Trust, Estate and Tax Planning
We know estate and tax planning has its obstacles. Who wants to think about their own mortality? Who wants to spend time and money getting their estate planning affairs in order? Wouldn't you rather be taking a hike or walk in the great outdoors, playing with your grandchildren or reading a book?
Planning involves addressing the interactive issues within your family and ensuring your legacy is protected for your heirs. It does require summarizing your financial situation and organizing your affairs for your end of life. Estate planning is an opportunity to take control, as well as nominate people you trust to care for and protect your children and family, your assets, and your dignity.
Sometimes a revocable trust (often referred to as an inter-vivos trust or a living trust) can best carry out your intentions. At other times, we use a simple will or payable on death or beneficiary designations to meet a client's wishes. No two clients are the same and every family has their own unique issues. All our work for a client is tailored to their unique situation.
It is most important to understand the interaction of the different types of assets you own. Some are subject to disposition in accordance with your will (usually requiring court intervention is a "probate proceeding"), while other assets may not pass to your heirs pursuant to the terms of your will. If you have no will then Colorado provides a will for you, in accordance with the "intestate" laws of the State of Colorado. These assets, commonly referred to as non-probate assets, will pass according to the laws of joint tenancy or through the use of beneficiary designations (commonly used for life insurance and retirement accounts, such as an IRA account). Assets held in a revocable trust pass in accordance with the terms of the trust and not necessarily in accordance with the terms of your will.
What is important to understand, is you need to coordinate all of the different types of holding in developing an estate plan. For instance, you may have a will which distributes your assets amongst your children equally. If you title your assets in your name, along with only one of your children in a joint tenancy account then upon your death the one heir will likely take 100% of the asset and the other heirs will receive none of the asset with the joint tenancy designation.
This process is emotional. We get it. It is our promise to you to be good listeners. With our input and guidance we will help direct you to get the result you hope to achieve.
Let us help you sort this out. Efficient and cost effective planning now and in the future (upon your disability or death) is a priority to you and for us. We have helped thousands of clients over the many collective years of all of us in this firm. Collectively, we have more than 100 years of helping clients, just like you, organize their life to insure their wishes are fulfilled when they die. Let us be the firm you choose to help you as well.