While it’s challenging to plan for the end of one’s life, it is crucial to consider the possibility. Planning ahead ensures that important wishes and decisions are taken care of and carried out according to your desires.
At the Kanthaka Group, we work closely with families to organize both simple and complex financial situations. We have experience working with clients in a variety of different situations, and we are able to draw upon our expertise to guide you through estate planning documents and set you up for success.
The following five estate planning documents should be thoughtfully considered and implemented with the help of sound legal advice.
1. Will – Your Blueprint for Legacy
The Last Will and Testament is the cornerstone of your estate plan. It dictates the distribution of your assets after your passing. To avoid potential probate issues, obtaining sound legal advice is crucial in tailoring your Will to your specific needs.
Requirements for a Valid Will in CO:
- Written document: Your Will must be in writing, not verbal.
- Signed by you: You must sign your Will in front of two witnesses who also sign in your presence. Witnesses must be competent adults (over 18 years old) and not beneficiaries named in the Will.
- Notarization (optional): While not required, notarizing your Will can add an extra layer of authenticity and help prevent disputes later.
2. Trust – Efficient Control of Assets
For those aiming to minimize legal fees, the Living Trust (Revocable Trust) is a valuable option. This document allows you to control assets as the trustee, with a successor trustee named for asset distribution upon your passing. As assets in a trust bypass probate, this can significantly reduce legal expenses.
3. Financial Power of Attorney – Securing Your Finances
In the event of an emergency or incapacity, a Financial Power of Attorney appoints an agent to manage your finances. This crucial document ensures seamless financial decision-making, preventing the need for conservatorship, saving both time and legal costs.
4. Advance Health Care Directive – Medical Decision Empowerment
For medical emergencies, the Advance Health Care Directive empowers a trusted agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. This document grants your agent the ability to make crucial medical decisions and access important health information, providing clarity on your end-of-life preferences.
5. Guardianship Designations – Protecting Your Children
Guardianship provisions enable parents to designate an agent as a guardian for minor children. This ensures your wishes guide the court in determining legal responsibility, preventing uncertainty. Named guardians are generally appointed unless there are grounds for denial.
Our team of estate planning professionals is intimately familiar with laws and regulations and will be able to guide you through your estate planning documents process with insight that will set you, and your loved ones, up for success. Contact us at (719) 633-2222 to secure your legacy through comprehensive estate planning.