Creating a Will in Colorado: What You Need to Know
When it comes to planning for the future, many people believe that creating a will is the only step they need to take. However, creating a will in Colorado is just one piece of a larger puzzle. A basic estate plan includes several other items that complement a will and provide a more comprehensive plan for your assets, healthcare decisions, and loved ones. At Fusion Legal & Tax, we understand the importance of creating a detailed estate plan that goes beyond just a will. That’s why we offer a range of estate planning services to help you develop a plan that meets your unique needs. Want to leave a legacy of love? Please read on.
Why a Basic Estate Plan is Better than Just a Will
Don’t get us wrong: creating a will in Colorado is a great idea, especially if you have dependents. However, a will may not be enough for your needs. Here’s why:
A will is an important document that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed after your death and appoints a guardian for any children who are still minors. However, a basic estate plan includes several other elements that accompany a will and provide a more detailed plan for your assets, healthcare decisions, and loved ones.
Types of Wills
If you’re interested in creating a will in Colorado, it’s important to understand which one(s) you need. There are several different types of wills, each with their own unique features and purposes. The most common types of wills include:
- A traditional will, also known as a “last will and testament,” is the most common type of will. It allows you to direct the distribution of your assets after your death and to appoint a guardian for your minor children.
- A living will, also known as an “advance directive,” is a legal document that sets out your wishes regarding end-of-life medical treatment in case of terminal illness or injury. It allows you to specify which types of medical treatment you do or do not want to receive (i.e., life support, etc.).
- A testamentary trust will is a type of will that creates a trust for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. This type of will allows you to place conditions or restrictions on how and when your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries, providing an extra layer of protection.
Even if you don’t have a lot of financial assets, a basic estate plan is still essential. It provides peace of mind for you, as you’ll know that your loved ones will be taken care of and that your final wishes will be honored. Here are a few of the key elements of a basic estate plan that can greatly benefit you:
Durable Medical Power of Attorney (DMPOA):
This document allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The DMPOA gives your specified agent the authority to make decisions about your medical treatment, including decisions about life-sustaining treatment. It’s important to have this in place in case you become incapacitated. And unlike a living will, the DMPOA applies to situations beyond terminal illness such as loss of consciousness after an accident or incapacitation due to senility.
Durable General Power of Attorney (DGPOA):
This document allows you to appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. With a DGPOA, your predetermined agent can manage your financial affairs including the ability to pay bills/debts, access bank accounts, and oversee investments. This can be especially important if you own property or have other assets that need to be managed.
Memorandum Distributing Personal Property:
This document allows you to leave specific items of personal property to specific people. It’s a great way to ensure that your cherished possessions go to the people you want them to. This can include items such as jewelry, art, furniture, or other possessions that have sentimental value.
Memorandum Concerning Disposition of Final Remains:
This document allows you to express your wishes for your funeral and final disposition of your remains. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s important to have this in place so your loved ones know what you want after your passing.
Guardian Designations and Parental Delegation of Powers:
If you are a parent or legal caretaker of children under age 18, choosing guardians and delegating powers is essential. These documents ensure that your children will be looked after by the people you trust if something happens to you.
A Guardian Designation is a legal document that appoints an individual to take care of the child’s physical needs, such as providing them with a place to live, food, and clothing. The Guardian is responsible for making decisions about the child’s daily care and upbringing.
A Parental Delegation of Powers is a legal document that allows parents to appoint someone who will take care of the financial needs of any children they may have. This person, known as the “delegate,” can make decisions about the child’s finances, such as managing their inheritance, paying their expenses, and investing their money.
Get Your Estate in Order with Fusion Legal & Tax
So much to consider! But the big-picture takeaway here should be this: An estate plan is an act of love.
When something happens to a loved one, it’s hard enough to cope with the emotional impact, itself. If that loved one hasn’t created an estate plan, there’s now also a mountain of questions, stress, and anxiety around important decisions that have to be made – medical decisions, financial decisions, business decisions, and more. Why leave those you care about with such a burden? Creating an estate plan is allows you to make these critical before something happens, providing a roadmap that ensures your loved ones and assets are protected the way YOU wish. Peace of mind – what a wonderful gift!
At Fusion Legal & Tax, we understand that creating a will in Colorado can be overwhelming, and an entire estate plan can be downright confusing. That’s why we offer a range of estate planning services to help you create a thought-out plan that meets your unique needs and goals. Whether you’re a parent, a business owner, or just someone looking to plan for the future, we can help you develop the appropriate strategy so you can rest assured knowing everything is taken care of should something happen to you.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards creating an extensive estate plan.