What Are the Rules of Estate Planning in Colorado?
When planning your estate, there are many different things to consider. The first thing to remember is that it’s never too early to start planning for your future.
Even if you don’t have a lot of assets right now, it’s important to start thinking about how those assets will be distributed after you are gone.
This article will discuss the basics of estate planning in Colorado and what you need and do not need to do during the process.
What Do You Need to Do When Estate Planning?
Estate planning ensures your assets are distributed to your loved ones in the manner you choose. It’s also the process of preparing for what happens if you can’t make those decisions.
Here are some of the things you will want to do when preparing for your estate:
- Take an Inventory
An inventory is the first thing you want to do when preparing for your estate. This step is important because it allows you to see what assets you have and what debts you owe. It also helps you determine how much money each beneficiary should receive based on their needs, interests, and abilities.
You should also take an inventory of your personal and real property, which includes:
- Your items, such as clothing and jewelry
- The real estate you own, including the home you live in and any vacation properties
- Any vehicles that your estate owns
- Your financial accounts and investments, including savings and retirement plans
- Your business interests and any intellectual property, such as patents or copyrights
- Avoid Probate
One of the biggest benefits of estate planning is avoiding probate. Probate is a court-supervised process that allows your heirs to transfer or distribute your assets after you die legally.
If you don’t have an estate plan, your assets are subject to probate. This means that a court-appointed executor will manage your estate and any disputes or disagreements between heirs may need to be resolved by a judge.
- Get Estate Planning Documents
The best way to avoid probate is to have a will, trust, and other estate planning documents in place. A will lets you decide where your assets go after you die by identifying your heirs and specifying how they should receive them.
It also allows you to appoint an executor who will oversee the distribution of your property. If you don’t have a will, your state may require that a court-appointed guardian manage the distribution of your assets until they can be passed on according to intestacy laws.
- Include Your Digital Assets
These digital assets include cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and digital accounts for everything from email to social media accounts. If you don’t have a will or trust, your loved ones will have no legal access to these accounts after you die. Instead, they may need to file a petition with the court and go through the process of obtaining an account freeze.
- Review Your Documents
It is good to have your documents updated every three to five years. This is especially important if you have a growing family or significant changes in your life. You should also speak with an estate attorney who can help you create a testamentary trust and a will that reflects your current wishes.
Ask for Assistance from a Professional Estate Planner
If you feel overwhelmed by this process or have a very large estate, it may be time to speak with an estate planning attorney. They can help walk you through the process and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
If you require an estate planning attorney in Colorado, we can help. Estate Planning Lawyers Colorado provides various services, including creating a will or trust. We are committed to helping you create a plan that reflects your current wishes and protects your family after your passing.