Talk to one of our Colorado Springs estate planning lawyers about estate planning, asset protection, wills, living wills, power of attorney, trusts, and more. At Maceau Law, our attorneys have the answers and can give you the legal help you need:
Although typically thought of as something only the wealthy need bother with, estate planning is actually worthwhile for anyone, no matter their income level. This is true because the word estate applies to more than just land and property. It also includes your furniture, personal possessions, savings and checking accounts, your car and your life insurance policy. Therefore, having an estate plan is wise even if you only own a small amount of land or real-estate.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is simply arranging what will happen to your estate, or possessions, upon your death. It is a worthwhile process for many reasons. Financial power of attorney, a living will, advance medical directive and a last will and testament are all aspects of typical estate plans.
What are the benefits of an estate plan?
- Ensures your estate is handled per your request:
When you have an estate plan, the last will and testament you create will ensure that each of your possessions goes to whom you desire. If you leave your assets to the whim of the state, your possessions will likely end up scattered and not at all where you desire them to be. In addition, if you have minor children, a last will and testament will give you the opportunity to name guardians for them, thus eliminating fights over the children and preventing them from being split up in the event that family members don’t agree on who they should live with.
- Inform family members and treating physicians of your plans regarding end of life:
The living will aspect of an estate plan will include a set of instructions that will inform physicians and family members what you desire in regards to life-sustaining procedures. For example, if you do not desire being kept alive in a vegetative state, you can make your wishes known while you are still sound in mind and body through a living will.
- Organizes records, making dealing with a loved one’s death easier:
Another benefit of estate planning is the organization of all your records and beneficiary designations. When you pass away, if you have no estate plan, it can be difficult if not impossible for your family to locate all your records such as insurance policies. An estate plan organizes all these documents so they are easily accessible for your next of kin.
- Allows you to appoint a representative:
As part of an estate plan, you can appoint an individual to make any medical decisions for you in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. Creating this medical power of attorney, or designation of health care surrogate is wise as this allows someone you trust to make important decisions for you if you are unable.
- Gives you financial help:
The financial power or attorney aspect of an estate plan gives you the ability to name a person who will manage your assets, including your possessions and your income if you become unable to make your own financial decisions. There are two main forms of financial power of attorney, those being the durable power of attorney, which goes into effect when it’s signed, and the springing power of attorney, which only takes effect once you have been deemed mentally incapable of making your own financial decisions.
When should someone consult with an estate planning lawyer?
To ensure your estate plan is legal and without any costly errors, hiring an estate lawyer is a wise idea. Laws vary from state-to-state in regards to what can be in a medical or financial power or attorney, a trust or in a will. Therefore, it is crucial to have a lawyer’s oversight to ensure you abide by your local state laws when creating your estate plan, meaning you should hire an estate lawyer whenever you begin the process of creating an estate plan.
What does estate planning generally cost?
According to CNN Money, a basic estate plan or trust can run anywhere from $1,600 to $3,000. However, the more complex the plan, the higher the cost will rise.
Having an estate plan is not just for the rich. It is for anyone who wishes to have a say over where or to whom their assets will go upon their death. Therefore, no matter how little or how much you may have in regards to financial assets or property, having an estate plan or trust created is a wise way to ensure you remain in control over your assets even after death.
Hiring an estate planning attorney in Colorado Springs
You may have many questions about estate planning, asset protection, and more. At Maceau Law, we have the answers. Call 719-633-2222 to schedule an in-person, private and complimentary consultation to learn how we can help you determine a best course of action.