Our Centennial Estate Planning Law Firm Discusses the Process
Estate planning is a legal process where you designate who will receive your assets and handle your affairs after death or incapacitation. By using an estate plan, you can determine how your loved ones receive your assets. You can also assign a person to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf.
There are different estate planning mechanisms you could use to avoid probate court and ensure your loved ones receive your belongings. Below, we discuss steps people may take during the estate planning process.
Creating a Will and Trust
You can use a will to designate who you want to inherit your assets. Additionally, you can use a will to assign guardians to minor children. Pour-over wills can be used in conjunction with trust to help your family avoid probate or issues with inheritance.
Assets in a trust do not pass through probate court. For this reason, using a trust can make the estate planning process easier on your loved ones.
Below are some of the steps involved in creating a living trust in Colorado.
1.Taking inventory of your properties and assets. One of the first steps in the estate planning process is to take inventory of your belongings. This could include a home, vehicle, collectibles, or financial assets. After this step, you must determine the value of your assets.
2.Choosing your trustee and beneficiaries.
3.Creating and signing the trust document.
4.Transferring those properties and assets into the trust.
Creating Advanced Directives and Power of Attorney
Advance directives may give another party legal authority to make certain decisions on your behalf. Specifically, these documents can also specify your end-of-life wishes.
You could use an advance directive to stipulate which type of medical care you would like to receive if you suffer incapacitation. In addition, you could include instructions for providing or withholding certain types of treatment. For example, you could include a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive. This would stop someone from reviving you after your breathing and/or heart stop.
You could include a medical durable power of attorney in your advance directive to stipulate how you want medical decisions made on your behalf. In addition, you could include a living will, which would provide medical professionals with additional instructions for care if you can no longer communicate.
By using advance directives and a durable power of attorney, you make your medical and financial decisions known and legally binding. Although advance directives are usually associated with older people, we strongly recommend anyone over the age of 18 sets one up.
You can learn more about advance directives and powers of attorney on our website or call our estate planning law firm for a consultation.
We Can Help With the Estate Planning Process
What is the estate planning process? It depends on what you want to accomplish. However, it helps to have an attorney during the estate planning process. Our Centennial estate planning attorney can work with you to assign beneficiary designations, create a will and revocable trust, set up advance directives, and ensure your assets are properly protected and distributed. Additionally, we can help you update an existing estate plan.