On April 25, 2014

Colorado individuals may exercise more control over their assets and other arrangements when they take a proactive step by establishing an estate plan. This often consists of several documents that work together to provide greater control over the person’s estate, finances and health.

Estate planning commonly starts with a last will and testament. This document allows a person to make important decisions regarding the disposition of their property. It also allows individuals to make provisions about what they prefer to happen to their children and pets. Without this document in place, the state of Colorado makes these important decisions through laws of intestacy. Because wills become public record through the probate process, confidential information should not be included in them, such as passwords for bank accounts. As important as a will is, it does not always take precedence over other documents. For example, a beneficiary designation form for a life insurance policy overrides any different instructions that are included in a will. These forms should be kept in conjunction with other estate planning documents.

Estate planning is also about being proactive for medical crises. If a person becomes incapacitated, a living will can provide directives regarding health care. Additionally, a health care power of attorney could provide another person with the legal right to make decisions regarding the health care treatment and information for another individual. These documents can be as broad or narrow as the person wants them to be.

Individuals who want more control over their finances in their final stage or in case of temporary incapacity may decide to create an estate plan. An attorney will be able to draw up the necessary documents that are created with the person’s particular situation in mind.

Source: MSN, “Estate-planning documents you need right now“, April 18, 2014

Categories: Estate Planning

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