What Makes Estate Planning So Important That I Need to Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?
None of us can live forever. Leaving behind a will and an estate plan when you are gone can easily and painlessly identify the family members, friends, and other loved ones that you’ve decided you want to receive your money or property. Proper estate planning can also make sure that all your property will be transferred to those people that you have identified as quickly as possible. A well-crafted estate plan can minimize the amount of taxes that will ultimately have to be paid out of your estate in order for your property to pass on.
Estate planning can avoid the very significant time and cost that is associated with the probate process and can also allow you to decide the types of medical care you wish to receive, should you become unable to make those wishes known in the moment. A will and estate plan is also a way for you to define the type of funeral arrangements you would prefer and how those expenses should be paid for.
Understanding and deciding on which estate plan options are ideal for you can be a very intimidating undertaking. You will need to take the time to find an experienced estate planning attorney in the Colorado Springs, CO area to advise you on this process. At the very least, you would be wise to consult with an attorney before making any major or legally binding decisions about what you want to happen to your money and possessions when you are gone.
Essential Estate Planning Tips as You Age
The law throughout the United States stands that you will become an official, legal adult as soon as you turn 18 years of age; you are now in charge of your own future. Your parents or guardians can no longer make any decisions for you regarding your healthcare or your finances. The next step in young adulthood should be to find an estate planning attorney and begin crafting the first building blocks of your estate plan. While it is disturbing to think about at such a young age, if you were to suffer an untimely death or became incapacitated, you would want your healthcare and financial decisions to be preserved. In order to protect those important decisions, you need to draft a healthcare directive and powers of attorney.
A healthcare directive is what will make known the choices that you would like to make regarding your own healthcare, should you become incapacitated. Powers of attorney are the documents needed for you to name a specific person who will be allowed to make decisions for you, if you are to become unable to make your wishes known. A financial power of attorney is needed to allow financial decisions and a healthcare power of attorney is needed for healthcare decisions. Once these documents are in place, you are ready to move on to the next phase of your life to continue your estate planning efforts.
After you turn 30, it is time to again seek the guidance of your estate planning attorney in Colorado Springs, CO to ensure that you are up to date on all essential estate planning documents needed to protect your growing assets. At this point, you will want to add a last will and testament and a trust to your estate plan. Your will is the core document of your estate plan that outlines exactly how your assets will be divided. A trust is optional but is a much more seamless way to transfer your assets upon your death. Your trust can transfer your assets to your chosen trustee, who will manage them for all your beneficiaries.
While creating a trust will not guarantee that your estate will avoid probate, it will dramatically decrease the odds of probate being necessary. There are several common types of trusts that can be very valuable when used in combination with advice from your Colorado Springs estate planning attorney:
- Revocable Living Trust: The most common trust, a revocable living trust is created with the intent to avoid a long, expensive probate process. This trust will ensure that your assets go to their intended recipients as soon as possible after your death. Many times, a revocable living trust will contain sub-trusts. This type of trust is a good place to start when discussing trust options with your attorney.
- Grantor Trust: A grantor trust is created for the purpose of transferring property to a person or a company in a way that avoids probate, taxes, and other financial complications.
- Irrevocable Living Trust: An irrevocable living trust is an advanced option that should be created only with the supervision of an estate planning attorney to transfer assets to a person you deem incompetent to manage their own assets.
After you reach the age of 40, you should be at a point in life where it is abundantly apparent why it is so important for any estate planning that isn’t in place yet to be addressed. This is also a good time and possibly your last chance to discuss with your parents their estate own planning. It can be incredibly helpful for them to share their wishes with you while they are still here and competent enough to explain them.
Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid
Having a legally sound estate plan put in place is one of the most meaningful parting gifts you can provide for your family when you leave this earth. However, many people make the mistake of viewing creating an estate plan as a one-time event. Laws change and circumstances change; it is important to keep your estate plan updated throughout your life. It is also imperative not to make the mistake of assuming that estate planning is only for those who are old or wealthy. Every adult needs their own estate plan to protect their right to make their own decisions regarding their assets, their healthcare, and their finances.
For more information on Hire an Estate Planning Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (719) 444-0300 today.