Estate Planning Lawyer Fort Collins, CO
If you want to establish an estate plan, you should consult an estate planning lawyer in Fort Collins, CO, where William B. Moore, Attorney at Law, is located. Having a proper estate plan can ensure your final wishes are carried out and that your family is taken care of after you’re gone. Here are some tips to have a successful plan.
Select the Right Executor
The executor is the person who will carry out the terms of your will after you’re gone. He or she will be responsible for paying your debts and taxes and distributing assets to proper heirs. Since this role is a big responsibility, you shouldn’t appoint just anyone. An executor should be trustworthy, impartial, financially savvy, and organized. If you can’t find a family member or friend to take on the role, you can appoint a lawyer.
Consider Avoiding Probate
Probate is the process by which a will is proved valid in court. Unfortunately, probate can be costly and lengthy for your family members. It can also make your financial information open to the public. That’s why you should talk to your Fort Collins, Colorado estate planning lawyer about avoiding the process altogether. Your lawyer, for example, may recommend establishing a living trust to avoid probate.
Choose a Guardian
If you have minor children, you should definitely designate a guardian in your estate plan. If you should die unexpectedly, your children will be taken care of by someone you trust. Ideally, the guardian you select should share your values, be financially stable, and be physically able to parent. Before you name a guardian in your estate planning documents, ask that person if he or she is willing to take on the role.
Don’t Forget About Your Smaller Possessions
When establishing your estate plan, you’ll want to consider more than just your big assets, like your home and retirement account. Just because some of your belongings don’t have high monetary value, doesn’t mean they’re not important. For example, photo albums and family heirlooms may have significant sentimental value. Your estate planning lawyer in Fort Collins, CO may suggest specifying who you would like to receive these items.
Make Necessary Updates to Your Estate Plan
Many people assume that once they create an estate plan, they never have to look at it again. However, it’s necessary for most people to update their estate plans several times in their lifetime. When you go through a big life change, such as the birth of a child or divorce, you should revisit your estate plan.
Creating a Revocable Living Trust
When you are interested in creating a revocable living trust, you probably want to know more about the pros and cons. Is this something you can create as your only estate planning documents or would it work best with other estate planning documents? What will it do for your loved ones after you pass away? If you are considering a revocable living trust, do not hesitate any longer to reach out to our office to see how we can help you.
What is the first thing I will need to do?
The first thing you will need to do is determine who you want your trustee to be. While you can appoint someone else as your trustee, many people choose to name themselves as their first trustee so that they can remain in control of their trust and estate. During the life of the trust, you are able to interact with it, pay bills with it, and use what is in it. However, upon your death, a successor trustee will take over and use your trust to pay off the remaining bills and distribute what you have to the people you named in your trust.
What if I forget to put something in my trust?
Even the most detail-oriented people may accidentally leave something out of their trust. The idea of this can be scary because things that are not written into a trust may be subject to the probate process upon death. However, many estate planning lawyers will work with you to create what is known as a “pour-over will.” This will can essentially grab anything else that you did not name in your trust and move it to your trust. This can give many people peace of mind when they are not sure if they left something out.
Are trusts complicated?
Trusts can be fairly complicated since you will need to have a good deal of information regarding your estate and assets. If you want specific things to happen after you pass away or you want certain people to receive certain items, these will all need to be specified in your trust. Your lawyer can help you understand the process and prepare you for what is needed to create a living trust.
Naming someone you can rely on as your successor trustee is a great step in ensuring your estate will be managed properly and can put your mind at ease if you pass away or become incapacitated. Your lawyer can help you understand what kind of person you would want to name as your successor trustee.
If you need assistance with your estate plan, schedule a free consultation with William B. Moore, an estate planning lawyer in Fort Collins, CO; we are happy to offer consultations during off-hours and by Zoom to accommodate your busy schedule.