Probate And Trust
Experts at Navigating The Complexities of Probate & Trust Law.
Denver Probate and Trust Lawyer
EXPERIENCED LEGAL GUIDANCE ABOUT TRUSTS AND PROBATE in COLORADO
Most people dream about the house they will live in, the car they will drive, and all the other perks that come with an established estate. The details that come with said adulthood usually do not accompany those dreams, such as estate planning and forming living trusts to protect all of those things. However, ensuring that you take care of these details is imperative in protecting your assets. Our Denver probate and trust attorney can help you secure everything you have worked hard to attain.
Plan for the Future with a Customized Estate Plan
At Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC, we understand the importance of protecting your legacy and ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of. Our experienced estate planning attorneys in Denver, CO can help you create a customized estate plan that meets your unique needs and goals.
Benefits of estate planning include:
- Preserving your assets and minimizing estate taxes
- Ensuring your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for
- Appointing guardians for minor children
- Avoiding probate and the associated costs and delays
- Protecting your assets from creditors and lawsuits
Our team will work closely with you to understand your specific situation and develop a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes. Whether you need a will, trust, power of attorney, or other estate planning documents, we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process.
Contact our Denver probate and trust attorneys online or call (303) 747-6791 to start protecting your legacy and ensuring peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Protect Your Assets with Comprehensive Estate Planning in CO
At Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC, we understand that estate planning can be a daunting task. That's why we're here to guide you through the process and help you protect your assets for the future. Our experienced Denver estate planning lawyers will take the time to understand your unique situation and develop a personalized plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.
Our comprehensive estate planning services include:
- Creating a will or trust
- Establishing powers of attorney
- Designating beneficiaries
- Minimizing taxes
- Protecting assets from creditors
- Planning for incapacity
By working with our team, you can have peace of mind knowing that your assets are protected and your wishes will be carried out when the time comes. Don't wait until it's too late - contact our Denver estate planning attorneys today.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will in Colorado?
If you don’t have a will, your property will undergo intestate succession, which means your assets will be divided amongst your relatives. For example, if you are married without children, your spouse will inherit the total of the property; if you have children but are not married, your property will be divided amongst your children. This division can be further complicated if you have children, a surviving spouse, or a spouse and surviving parents. That’s why you must create a will that details how you want your assets distributed to ensure your wishes are met.
What Does It Mean to Probate a Will?
For any decedent's Estate that includes real Estate that exceeds $75,000 in value is necessary to go through the probate process in a court. The probate process consists of the validation of the Will (if any) and the appointment of a Personal Representative (Executor) who can collect the assets for the Estate, pay appropriate debts (including taxes) and expenses of administration, and distribute the remainder to the beneficiaries.
According to Colorado probate law, for estates worth less than $75,000 that do not include real Estate, an affidavit can be used to retrieve the assets, thus avoiding the probate process through a court.
The state offers two forms of probate: formal or informal, depending on whether or not there are any issues or disputes regarding the Will or the handling of the Estate. The formal probate requires more court involvement to address issues, including any Will contest.
While probate plays an important role in distributing property and paying remaining debts or taxes after a person’s death, some family members may find the process cumbersome. The probate process generally takes six to nine months. This is more likely to be true for families with complex estates. Probate is not always an expedient process and does not necessarily carry out the decedent’s wishes for an estate. However, for many people, probate does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming process.
Can I Avoid Probate?
You can avoid probate with the right type of estate plan. Trusts can designate your beneficiaries and pass along assets before you pass away or suffer incapacitation due to an illness. You can use a living trust to keep specific assets out of probate, which may help simplify the probate process after your passing.
There is a common misconception that you can avoid probate by not having a Will. Actually, the absence of a Will will force a probate proceeding for all but the smallest of estates. Furthermore, if you do not have a will, the Colorado Probate Code specifies how to distribute your assets to family members or other heirs, which often is not how the decedent would have desired.
Can Certain Properties or Assets Avoid Colorado Probate Court?
Certain assets can avoid probate. As we mentioned above, assets in a living trust do not have to go through probate court. Additional assets that can avoid probate include:
- Retirement accounts with a named beneficiary
- Gifts you gave other people before death
- Funds in a pay-on-death account
- Certain types of death benefits from insurance policies
- Jointly-held property (not community property and not property held as tenants-in-common)
What Is a Living Trust?
A living trust, also referred to as “inter vivos trust,” is created by an individual while they are still alive, naming their property and assets and how they will be divided upon death. This can be in the form of a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust. The primary difference between these two is that a revocable trust can be amended or revoked, while an irrevocable trust cannot be modified once created.
The creator of a revocable trust will typically name themselves as the “trustee,” allowing them to maintain management of their trust, assets, and property, with a “successor trustee” also named. Give our Denver trust lawyer a call today to learn more about this process.
Does a Trust Avoid Probate?
There are a couple of things that can be done to avoid probate. Creating a living trust with all your assets is one method to forgo the process. Additionally, if you jointly own property, have payable-on-death bank accounts, or set up a transfer-on-death account for securities, vehicle registration, or deeds, you can skip probate.
What Is a Trustee?
A trustee acts as a fiduciary. This party is responsible for administering the property and assets to the beneficiaries identified in the trust. The definition of fiduciary is “a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.” You can assign this role to a trusted friend or a professional.
Whoever You Appoint as the Trustee Will Be Responsible for the Following:
- Keeping accurate financial records.
- Investment decisions.
- Understanding and applying fiduciary accounting rules and using discretion in applying these rules.
- Preparing and filing appropriate tax returns, including making the appropriate tax elections.
- Allocating discretionary distribution between or among multiple beneficiaries.
- Dealing with disputes with beneficiaries who question the use of your discretion.
Our trust attorneys in Denver can assist with settling any issues between beneficiaries, between the trustee and the beneficiaries, or between other interested parties. We can also provide additional fiduciary support by preparing and filing necessary tax returns — including income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax returns.
Do I Need a Trust Attorney in Denver?
Everything you have accumulated likely has some value to you, whether that value is monetary, sentimental, or both. You should take the necessary steps to protect what you hold dear. Ensuring that your assets, property, and other valuables are taken care of is the most sensible step to protect all you have worked to build. A local Denver trust lawyer from our Colorado office can help with every aspect of the trust or probate process.
Why Hire a Lawyer for the Probate or Trust Process?
A named representative of an estate or trust may only sometimes be a professional. It is often a family member who has no legal knowledge. A trust and probate lawyer in Denver can guide and direct a non-professional personal representative or executor, trustee, or other fiduciary. This will ensure that the best possible decisions are made within the scope of the representative’s duties in regard to the estate.
Are you looking to establish a trust in Colorado? Call Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC at (303) 747-6791 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced probate and trust lawyer near you!
Additionally, We Can Prepare the Necessary Documents to Help You With the Following:
- Open a probate estate
- Deal with creditors
- Settle the assets of the estate
- Close the estate
Do not leave your valuables exposed to risk by not preparing properly. Planning your estate is easy when you retain the employ of an experienced Colorado trust or will attorney. Your lawyer can ensure that all that you have worked for is assigned to the right person(s), that any funds are directed where they need to be, as well as any other similar details specific to your assets and property.
Contact Our dENVER pROBATE AND Trust aTTORNEY
At Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, we have over 40 years of experience in estate management and probate law. We provide our clients with direct guidance in managing trusts, decedents’ estates, and other fiduciary responsibilities. We base our fees on actual time spent and not on the percentage of assets. Because of this, we can arrange these fees to accommodate almost any budget.
We have offices in Denver and Breckenridge and licenses to represent clients in Colorado and Louisiana. We help beneficiaries or descendants navigate state probate and trust law as it applies to them. Our firm's Colorado trust and estate planning attorneys are proficient in business and estate planning to complement our probate law and trust services.
For over four decades, Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC has been helping people secure their estates by drafting living wills and trusts and representing people through the probate process in Denver, CO. We help our clients draft solid estate plans in a quick and efficient time frame. Our Denver trust attorneys want our clients to move on with some sense of security.
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