Establishing and updating your estate plan is important for protecting assets and avoiding costly taxes and penalties. Without a plan in place, you risk leaving your assets and anyone would benefit from them to the mercy of the courts. There are several ways you can start preparing for your future and your family’s future in Denver with an estate planning attorney.
Let’s dive into some of the ways you can benefit from hiring an experienced estate planning attorney sooner rather than later.
4 Reasons You Need a Denver Estate Planning Attorney
1. Review Your Last Will and Testament
If there’s one thing we can always count on, it’s change. If you have not updated your will in over 10 years or if it has been more than 5 years since you created it, it’s wise to contact an estate planning attorney in Denver to review your current document and make any necessary changes. For example, most estate plans, including wills, need to be updated when estate tax becomes a concern which, after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act generally will be those estates valued at $10 million or more for a single individual. But smaller estates should also consider updates when you own multiple properties or hold a large life insurance policy. Other triggers for revising an estate plan can include a marriage, divorce, birth of a child, any change in beneficiaries, and more.
If you do not have a will, you should create one now. The first step is to determine who will inherit your various assets after you die. This includes your spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, charities, and anyone else you may wish to designate. You also need to name someone as the executor of your will. An executor is responsible for managing your estate after your death and distributing assets to your beneficiaries upon death.
2. Update Beneficiaries
You may want to change the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, life insurance policy, bank accounts, or mutual funds. For example, if you planned to leave your entire estate to your spouse, but they have passed away, their family members would receive nothing. The last thing you want to worry about is leaving your beneficiaries with nothing because you put off crucial updates.
3. Consider Creating Trusts
You may want to set up a trust to hold certain types of assets for your loved ones. These include irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts. Irrevocable life insurance trusts allow you to transfer ownership of life insurance policies to the trust and thereby simultaneously avoid current tax consequences (by leveraging the gift tax exclusion) and estate tax consequences (by removing the value of the life insurance policy from your estate). Charitable remainder trusts let you or your beneficiaries receive regular payments from the trust for a time while ensuring the original gift is given for a charitable purpose at a later date. Charitable lead trusts are the opposite and let you give regular payments from the trust to charity for a time while ensuring the original gift reverts back to you or your heirs at a later date.
4. Create a Living Trust
A living trust allows you to retain full control of your assets and provides oversight to ensure your wishes are honored after you’ve passed away. During life you keep the ability to manage your assets and upon death, your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. A properly structured living trust also can avoid probate court proceedings.
Overwhelmed, yet? Don’t worry. It’s not your job to be the expert and figure all of this out on your own. The best way to navigate these options is to plan ahead by working with an experienced estate planning attorney. Creating and regularly updating your estate plan with a Denver estate planning attorney is always the best option when it comes to protecting yourself and your assets – including financial assets and your loved ones.
Choose Fusion Legal & Tax as Your Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is an act of love. It provides certainty that your loved ones will be taken care of no matter what happens. At Fusion Legal & Tax, we provide estate planning services in Colorado and would be happy to help you organize your affairs.
It’s best to get started on the process sooner rather than later. The most common reasons people delay estate planning include:
- They think they don’t have sufficient assets to justify the preparation of estate planning documents.
- They think they cannot afford the legal costs involved.
- They just don’t feel comfortable thinking about such an important topic.
Believe it or not, you can leverage estate planning services at any point in time. In fact, waiting to do so can result in unhappy consequences for those you care about, should you become disabled or pass away. Individuals with limited financial resources can still reap benefits from simple estate planning documents as they designate where their personal property will go. At Fusion Legal & Tax, we’ll help you get organized no matter where you’re at in your life.
Contact us today and get started with a top Denver estate planning attorney.