Estate Planning in Colorado
Our Colorado estate planning lawyers will work with you to identify your unique estate planning goals and implement those goals accordingly. At Brown Law Firm, we listen to our clients’ goals and objectives and tailor each client’s estate plan to the client’s specific needs, which may include avoiding probate, reducing taxes and/or protecting loved ones. We do not take a one-size-fits-all approach, so your estate plan will not be a set of generic forms. The lawyers at Brown Law Firm believe the “tax tail” should not wag the dog, meaning an estate plan does not need to be driven solely by tax considerations.
Comprehensive Estate Planning
In most instances, the attorneys at Brown Law Firm recommend that clients utilize a comprehensive estate plan to not only determine what happens with their assets at death, but also who will make their decisions if they become incapacitated.
A comprehensive estate plan includes a will and/or a revocable trust. A will is a document that specifies who will receive your assets, such as family, friends or charities (your beneficiaries), how your beneficiaries will receive your assets, such as outright or in trust, and who will handle your affairs after you pass away (your executor or in Colorado a personal representative). Depending on your circumstances, the lawyers at Brown Law Firm may recommend that you utilize a revocable trust as a will substitute for reasons such as avoiding probate, privacy and management of assets during incapacity.
A comprehensive estate plan also includes the ancillary documents listed below to ensure your wishes are carried out upon your incapacity:
- General Durable Power of Attorney (also known as a financial power of attorney): names an agent (usually a person) who can make financial decisions on your behalf during times of incapacity
- Medical Power of Attorney (also known as a health care power of attorney): names an agent (usually a person) who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself
- Living Will (also known as an advanced directive): a document that reflects your wishes regarding life sustaining procedures when you are certified to be at end of life.
- Declaration of Disposition of Last Remains: a document that states your wishes regarding burial, cremation and ceremonial arrangements.
These highly important documents address the management of assets and medical decision making in the event of incapacity and are an important component of a comprehensive estate plan.
Our Denver estate planning lawyers will ensure that your ancillary documents and your will and revocable trust flow seamlessly together. The final, but critical, component of a comprehensive estate plan at Brown Law Firm is our review of your assets so we can advise on re-titling your assets and updating your beneficiary designations to ensure that your assets and estate plan are integrated and your estate plan works as intended.
If you need assistance with estate planning in Colorado, contact our expert team at Brown Law Firm to start the conversation.