Estate Planning Basics: Key Points to Remember When Creating an Estate Plan

Estate Planning Basics: Key Points to Remember When Creating an Estate Plan
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Estate planning is a must if you would like to have any input regarding how your money, personal possessions, and other assets are distributed when you die. Even if you only have a modest number of possessions, it is still important to create a plan that outlines your assets and dictates exactly who will receive them. Below is a look at the top reasons why you should have an estate plan in Colorado and the surest way to ensure that you establish one that reflects your wishes.

What are the top three reasons you need an estate plan in Colorado?

Many people are surprised to learn that there are a host of unpleasant consequences for failing to establish an estate plan. From costly delays to distribution of your assets to people you would never choose as beneficiaries, the outcome is not likely to be one that you would choose. Here are the top three reasons to have an estate plan in Colorado.

1) A crisis can occur at any point in time

“With COVID-19 impacting more and more Americans, individuals across the country are scrambling to set up wills and end-of-life directives.”
Bryan Borzykowski, Founder ALLCAPS Content, CNBC Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for many people in Colorado and across America. Prior to COVID-19, many people – especially younger adults – seemed to be living with a false sense of security. But COVID-19 shows that a crisis can strike at any time, and you need to be prepared with a plan.

2) If you do not have an estate plan in place, the State of Colorado will create one for you

For many people, this is the most compelling reason to have an estate plan. You can imagine how upset you would be if your assets ended up in the hands of your sister who you have never gotten along with. Or maybe you have always wanted to leave a portion of your estate to the Colorado Humane Society. This will likely not happen unless you have a plan in place that outlines your specific wishes.

3) Failure to have a plan in place can be costly and time-consuming

“Having proper estate planning documents can speed the transfer process, decrease costs, and help keep family harmony.”
– Michael Chamberlain, CFP (R)

Having an estate plan in place can make the transfer of your assets unfold faster and more smoothly. If you don’t have a plan, the process of transferring your assets can also be emotionally exhausting and could take well over a year to be completed. Moreover, probate costs can end up costing up to 5% of your estate’s value.

So why do so many people lack an estate plan?

“Why do so many people fail to tackle or complete estate planning? The top two reasons of the people surveyed: They “hadn’t gotten around to it” (47 percent), and they “don’t have enough assets to leave to anyone” (29 percent).”
– Barbranda Lumpkins Walls, AARP

There are many reasons why people fail to create an estate plan. And most of them are flimsy at best. The AARP reports that 6 in 10 people lack an estate plan, with many people noting that they simply “hadn’t gotten around to it.” Other people think estate planning is not necessary because they don’t have any possessions to give to anyone, while others think they are “too young” to worry about creating an estate plan.

The truth is that every adult in Colorado needs an estate plan. Even if you feel that you do not currently have much in the way of money or possessions, you still need to be prepared for an unexpected change of events in your life. Even if you call yourself a “starving artist” with no children, you probably would prefer for your collection of oil paintings to be given to your art-loving niece instead of ending up being dispersed by the State of Colorado.

What is the secret to simple, straightforward estate planning?

The thought of estate planning might be a bit intimidating. But the prospect of people who know nothing about you or your wishes making decisions on your behalf is far more unsettling. The good news is that there is a simple, straightforward way to prevent the State of Colorado from deciding what happens to your loved ones and assets.

By reaching out to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers, you can take charge of your future and ensure that your wishes are respected. Most importantly, we can make sure that your estate plan covers key points that many people do not think about. Contact us today to get the planning process started. Our team of qualified estate planning attorneys will work with you to make the process smooth, efficient, and straightforward.