When people in Colorado think of estate planning, they may think of an elderly person dictating their last will and testament on their death bed. However, estate planning is critically important to complete early on in life. First, sadly, no one is guaranteed old age, so it is best to be prepared early. Second, estate planning encompasses aspects beyond simply deciding who should inherit your assets. It can address your medical and financial care should you become incapacitated during your lifetime. Estate planning is necessary for people of any age and of any wealth.
Of course, people want the estate planning process to run smoothly. They want to ensure their family understands and respects their wishes. And, through estate planning a person can avoid the complex probate process, which can cost a person's loved ones a lot in time and money.
The will can form the basis of an estate plan. It designates who is to inherit which of your assets. Trusts can be useful if a person wants a loved one with special needs to inherit or if a person wants more control over how a gift is used. Advance medical directives lay out what end-of-life care one wants. Finally, durable medical and financial powers of attorney designate a person to act on your behalf in these areas should you become incapacitated.
At our firm, we understand that our clients want to protect their family members from unnecessary burdens. We believe that the right estate plan can be established in a way that allows a person to maximize their bequests to their heirs. However, estate planning can be complex, so it can help to have legal advice. Our estate planning webpage may be a good starting point for those who want more information on this topic.