In some cases, estate planning for Colorado residents may not be as straightforward as deciding to whom assets will be left. It may be necessary to consider whether beneficiaries have creditor issues that will affect their ability to inherit property.
Some people in Colorado might avoid creating an estate plan because they don't want to address mortality or feel that they don't need a will. However, there are a number of different aspects to estate planning. It's not just about what happens to a person's assets after death. Estate planning also deals with issues such as end-of-life care. An estate plan can help family members by making a testator's wishes clear.
Colorado business owners and others throughout the country may benefit from including their companies in their estate plan. For instance, thinking about an estate plan may make it easier to create a succession plan. This may include training a new generation of leaders or creating a manager role that is separate from the new owner. Succession planning may also mean bringing in outsiders to help run the business.
Everyone needs an estate plan, but many Colorado residents probably don't have one. Statistics indicate that more than half of all Americans don't have wills, which are the most basic of estate planning documents.
Many people in Colorado may lack important estate planning documents. One survey has found that about half of all Americans do not have a basic estate plan. One reason for this may be that some people believe estate planning is only necessary for the wealthy. For Millennials in particular, making an estate plan might seem low on the priority list. However, estate planning is important for people of all ages and income levels.
Bitcoins are assets that may be passed to another person when the original Colorado owner passes away. However, this assumes that the original owner left instructions as to how the bitcoins could be accessed. In most cases, an individual uses a private key to access an account or make a transaction. Without the key, the coins could be lost forever.
Making an estate plan is the type of activity that some people in Colorado might prefer to put off. However, the problem with this is that it can be put off until it is too late. While many people may think of an estate plan as deciding who will get a person's assets, it is also important to plan in case a person becomes incapacitated.
In December 2017, Congress passed a new tax bill that may affect estate planning for some people in Colorado. Even those whose estates are unaffected by the tax bill may want to review their estate plan to make sure it is still effective based on current tax law and any other changes. This could include not just changes in a person's life or assets but changes in relationships with beneficiaries or in the lives of beneficiaries.
In 2018, the federal estate tax exemption will be $5.6 million for an individual. An estate worth more than that will need to file a return with the IRS. Therefore, that number may be the baseline when it comes to estate tax planning. However, those who are under that threshold may still benefit from having an estate plan. Without one, an individual may have less control over where his or her assets go after death.
People in Colorado who are creating an estate plan must also pay attention to beneficiary designations. It can be easy to forget about these. One woman, who is a financial professional, did not realize until she transferred an IRA to another investment company that she had neglected to change the beneficiary on the account when it would have been prudent to do so.