Estate plans can serve a number of purposes, but some Colorado residents may only know about one or two. For instance, they may know that they can use their wills to name guardians for their children, but since many people do not have children, they may mistakenly think that they do not need an estate plan. In fact, estate planning can be beneficial for any adult, even those without kids.
Anyone whose health and cognitive abilities have declined may be susceptible to financial abuse. Senior citizens in Colorado and elsewhere often experience reduced functioning as they age and, therefore, can be taken advantage of, often by people they love and trust. Experts are warning that instances of elder financial abuse are on the rise and will potentially worsen as the population ages. Those who do not have financial directives as part of estate planning may be vulnerable.
When a Colorado resident dies, his or her estate typically passes on to the beneficiaries. However, in reality, this is not always the case. While technology has made keeping in touch with friends and managing financial accounts easier, it has also created concerns that should be addressed in the estate planning process.
As with most things, preparing ahead of time for one's initial meeting with an attorney can save both time and money. Estate planning encompasses a vast array of decisions which must be made and assets which must be addressed. By thinking through some of the basics and gathering the appropriate information, the Colorado resident can be prepared.
As Colorado readers know, estate planning is important for almost everyone, regardless of income level or the size of the estate. Drafting a will and having in place other types of estate planning documents can give a person peace of mind regarding the future, but it is smart to occasionally review plans to see if updates are needed. Certain life events and circumstances may necessitate changes and updates to your estate plan.
What if the unthinkable happened? All of a sudden, almost everything that the Colorado resident spent years acquiring disappeared in an instant. While this may seem like a far-fetched idea, it is reality for some individuals. Natural disasters, accidents and other events can take one's life and change it forever. While this may not be likely to happen, it is something to be prepared for and addressed as a part of the estate planning process.
There just never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. Some things always seem to take priority while others are constantly shifted to the end of the line. For many Colorado residents, drafting wills is one of those items that never seem to reach the top of the list.
It's not always easy to know what a loved one wants. In many instances, determining what the individual wants can be a guessing game. When it comes to gifts, this might be okay; however, when this guessing game relates to medical care, the stakes are much higher. Yet, research shows that only 37 percent of Americans, including Colorado residents, have addressed issues related to advance medical directives.
When the terms of a will are unclear or the will does not address a specific asset at all, it can leave a Colorado family in disarray as they try to figure out what to do with that piece of property. Many people address things like real estate, stocks and liquid assets in their will, but it is smart to also include hard assets as well. When estate planning, it is prudent not to overlook these important issues.
Volunteerism and giving are important to many Colorado residents. In fact, upon retirement, many individuals devote their time and energy to serving others. Volunteers can often be found serving in hospitals, schools and other organizations throughout their community. In an effort to continue this legacy of service, some individuals look to estate planning as another way to make an impact.