Secrets can be an estate planning concern

| Mar 22, 2019 | Estate Planning

Secrets are by definition meant to be kept confidential. Yet, when these secrets involve an individual’s assets and the individual dies, these secrets can be cause for concern. While keeping certain information regarding assets secret may be preferred by the deceased, that information should be accessible as part of  the Colorado resident’s estate planning. As the executor of an estate, one may discover that the deceased did not disclose his or her entire estate in the will or other estate planning documents. This can leave the executor struggling to piece together information so as to properly account for and dispose of assets.

Once the executor begins to suspect that not all assets have been included in the documents at his or her disposal, a search for undisclosed assets should be conducted. One place to begin such a search is in the records maintained by the county assessor where the individual lived. This website will include all real estate owned within the county.

Tax returns are another source that can provide important data. If assets are income producing, then they will typically be including in this information. Other areas to search will also include paperwork kept within the home and the unclaimed property website for the county.

Although the Colorado resident may have reasons that he or she wishes to keep certain assets secret, these secrets can later cause problems for the executor of the estate and the beneficiaries. Prior to excluding assets from the estate planning process, the individual should discuss the matter with legal counsel. And, if the executor believes that assets have been excluded, that should certainly be brought to the attention of the appropriate legal counsel.