While estate planning is unique to every person’s needs, basic documentation is part of every plan and includes a will, a living will (advanced healthcare directive), and power of attorney paperwork. A person’s age should not be a barrier to the timely preparation of estate documents because they can provide for the well-being of individuals and loved ones. A professional experienced attorney can assist in preparation of necessary estate planning documents.
Probate and advantages.
Probate is a court supervised procedure for distributing a deceased person’s property after his or her death. If the deceased had a Will, the persons or entities named in the Will will inherit the property, but if they died without a valid Will, the laws of the State of Colorado determine who will inherit the property. The purpose of probate is to insure property and assets are distributed to the proper beneficiaries and to insure that the decedent’s creditors are paid. An attorney can explain the advantages to probate: 1) there are stringent court rules designed to protect the beneficiaries; 2) creditors are required to file their claims within a limited period of time; and the rules of the court provide guidance in the event of a dispute or controversy.
In Colorado anyone who is over the age of 18 and of sound mind can execute a Will. While most Wills are drafted by attorneys, the only legal requirement is that the Will is signed, dated, and notarized. The only exception is a Holographic Will (a signed handwritten Will) which does not have to be witnessed or notarized.
Common estate planning documents.
Seek legal counsel.
Estate planning should be undertaken with the assistance of an experienced attorney at the Semler Law Firm to keep loved ones from further hardship after a death.