Denver Estate Planning Attorney
At Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC, we have assisted Denver residents for more than 21 years with wills, trusts, and estate planning guidance. Estate planning is a gift you can give your loved ones and make sure your property goes where you want it to.
If you need assistance with estate planning, consult with our Denver estate planning attorneys to help create a plan on how you’d like things managed. Call our Colorado office today at (303) 420-2863 or fill out our online contact form.
Denver Estate Planning Resources
- What is Estate Planning?
- Why Do I Need a Denver Estate Planning Lawyer?
- Examples of Important Estate Planning Tools
- Who Can Benefit From Estate Planning Services?
- Estate Planning Services We Offer in Denver
- Estate Planning Mistakes
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the act of establishing who will receive one’s assets after death. It is important to have an estate plan, as it helps you recognize who will inherit your assets and also demonstrate your funeral arrangements and medical requests.
There are different parts to estate planning, and your estate is made up of all the possessions you own including:
- Motor Vehicles
- Retirement Accounts
All estate planning needs are different and can be complicated, which is why it is important to consult with an estate planning attorney. Estate planning lawyers are experts in trusts, wills, and local probate processes. They can assist in designating beneficiaries and establishing a durable medical power of attorney. Additionally, they can also help you find ways to reduce and avoid taxations for your estate. Many estate planning attorneys also specialize in planning business successions.
What is the Process of Estate Planning?
Many people don’t realize that estate planning is an important and necessary step they need to take as they get older and acquire wealth, including property, cars, financial assets such as stocks and bonds, and anything else important or of value. When you pass away, you likely want to make sure that your family is taken care of and that your assets are distributed as you want them to be. To do this, estate planning is essential.
The process of estate planning will vary based on your personal situation, but typically, it includes the following:
- Make a list of your assets and debts. This is an important step to take so that you can make sure that you have accounted for everything. If you have accounts that you forgot about or don’t have the information to access, this will make estate planning difficult. It’s also important to know what you owe, because your estate will have to settle these debts before any of your finances and assets are distributed.
- Create a plan. Your business planning attorney will help you to correctly and legally set everything in motion in order to distribute your assets properly – hopefully without going through probate, if possible. This might include setting up trusts or gifting family members some of the assets before you pass away.
- Document Your Wishes. Once you have everything in order and know what you want to do, it’s important to make sure that all of your wishes are clearly stated in written form. If no one knows how you want to distribute your assets, it won’t be possible for this to happen the way you want it to.
- Appoint Someone To Help. It’s important to appoint a fiduciary who can help make sure your wishes are carried out according to plan – even if you’ve already written everything down. Make sure it’s someone you trust and know will follow your wishes.
Why Do I Need a Denver Estate Planning Lawyer?
Financial situations, no matter how well-planned they are, need professional supervision. In certain situations, it’s highly advisable to utilize the expertise of a Denver estate planning attorney. Some of the important things they can help you with include the following:
- Planning your business succession
- Assisting you with out-of-state assets when you want to pass them on. An experienced attorney will be familiar with tax codes and other state laws that are necessary for estate planning
- Assisting you in leaving assets to an individual who is not a legal U.S resident
- Helping protect foreign assets and properties
- Creating a robust asset protection plan for your estate planning.
Examples of Important Estate Planning Tools
Estate planning attorneys handle several different things, but some of the most common ways they assist people include the following:
Wills and Trusts
Wills and trusts are tools that can be utilized to make sure assets are passed on the way the owner intends them to be. An estate planning attorney can help you determine who to pass your assets to and how to make sure it’s done in the most effective way possible. This means attempting to avoid the probate process if possible, which can be an incredibly time-consuming, stressful, and expensive process at times.
Powers of Attorney
Powers of an attorney often need to be designated so that if something happens to you, you have a person who can help you handle your affairs. This often includes designating someone to make financial decisions, medical decisions, and any other important life decisions should you become incapacitated.
A living will also referred to as an advanced medical directive, is a document that gives a person – often a family member – the power to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are alive but in a vegetative state or are terminal and unable to communicate your wishes for the treatment or lack of treatment that you wish to receive.
Who Can Benefit From Estate Planning Services?
Regardless of age, wealth, or family situation, everyone can benefit from estate planning services. If you are 18 or older, it can be beneficial to have an estate plan to ensure your assets are protected. A will is just the first step that explains your wishes after your passing. Estate plans are much more descriptive and include different documents that state how you would like your assets managed after your passing. It can also assist with other needs including medical expenses, taxes, and court costs. An experienced estate planning lawyer will provide you with legal guidance on what best fits your unique situation.
Estate Planning Services We Offer in Denver
If you’re looking into hiring an estate planning lawyer or firm, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and if that firm offers the services you need and has the necessary experience. Some of the services we offer include the following:
- General Estate Planning
- Asset Protection
- Business Planning
- Medicaid Planning
- Tax Assistance
- Probate and Trust Settlement
- Estate Planning for Non-traditional and Blended Families
- Living Wills and Advanced Directives
Regardless of what your needs are, reach out to us so we can assist you. The above list doesn’t include every service we provide, so feel free to contact us at any time for questions about other services we offer.
Common Estate Planning Mistakes
As with most situations in life, it’s difficult to avoid mistakes if you don’t know you’re making them. The same is true with estate planning. Some of the most common estate planning mistakes that you should avoid include the following:
- Waiting too long to plan. Many people don’t realize that estate planning is necessary and must be executed before it becomes necessary. If you wait too long, it will be more difficult to effectively plan how your assets get distributed.
- Failing to appoint a guardian for children under 18. It’s important to have a plan for your assets, but also for your family. If you are the sole caretaker of your minor children and you pass away, it’s crucial that you have legal documents in place so that they are taken care of. Even if you aren’t a single parent, a specific plan for their wellbeing should be in place in case something happens to both parents.
- Not changing or updating your plan. As time goes on, your wishes might change, or your financial situation may change. You might incur more debts or amass more assets. Making a plan once in your life and then never thinking about it again is a sure way for your wishes to not be followed. It’s likely that as you age and as your children age – and as your financial situation changes – you will want to update your estate plan.
This list isn’t exhaustive – there are lots of mistakes that can be made. When you hire a dedicated and competent estate planning firm, they will ensure that these mistakes aren’t made and that everything goes according to your wishes.
Speak With a Denver Estate Planning Attorney as Soon as Possible
Speaking with our Denver estate planning attorney as soon as possible is always advisable. We never know when we are going to get ill or become unable to make decisions for ourselves. In order to make sure that all of your wishes are carried out as intended, it’s crucial to start planning early. Contact our experienced Arvada estate planning attorneys at (303) 420-2863 as soon as possible so you can make sure your wishes are carried out appropriately.