Consider a Living Trust
A living trust or a revocable living trust can be more time-consuming and expensive than a will. The upside of a living trust, however, is that if you have it done correctly, your beneficiaries can avoid probate court. This can save a lot of time, money, and stress for your loved ones.
That said, you’ll still want a will as a backup to name an executor/personal representative, among other things.
Consider a Life Insurance Policy
If you have young children, own a house, or have significant Colorado estate taxes and debts, a life insurance policy may be a good idea. Life insurance can cover major debts, estate taxes, and even replace your income for your spouse in the event of your death.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for finances, or a general power of attorney, is a document that allows you to choose an individual responsible for making financial decisions and handling your property if you’re unable to do it on your own. The person you choose for this purpose is called your attorney-in-fact or agent (but doesn’t have to be an attorney).
Protect Your Children’s Property
If you have minor children who may be your beneficiaries, you should consider naming an adult to manage any property and money they may inherit. The adult may manage your assets until the children become of age and they’re able to make sound financial decisions.
Make Health Care Directives
Writing out your wishes for health care and medical treatment can protect you if you’ve become unable to make decisions for yourself. Health care directives include a power of attorney for health care and an advance directive (living will).
Name a Beneficiary to Avoid Delays
Unfortunately, deaths are costly not only emotionally but also financially. By naming a beneficiary on retirement plans, bank accounts, and other investments, you make the accounts automatically “payable on death” to your beneficiaries. That way, your funds can skip the probate process altogether. This can prevent your family from suffering undue burden while they’re already grieving.
Cover Funeral Expenses
Funerals can be expensive. Consider setting up a payable-on-death account at your bank and deposit funds to cater for your funeral and related expenses.
Protect Your Business
If you’re the sole proprietor of a business, make sure you have a succession plan. If you co-own a business with others, a buyout agreement may come in handy. You should discuss succession issues with an attorney.
Storage of Your Estate Planning Documents
You want to store all your estate planning documents in a safe and secure location. Your executor and/or attorney-in-fact may need to access the documents.
The estate planning process can be complicated, and there’s plenty to go over with your Colorado estate planning attorney.
Brestel Bucar, Ltd. is an experienced estate planning law firm, serving client needs throughout Colorado. We bring plenty of experience and a client-centered approach to each family we have the honor of serving. Call us today at 303-731-4402 or email us at [email protected] for more information.