In years past, one would pour over the family photo album to learn about friends and family. If one wanted to say hello to grandma, he or she would have to pick up the telephone and place a call. Then, when the phone bill came in, along with all the other bills, someone would have to sit down and write out a check to pay the bills. Things have changed drastically over the past 20 years or so, and the way that the average Colorado resident communicates, preserves history and even takes care of financial matters has changed. While many of these changes offer a number of advantages, they also can present problems unless they have been addressed as a part of one's estate planning process.
Life is full of choices. The Colorado resident chooses where to live, which occupation to become proficient at and even who to spend his or her life with. For some individuals, the desire to continue making such choices is a motivating factor. These individuals also wish to make choices regarding their health care and the extent to which medical treatment will be given. With this in mind, these individuals may benefit from creating advance medical directives.
It appears that only 45% of Colorado residents are prepared for their end of days. In fact, research indicates that approximately 55% of Americans have done no formal estate planning. They have not created a will or done anything to ensure that their families and assets are protected upon their deaths and that their final wishes are carried out.
Privacy is important to many individuals. As the Colorado resident strives to keep his or her financial affairs private, there are risks involved with such action. Without a complete listing of one's investment accounts and other financial matters as a part of one's estate planning documents, it is possible that heirs may not be aware of such accounts exist until much later, if ever.
Creating an estate plan means anticipating many contingencies and having safeguards in place. Those who have children may have to consider the need for guardianship. Those who own Colorado businesses may include succession planning in their estate plans. Important elements of all estate plans are advance medical directives. These state one's wishes for medical treatment if the person becomes unable to express those wishes.
In today's world, the modern family is a complex mix of individuals. In some instances, the Colorado family is comprised of two parents and their children. Other families consist of one or two parents with children from other relationships. This diverse family dynamic can have a dramatic impact upon the estate planning needs of the individual.
Checklists are a part of life. The average Colorado family has a checklist for the grocery store, the daily chores and even packing when preparing for vacation. Checklists should also be a part of preparing for one's future. As such, an estate planning checklist can help ensure that all important details have been taken care of.
The snow is starting to melt, flowers are beginning to bloom and kids are ready to play in the warmer weather. As spring kicks in, many Colorado families adhere to the yearly ritual of spring cleaning the house and yard. In addition to this ritual, it is also a good time to make sure that any cleaning up that needs to be done in regard to one's estate planning needs is acted upon.
Taking care of loved ones is often a primary concern in planning for the future. As a part of this process, some Colorado residents want to make sure that their assets are passed on without the headache or expense often associated with probate. Thus, they establish a living will as a part of their estate planning process.
Family dynamics can play an important role in determining the best way to structure one's estate as the Colorado individual grows older. In some families, conflict is the norm; in others, peace reigns. Additionally, when emotions regarding an adult child's mom or dad become involved, the dynamics can quickly change. As a result, planning for this possibility and establishing durable powers of attorney specifically addressing who should make decisions for the individual can be essential to maintaining family harmony.