On May 31, 2013

Colorado residents who do not have estate planning documents set up are leaving decisions like where their assets will go and who will take care of their children to the state that they live in. Many people feel that estate planning is something only the rich need to worry about, but it is important for individuals of all income levels. By setting up a few basic documents, most people can ensure that their family does not have to deal with probate.

The job of a will is to determine who will be in charge of taking care of someone’s minor children should something happen to them. It is also to determine who gets what of an individual’s assets. An executor can also be named, and they will be in charge of making sure that heirs receive what has been set aside for them.

A living trust is also a helpful document because it can go a long way to avoiding probate, which is costly and time consuming for friends and family. With a living trust, someone assigns their assets to the trust and names a trustee to be in charge of the assets when they pass on. The advantage of a living trust is that it can be changed at any time, so assets and beneficiaries can be added and removed as needed.

Creating estate planning documents that avoid tax penalties as much as possible and ensure that families do not have to deal with probate can be a complicated task. An attorney may be able to help someone understand what estate planning documents do and draw these documents up for them.

Source: Market Watch, “Estate planning for the rest of us“, Bill Bischoff, May 21, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning

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