Our Colorado Estate Planning Attorney Explains the Basics of Living Trusts
Estate planning can make life easier for your loved ones if you should pass away or suffer a debilitating illness. With certain estate planning options, you can choose how you would like your assets and properties to pass to your loved ones after your death or incapacitation. You can also protect your assets with certain estate planning options. If you do not have an estate plan in place, then the Colorado probate court may decide the outcome of your estate.
You should create a living trust in Colorado to make your last wishes known and to protect your most important assets.
What Is a Living Trust?
Under a trust, a trustee holds property for another person, the beneficiary. If you are the trustee, then you maintain control of the properties in the trust during your life. Living trusts are called “living trusts” because you create them while you are still alive. Living trusts are also sometimes called revocable trusts or revocable living trusts. If you are the owner of a living trust, then you may change its terms at your discretion.
If you have already done your research on estate planning, then you may have also heard of irrevocable trusts. These are trusts that you generally cannot modify. While you are no longer the owner of assets in an irrevocable trust, you still maintain some control.
How to Create a Living Trust in Colorado
There are steps you must take to create a living trust. Working with an attorney can make the process much easier. However, the steps involved with creating a living trust may include:
- Choosing between an individual or shared trust;
- Taking an inventory of your properties and assets;
- Deciding which properties to include in the trust;
- Choosing the beneficiaries who are to receive properties in the trust;
- Choosing your successor trustee, or the person who takes control of the trust upon your passing or incapacitation;
- Creating and signing the trust document, preferably in front of a notary;
- Transferring properties into the trust.
There are benefits to working with an attorney while creating a living trust in Colorado. An estate planning attorney can help you or your family:
- Ensure the trust document is legally enforceable;
- Avoid probate court;
- Help guide a non-professional personal representative or executor, trustee, attorney-in-fact, or other fiduciary;
- Create legal protections for your trust should you die or become unable to handle your affairs due to accident or illness.
Do I Need a Living Trust?
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the specifics of your case. We strongly encourage you to reach out to our Colorado estate planning attorney if you want to learn more about whether a living trust or irrevocable trust is the best option for your situation. Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC has an office in Denver and Breckenridge.
You can schedule a free initial consultation with us by calling (303) 625-6280 or using the case review form on our site.