Estate Lawyer Fort Collins, CO
If you want to establish an estate plan, you should speak to William B. Moore, an estate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO. A lawyer can help you create a valid plan that clearly states your final wishes.
Why You Should Have an Estate Plan
Many people put off estate planning because they think they’re too young or don’t have enough assets yet. This is a big mistake. Here are several reasons why you should have an estate plan.
- It Will Financially Protect Your Family: You don’t have to be super wealthy to need an estate plan. If you’re the breadwinner of your family, you want to protect them if something should happen to you. If you have an estate plan, you will have peace of mind knowing that your assets will be passed onto your family and they won’t be left empty-handed.
- Your Children Will Be Taken Care Of: If you have minor children, you have another important reason to create an estate plan. While it’s unpleasant to think about, life can be unpredictable. If you die unexpectedly, you want someone responsible and trustworthy to look after your kids. To ensure this, don’t forget to designate a legal guardian in your will.
- It Can Reduce Family Conflicts: The last thing you want is for your family members to turn against each other after you’re gone. Unfortunately, however, this can occur in families. If one sibling, for example, believes he or she should get more than everyone else, fights can happen. If you designate who you want to inherit what in an estate plan, you can minimize the risk of this happening. An estate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO can help you with this.
- It Can Reduce Estate Taxes: When you’re gone, you don’t want estate taxes to eat up a large portion of your estate. You want your beneficiaries to receive what you originally intended, after all. If you put an estate plan together, you can reduce these taxes.
- It Can Appoint a Healthcare Proxy: If you should become physically or mentally incapacitated during your lifetime, you want someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. That’s another good reason to have an estate plan in place. You will be able to appoint an agent with power of attorney for healthcare who will carry out your wishes regarding healthcare.
If you’re ready to establish an estate plan, you should contact William B. Moore, an estate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO. We offer free consultations after business hours and by Zoom to accommodate your schedule.
How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with an Estate Planning Lawyer
If you want to establish an estate plan, it’s important to have an experienced planning lawyer on your side. A lawyer will make sure your estate plan follows the law in your state and says what you intend it to say. Here are a few tips for preparing for your first meeting with an estate planning lawyer.
- Gather your documents. The first thing you need to do is organize relevant documents that provide information about your assets. You do not want to arrive at the meeting empty handed. Examples of relevant documents include bank statements, life insurance policies, retirement account documentation, real estate deeds and beneficiary designations. Consider making digital copies of everything, so you have backups.
- Fill out the online forms. Many estate planning law firms give their clients forms to fill out prior to the initial consultation. Remember to fill these forms out online before you go to your meeting. Then, you will not have to worry about filling them out and wasting time at your meeting.
- Write down questions. Your estate planning lawyer should not be the only person asking questions during the consultation. It is also important to ask your lawyer questions about his or her experience and skills. For instance, you may want to ask how long your lawyer has been practicing estate law and how he or she charges. You may also want to find out if your lawyer conducts periodic reviews. By asking these types of questions, you can find out if a lawyer is a right person to execute your estate plan or not.
- Take notes. During your first meeting with an estate lawyer, a lot of information will get thrown your way. To avoid forgetting something important, take notes at your consultation. If your lawyer speaks too quickly or says something you do not quite understand, do not be afraid to ask for clarification.
- Don’t be afraid, to be honest. To get the most out of your meeting with an estate lawyer, it is crucial to be completely truthful. Your lawyer has likely heard it all before, so do not be embarrassed about anything. For example, if you believe that some of your heirs may start a conflict over your estate plan, you may ask your lawyer how to properly handle the situation.
What Happens If You Don’t Have an Estate Plan
Too many people procrastinate on writing their estate plan. Most of us live busy lives, we may not want to think about our own mortality, or we just aren’t sure how to get started. Just know that if you feel this way, you are not alone. But it may be time that you finally consider writing an estate plan, or updating an old one, so that your wishes after death are planned for and followed. If you don’t have all of your estate plan documents written, such as you don’t have a will, then when you die your estate may be handled by the court system instead. A judge may become in charge of reviewing your estate and the assets within them, then distributing assets to heirs based on state intestacy law. So unless you want a judge to decide what happens to your legacy, then writing an estate plan should be a priority for you.
As an estate lawyer Fort Collins, CO can explain, one of the documents in an estate plan is a will. This document contains your preferences for what you want to happen with your assets after death. It allows you to choose someone to care for minor children, however, it does not provide help in the event of your incapacitation, since a will doesn’t go into effect until after you have passed on. So even with having a will written, you don’t have a complete estate plan that covers all your needs. Furthermore, a will may not avoid probate. In fact, the court may have to verify that your will is legitimate, potentially causing them to make other changes that you would not have wanted.
Probate is a court process that confirms your assets are distributed to heirs and debts are paid. But most people want to avoid probate with help from a Fort Collins estate lawyer if they can, and this is for several reasons. Firstly, probate can be expensive, and it can drain what is in the estate to pay for legal fees and other court costs. Secondly, probate takes time and may not conclude for a year or longer. Within this period, beneficiaries probably won’t receive their inheritance, prolonging the financial assistance that family members may desperately need. Thirdly, probate is a public process, meaning that any interested party can learn more about your estate, including those who were left out as heirs. And lastly, probate can leave grieving family members even more stressed out, when they are already going through a really challenging time.
Contact W. B. Moore Law LLC.
Most people think that estate planning is only about documents such as trusts and a will, and who will inherit your assets after your death. But estate planning with our Fort Collins lawyer estate team is about so much more than that, as it allows you to decide who will take care of you or your assets in certain situations. Your grieving family members won’t have to go through the added frustration of seeing a court judge distribute your assets in a way you would have disliked. Estate planning gives you peace of mind that your legacy will be handled and passed down to future generations as you would have desired. Who doesn’t want that?
What should I include in my estate plan?
Starting an estate plan can be overwhelming if you have never worked on one before, as an estate lawyer Fort Collins, CO residents turn to understands very well. An estate plan usually contains core documents like medical records, financial records, and powers of attorney, but it is personalized to fit every person’s individual goals and unique needs and preferences. For instance, you may want to include documents designating a guardianship if you have children that you want to pass down your assets to. If you need help with estate planning, you can turn to a lawyer to help you understand what you need to include and how to organize all of your items.
Why should I consult with an estate lawyer?
When you are dealing with a sudden legal issue, it can seem like you are on your own. Actually, there are many resources that you can rely on if you ever find yourself in such a situation. A seasoned lawyer can provide you the personalized support that you need to achieve the outcome that you deserve, and nothing less. Many people too often make the mistake of trying to handle a legal problem all on their own without even consulting with a lawyer. There are many reasons to hire a lawyer who has a proven record of giving quality assistance to individuals going through legal challenges.
What are common scenarios where I may need to talk to a lawyer?
There are many instances when a legal issue can be resolved without seeking help from an experienced lawyer. However, with more complex situations, like litigation or a criminal accusation, obtaining quality legal help can offer the best chance at getting a fair and ideal conclusion. For example, if you need to update your estate plan or if you need in-depth help with creating an estate plan for a large estate, consulting with a lawyer is helpful. If you are going through estate planning matters that you have no idea how to solve or one that requires specialized support that only a lawyer can provide, then you may want to meet with a lawyer and understand your options.
What are estate planning mistakes I should avoid?
As a Fort Collins estate lawyer has often seen, many people make mistakes when they are working on an estate plan for the first time. There are many things to know about making a strong plan. Common mistakes that people make include not identifying the specific goals an estate plan should achieve. Do you want to protect your wealth? Do you want to pass down assets to your loved ones? Use are things that you should consider before you set out to work on your plan. Another common mistake is to postpone working on an estate plan. You should work on your plan while you are healthy and can effectively and clearly communicate your ideas and preferences to family members.
What estate planning guidance can a lawyer give me?
Whenever you have an urgent estate planning matter that you are unable to find a solution for, you should not attempt to handle it on your own without any kind of guidance. You can end up making your situation more complex and difficult to resolve. An estate planning lawyer can help you understand the scope of your legal rights and make the best decisions so you can achieve your goals. There are many potential mistakes you can make because estate planning is highly complex, so it is best that you do not take the risk and try to work on tasks that you do not have enough knowledge and skills to deal with. Speak with a Fort Collins estate lawyer now if you want to learn more about setting up an estate plan.
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