On July 24, 2016

Why it’s important for all adults to start estate planning sooner, rather than later

Why it’s important for all adults to start estate planning sooner, rather than later

The sooner you start the estate planning process, the better. This is because a comprehensive, current estate plan can go a long way to protecting you and your family, as well as preserving your legacy and estate.

Clarifying this answer, below, we have revealed some of the most common (and costly) complications that can arise when people put off estate planning.

Dangers of Putting off Estate Planning

Some of the biggest dangers and problems that can arise if you delay estate planning include (and are by no means limited to) the possibilities that:

  • Your loved ones won’t receive as much of your assets as you intended – This is because, without an estate plan in place, it’s far more likely that your loved ones will be paying more to probate the case and settle the estate taxes. It can also mean that more of the estate’s holdings are available to pay creditors. Ultimately, this can meant that only a fraction of an estate ends up remaining (once probate costs, estate taxes and creditors have been paid) for the surviving loved ones.
  • It can take far longer for your loved ones to obtain any remaining assets – When no will has been left behind, an estate will likely need to pass through probate. And that means that any assets held by the estate will not be accessible to the beneficiaries until the probate process has been wrapped up. In general, it takes at least a few (and usually a minimum of six) months to finalize a Colorado probate case. This can create significant financial stress for loved ones if  they were financially dependent on the decedent and they have limited access to funds following the death.
  • A stranger will make medical and/or financial decisions for you upon incapacity – Without any powers of attorney in place as part of an estate plan, any medical and/or financial decision that needs to be made on your behalf, should you be incapacitated, can end up being in the hands of a stranger – like a court official or some other party. That can be a really scary thought, especially if you have very specific ideas of how you would like these decisions to be made (and who you would like to make them) if you are ever unable to do so for yourself.
  • Your minor children are put in the care of someone whom you would not have chosen – Without a will explaining who should care for your minor children in the event of your death, the court will step in to make this decision – and it may select someone whom you would not have wanted caring for your kids. Again, this can be very unsettling to consider, especially in light of the fact that children may be split up between families or caregivers.

Ready to Start Estate Planning? Contact a Denver Estate Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

To get the estate planning process started with an experienced, trusted legal professional, contact a trusted Denver estate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC.

Our attorneys provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning and probate 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 needs and options during an initial consultation, 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, Probate, Trusts