Commonly Asked Questions About Estate Planning In Colorado
During an initial appointment, the lawyers at Bradley Devitt Haas & Watkins, P.C., in Golden frequently answer basic questions about estate planning. We encourage you to read the commonly asked questions and answers below and reach out to us for more information.
What Happens If I Pass Away Without A Will Or Estate Plan?
Your property passes into Colorado intestacy laws. Any verbal arrangements you had regarding the division of your property will no longer apply, and the court dictates who inherits your estate.
What Is Probate And Why Is Avoiding It Beneficial?
Probate is the court supervised process of transferring the assets of the deceased to the designated beneficiaries. Probate assets are personal property distributed by the courts, such as jewelry or a car. No probate assets, such as a life insurance policy, bypass the probate court process and go directly to a designated beneficiary. Probate can be costly and time consuming. Also, the probate process is public and any court documents become public record, including information about debts and assets.
What Documents Are Included In An Estate Plan?
A compressive estate plan is comprised of a will or trust dictating what happens to your assets. It should also include both a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. Your estate plan should also contain a living will expressing your medical treatment wishes if you become incapacitated. To designate what happens to your remains, such as burial or cremation, include a disposition of last remains.
How Often Should I Review Or Revise My Estate Plan?
You should review and revise your estate plan after a major life event, such as a remarriage, or if something happens to the people you name in your estate plan documents. Generally, estate plans should be reviewed every three to five years.