Fort Collins / Loveland Estate Planning Lawyer
There’s more to Estate Planning than simply having your Will in order. Your Estate is whatever you leave behind when you pass on, and there are considerations beyond simply distributing heirlooms to loved ones. A popular misconception is that probate attorneys are only for the wealthy, that one has to have amassed great wealth in order to benefit from Estate Planning. This is simply not the case.
Even with a modest estate, there are such things as charitable contributions, and tax considerations, which can create great difficulties for your heirs and beneficiaries if not properly addressed. Wills and Trusts are two of the legal instruments used to determine the distribution of your assets upon your death, but there is more to Estate Planning than a choice between the two. Probate involves the State’s and creditors’ concerns with a person’s Estate.
Unfortunately, too many people perceive the legal aspects of Estate Planning as so intimidating that they ignore the process and the requisite preparation. Estate Planning doesn’t have to be daunting, and at Ores Law, we can guide you through the entire process. You’ll have no doubts left that your entire Estate is in order, and that your intentions will be carried out to the legal letter.
Northern Colorado Wills & Probate Attorney
The most familiar aspect of Estate Planning to most people is the preparation of one’s Last Will and Testament. This tends to be the bare minimum. Strictly speaking, this is a legal document in which you (the testator) state how and to whom you want your Estate to be distributed upon your death. If someone dies without a Will, their estate is subject to distribution according to the laws of the Probate code in their state of residence; heirs often have substantially limited choices with regard to how the Estate is distributed.
Though there’s more to Estate Planning than your will, Ores Law will help you look at your assets and determine if a Will is the best choice for you.
A Trust is another way to distribute your estate upon your passing. It is essentially a “virtual person” that holds your assets. Those assets are deeded to the trust, which then distributes them to heirs and beneficiaries according to your proscribed instructions. The trust becomes the legal “owner” of the assets upon your death, and is administered by a trustee, the person you name to carry out your instructions.
Whether you decide upon a Will or a Trust depends upon your needs and goals. Our goal is to analyze those needs, then prepare your documents and see that they are properly executed. We are here to answer any and all questions you may have during the process.
Probate law concerns itself with the disposition of an estate when someone dies (sometimes without leaving a will), but this is not the only area in which Probate Law and Probate Courts are applicable. Probate Law mandates that creditors against an estate (the deceased) are paid, and involves court petitions from creditors and descendants, and naming of trustees to oversee the disposition.
Essentially, the probate process provides for the legal conclusion of a decedent’s affairs. The court oversees this process; if there is real estate involved, a legal representative will need legal authority to transfer the property to beneficiaries. Taxes have to be paid, and monies legally transferred to the appropriate parties. Probate laws vary from state to state, so it is extremely important to have an attorney who is well-versed in the laws of the applicable state – usually the deceased’s state of residence.
It is always sensible to prepare ahead of time for the inevitable, but if you are involved in a complicated probate case, or anticipate being so involved, we at Ores Law can provide experienced consultation and representation for any matter of Colorado Probate law.