On June 10, 2015

When it comes time to develop an estate plan, there can be a lot to consider, depending on a person’s finances/wealth, family situation and current/future needs and desires.

Although this can be an in-depth process, answering some of the following questions can help you get started, as it can start helping you identify what aspects of your estate plan to focus on putting in place first.

Ask Yourself (& Answer) these Estate Planning Questions…

1 – Who do you trust to make medical and/or financial decisions for you?

When you are ready to develop an estate plan, answering these questions can be helpful, a Denver estate planning attorney explains. Here’s why.

When you are ready to develop an estate plan, answering these questions can be helpful, a Denver estate planning attorney explains. Here’s why.

One important component of a comprehensive estate plan is preparing for what would happen in the event that you are incapacitated and become unable to make decisions for yourself. This essentially involves setting up financial and/or medical powers of attorney, which can be as limited or powerful as you want/need them to be.

So, who would you want making your important financial and/or medical decisions if you were not able to do so? Designating these agents now can be invaluable later if an accident seriously injures you.

2 – Who do you want to receive your assets that don’t already have beneficiary designations?

While assets like bank accounts, life insurance proceeds and even homes that are jointly owned will usually already have beneficiary designations, other assets that you solely own may not. For these assets, you will need to figure out who you would like to have them upon your passing, and these details should be captured in a legally developed will.

Without a will in place for these assets, they can pass through intestacy laws, meaning that people whom you may not have wanted to have these assets could end up with them.

3 – Who do you want to care for your minor children if you and the other parent pass away?

If you have minor children, then planning for their care in the event of your (and the other parent’s) death will be another important step to take during the estate planning process.

4 – Do you want to minimize your loved one’s future issues in probate?

Probate can be expensive, contentious and time consuming. What’s worse is that it could end up tying up much-needed assets for months or longer, possibly compounding your loved one’s financial stresses after you pass.

So, if you are concerned about helping your loved ones avoid (or minimize their obligations to have to go through) probate, then the estate planning process will be essential. In fact, it may even necessitate forming new trusts or putting other tools in place now.

5 – Are there other special circumstances that should be dealt with in your estate planning documents?

Do you have children with special needs? Do you own one or more businesses? Do you have genetic material currently in a frozen state?

With estate planning, tailoring your plan to meet your needs is possible, and planning for these specialized circumstances can be crucial to avoiding other costly and stressful legal headaches later.

Denver Estate Planning Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Are you are ready to move forward with the estate planning process? If so, you can turn to the Denver estate planning attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

To discuss your estate planning options, let’s meet for initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Estate Planning