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Boulder Colorado Estate Planning Legal Blog

Follow these estate planning tips later in life

Estate planning early in your life is not the same as estate planning later in life. For example, there is a big difference between creating your first estate plan in your 20s and altering your plan when you reach your 60s or 70s.

As you age, you may find it more difficult to think about estate planning. Even if this is challenging for you, it's important to take the right steps at the right time. You don't want to find yourself in a bad spot, such as falling ill before you have everything in order.

Is it really possible to avoid probate?

As soon as one begins looking into estate planning and creating a plan to leave property to heirs and beneficiaries, it doesn't take long to run up against the looming possibility of probate. When an estate passes through probate, the state assumes an individual's estate and distributes it, but at great potential expense to the value of the estate and significantly increasing the amount of time that beneficiaries must wait to receive anything.

For many individuals, estate planning focuses on circumventing the probate process entirely or working to reduce the portion of one's estate that the process affects and the amount of time it takes to resolve the matter. While avoiding probate is not always possible, it is generally better for all parties involved for anyone with significant assets to consider how they might deal with probate before the state steps in.

Estate planning without children might be challenging

There are many different challenging situations that come up when you are creating an estate plan. For adults who haven't had children, there are some unique obstacles that must be faced. In many cases, these individuals might think that they don't need an estate plan, but this is far from the truth.

All adults need an estate plan. Here are some important considerations for people who don't have any children who can benefit from the transfer of assets after you die:

What are the benefits of a revocable living trust?

Throughout our combined years of practice, we have found that many people still come to us with misconceptions about how trusts function. Some believe that trusts are only for the wealthy or that a simple will can meet their estate planning needs. While both of these may be true to an extent, trusts can do much more than many people realize.

Here are three ways that a person of any financial background can benefit from a revocable living trust

Do you need to update your will? 

Every adult should have a will, even if only to make end of life wishes clear. However, merely having a will does not offer the full range of benefits that a person can enjoy. It is also important to keep a will updated regularly to address any life changes that may affect the will.

If you recently experienced a significant life event and already have a valid will, you should review the document to make sure that all of the information within it and the wishes that you lay out remain relevant to your circumstances. If you do not, you may find that your will creates conflicts for your loved ones and beneficiaries after you pass away.

With estate planning, avoiding mistakes is a must

It doesn't matter if you're creating your first estate plan or reviewing something you already have in place, you should do whatever it takes to make all the right decisions.

One mistake, even if it seems inconsequential, can have a negative impact on you and/or your loved ones.

Are you a parent? You need to have a will and estate plan

If you're planning to have a baby, then you also need to have a will. The most important reason why relates to the unlikely event that you and the other parent die. A last will and testament will dictate who shall serve as the guardians of your children if you and the other parent of your child are no longer able.

In addition to indicating who will be the guardian of your child in the case of incapacitation or death, wills offer other important benefits to parents.

6 tips for creating an effective pet trust

Do you want to leave it all to your pet? It may surprise you that pets cannot own assets or inherit money. But you can appoint a caretaker to take on your pet's ownership and maintenance needs if something happens to you by setting up a pet trust.

What is a pet trust?

Who will make your health care decisions for you when you can't?

Your health care decisions are important matters that can have a big impact on your final days. When it comes time to make those decisions, there is a chance that you won't be able to make them on your own. This is often the case if your mind isn't what it used to be.

If this occurs, you need to have someone ready to make decisions for you. This person needs to be able to make the decisions that you would want made. It might be difficult for you to determine who you want to decide these important matters, as your close family members might understandably want to do whatever they can to save your life.

Top tips for choosing a guardian for your child

There are many reasons why choosing a guardian for your child is easier said than done. Among them is the fact that you need to think about what you want to happen in the event that you are no longer around to raise your child.

Choosing a guardian for your child sounds easy enough, until you actually sit down to make a final decision. At that point, you realize that you can't just choose the first person who comes to mind. Instead, you need to consider all your options with the idea that you can't make a poor decision.

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