Colorado estate planning methods

Most people do not enjoy contemplating what will happen to their property, family and other loved ones upon their deaths. Although planning for your own death may not be fun, it is an important. Having a proper estate plan will assure that a person's wishes for the distribution of his or her assets will be honored upon death and can take some stress off of grieving family members. Colorado offers many options for individuals who want to look into estate planning.

How can a will help you distribute your assets?

A will sets out exactly how property should be divided upon the death of the person creating the will. There are certain requirements for a will to be valid, and there are also ways to use a will as part of a comprehensive estate plan to avoid unfavorable tax consequences. This is why it is important that people who wish to create a will contact an attorney to help them put together an estate plan that is best for them and their heirs.

Upon death, a person's estate generally has to go through a court proceeding called probate, regardless of whether there is a will or not. The difference is that when an individual dies without a will, the assets are distributed according to the laws of the state, but when a will is in place, the assets are distributed as the will provides.

During the probate proceeding, the deceased's property is collected and distributed by the personal representative. A personal representative can be nominated in the will, so individuals creating a will can suggest a person that they trust; otherwise a personal representative will be chosen for them by the court.

Other options for asset distribution

There are many options available for people who do not want their assets to go through probate upon their death. One popular way to do this is to create a trust or use other legal tools to transfer property outside of probate. An estate planning attorney can also help people create trusts and other alternative estate planning documents. If property is passed through a trust, that property does not have to go through probate.

There are some benefits of using a trust in Colorado. For example, during the probate process, the will is admitted in court as evidence and becomes part of the public record. The terms of a trust, however, remain confidential. Creating a trust can also help people with tax planning and protect the trust assets from third parties.

There are several other options for estate planning. For example, life insurance, retirement accounts or transfer upon death deeds allow people to avoid the probate process altogether. An attorney can help people create an estate plan that best fits their needs.