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People in Colorado who are in their 20s and 30s might assume that they do not need an estate plan because they are young or because they are not wealthy. However, an accident or sudden illness can happen at any age, and an estate plan can protect you, your family and your assets in case of death or becoming incapacitated.

Wills and trusts

Most people have a will as part of an estate plan, which can be used to appoint guardians for minor children. It can also appoint an executor for the estate and detail how assets will be distributed. Some people prefer to use a trust to distribute some or all assets to beneficiaries. The person who creates the trust is known as the grantor, and a revocable trust can be changed or canceled.

Planning for incapacity

As important as planning for death is, making a plan in case of incapacity is important as well. You may want to create a health care proxy, which appoints someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A living will outlines how you want to be cared for at the end of your life. You may want to consider a durable power of attorney as well. This gives another person the ability to take financial action on your behalf if necessary.

An attorney may be able to assist you in creating an estate plan. This might include discussing whether you need one or more trusts along with your will. Assets in a trust do not have to go through probate, and unlike a will, a trust is private. A revocable trust is sufficient for most people, but there are situations in which an irrevocable trust is more useful since it can offer greater protection against creditors and other threats.