well as avoiding expensive probate fees after the fact.
Colorado residents who are creating an estate plan might want to think about whether or not they want to try to avoid probate but it is not always a clear cut choice. Probate makes an estate plan public, so someone who is concerned about privacy might want to use beneficiary designations, a living trust and other tools to keep matters private.