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Estate planning important to one's financial affairs

Sometimes it is easier to simply ignore the facts. However, while it may appear to be the solution, ignoring one's needs does not typically make them disappear. In fact, many Colorado residents need to establish and/or review their estate planning documents.

A will is the most common form of estate planning. In creating a will, the individual addresses exactly how he or she wishes assets to be distributed upon death. Beneficiaries are named and an executor can be appointed. If minor children are involved, their care and well-being can be addressed here as well. Upon the death of the individual, the will is presented to the courts and becomes a part of the public record.

Another common form of estate planning is the use of a trust. When a trust is created, the individual's assets are transferred to the trust. The trust is in effect the owner of the assets and the individual can continue to manage these assets. Depending upon the type of trust, it may or may not be possible to make changes once the trust is created. Trusts are beneficial in that they may reduce estate taxes and probate costs as well as provide increased privacy for loved ones.

Estate planning is an important part of taking care of one's financial affairs. Without it, the Colorado resident's estate will transfer based upon the state's laws of intestacy. In many instances, this may not be what the individual wants. Experienced legal counsel can review one's estate and offer guidance as to which tools are the most appropriate.

Source: nwitimes.com, "Estate Planning: Distinct differences between wills and trusts", Christopher Yugo, Jan. 21, 2018

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