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Denver Estate Planning Attorney: Preparing Your Will And Leaving Your Legacy

When contemplating an estate plan and drafting your will, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Serving clients throughout the metro area in Denver, our estate attorney at Vincent & Romeo, LLC, offers a holistic approach to preparing wills, trusts and other estate planning documents.

The Purpose Of A Comprehensive Estate Plan

A comprehensive estate plan does more than just pave the way for a smooth wealth transition to your heirs. It helps you avoid problems that delay your loved ones’ ability to receive the benefits and protections they deserve. Any time is a good time to develop an estate plan. However, it is especially important to develop an estate plan when your young family is growing. It is also important to create or revisit your estate plan well in advance of making the transition from the workforce to retirement.

Our Experienced Lawyer Plans For Your Future

To develop your estate plan, our attorney draws on a wide variety of estate planning tools, including wills, trusts, different forms of property ownership, and insurance, all hand-picked to suit your unique situation. He will:

  • Prepare wills, trusts, advance medical directives and durable powers of attorney
  • Clarify how you can be taken care of in the event of incapacity
  • Prepare for the smooth transition of wealth after your death, minimize the impact of estate taxes and seek to protect your estate from creditors and the creditors of your children
  • Ensure that the property you designate will go to the people you designate after your death
  • Discuss how to protect inheritances in the event that your heirs get divorced
  • Make provisions for the care of a special needs child so that any inheritance they receive will not cause their disqualification from public benefits
  • Manage a court-created special needs trust for a disabled loved one who has received an unprotected settlement

Every family’s situation and estate planning needs are unique. Our lawyer will evaluate your situation and help you identify your legal needs and goals.

Understanding Your Options For An Estate Plan: The Purpose Of Estate Planning Tools

Comprehensive estate planning means choosing the best estate planning tools and options that work best for you, your family, and your benefits and assets. Our estate lawyer can help you with wills, trusts and medical directives.

What Is A Will?

A will is an estate planning tool that allows you to specifically direct how you would like your wealth and assets to be distributed after your death. It can also name guardians for your minor children. A will names an executor, who is the representative responsible for making sure that the directives in your will are followed.

What Is A Trust?

A trust can be used in place of a will to help transfer your assets. Trusts are often used because they do not require probate and may result in smoother transitions. They can also avoid probate in multiple states.

What Do The Various Types Of Trusts Do?

There are several trusts available for estate planners. Each of them has their own uses and benefits. Choosing the appropriate trust for your plan depends on your goals and requirements as an individual. The following is a brief overview of the most popular types of estate planning trusts.

  • Revocable living trust. You create the living trust during your lifetime and can act as trustee until you pass away or become incapacitated. This gives you control over the assets contained within the trust, which you can adjust as you see fit whenever you wish. Another benefit is that assets contained in a revocable living trust at the time of death are not subject to probate, which makes the process of asset distribution faster, easier and more private. Assets in a living trust are not shielded from creditors, litigation or liens.
  • Irrevocable living trust. The major difference between a revocable and irrevocable living trust is that the latter cannot be changed or revoked once established. A trustee will manage the assets placed into an irrevocable living trust in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Due to the irrevocable living trust being a separate legal entity, its assets no longer belong to you, which means that they are safe from creditors and lawsuit awards. The cost of maintaining assets in an irrevocable living trust can be significant and it is less flexible than a revocable living trust. Tax rates are also compressed.
  • Testamentary trust. Unlike a living trust, which you create during your lifetime, a testamentary trust goes into effect only after you die. You set up the trust’s terms in your will and can change them at any time. Once you pass away, the testamentary trust activates and becomes irrevocable. This can be a way of enjoying some of the benefits of both a revocable and irrevocable living trust, though the process of creating a testamentary trust can be more complex.
  • Spendthrift trust. This is a unique type of trust that is most useful in situations where the grantor is concerned that one or more of their intended beneficiaries will spend their inheritance frivolously or on things of which the grantor does not approve. You can use a spendthrift trust to set up rules for the trustee to follow regarding when the beneficiaries receive money out of the trust and how much they receive. The trust can also require the trustee to halt payment if there is evidence the beneficiary is spending the money on things you forbid, such as drugs, alcohol or gambling.
  • Special needs trust. As the name implies, a special needs trust is intended to benefit a child, spouse or other individual with a disability. Most special needs trust beneficiaries have a condition that limits their ability to earn an income or live independently as adults. The child’s parents care for them and support them financially, and they want that support to continue for the rest of the child’s life. A special needs trust allows you to continue using your wealth to supplement your special needs child’s while maintaining their eligibility for Medicaid and other needs-based programs.

The Probate Process In Colorado

The probate court in Colorado oversees the distribution of a decedent’s assets to the heirs of the decedent’s estate. In the state of Colorado, there are three types of probate proceedings:

  • Small estates for minimal assets that do not include real property
  • Informal probate, where matters are not contested
  • Formal probate, which involves contested estates when the will is being challenged

Our probate attorney at Vincent & Romeo, LLC, can help you better understand the probate process in Colorado and represent you in probate court if necessary.

Call Today To Secure Your Legacy

Let Vincent & Romeo, LLC, help you leave a legacy for the next generation. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 303-500-5859 in Englewood or 303-720-7260 in Boulder County.