On September 18, 2013

Colorado residents might be interested to hear that estate planning is not something that is only for the elderly or the wealthy. On the contrary, everyone needs to plan for what will happen to their estates, no matter what his or her age or financial status. Estate planning basically helps people make sure that their estates will be handled in the manner that they wish them to be if they ever become unable to do so themselves.

One important part of estate planning involves establishing an advance health care directive. This makes it so that individuals’ wishes concerning their health are carried out if they become incapacitated. People can also denote powers of attorney over their health care that would allow who they want to make decisions regarding their health care if they ever can’t do it themselves. People may also want to denote a durable power of attorney during their estate planning. A durable power of attorney would be able to make financial decisions for individuals if they become unable to do so themselves.

Of course, people should also make sure that their last wills and testaments are up-to-date. These are perhaps the most common types of estate planning documents. They denote how people want their assets to be divided up after their death. However, people should also ensure that any beneficiaries they have on accounts, vehicles, real estate and more are up-to-date as well, because beneficiaries on such documents will trump anything that is denoted in a last will and testament.

People might also want to consider drafting up living trusts for any assets that they want to be protected from probate. However, living trusts can be complex to draft and easily cost people a thousand dollars or more in legal fees. Probate attorneys may advise people as to each measure they should take to ensure that their estates are handled in the manner that they wish.

Source: Forbes, “Estate Planning For The Rest Of Us“, Liz Davidson, September 12, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning

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