Estate planning in Colorado is not nearly as difficult as some people believe. Most people associate estate planning with spending hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on lawyers who go over your assets and create long, legal, documents for you to sign. In reality estate planning is nothing more than determining what you own, deciding who it should go to, and putting these wishes into writing. This act will help secure the future of your family after unforeseen accidents or emergencies.
Many wills and testaments involve leaving assets that include titles. While many people try to leave assets that do not include any probate (bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement accounts), there are some things that require Colorado probate expenses. When this happens incorporate the probate expenses into your Colorado estate planning processes.
These expenses often come in the form of taxes. Property being left to individuals might come with taxes and obligations. Even if a property is owned free and clear the beneficiary will often be required to pay Colorado death taxes before they can take position of their inheritance.
Also, plan for any funeral expenses when getting ready to create a will. Make plans for your funeral and keep them with your will even if they are not included in the text of the will. This will help your family in a difficult time and help avoid any financial problems that come when certain inheritance or life insurance policies are paid only after a funeral has been held.
Plan how you want to dispose of any assets that do not require probate or a probate lawyer. This can be done even before a will is created and will ensure inheritance even if a will is never created. In the state of Colorado holding property through a "tenancy in common" gives the joint owner the right to sell property independently. Other assets including bank accounts and retirement plans can have a specific beneficiary named that will inherit if no will is made.
There are always times when no will is made and no assets are disposed of by naming beneficiaries directly in policies. In the event of this happening a spouse will always receive the first part of the estate along with a large portion of the remaining estate. This means that children, parents, and other family members will be dependent upon the spouse for money or property that was promised verbally. Often this alone causes problems when a child or family member feels that they are owed more than the spouse has provided.