Experts at Navigating The Complexities of Probate & Trust Law.
Denver Trust & Probate Attorney
NEED 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. What usually does not accompany those dreams are the details that come with said adulthood, 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 trust attorney can help you secure everything that you have worked so hard to attain.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will in Colorado?
If you don’t have a will then 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; and if you have children but are not married then your property will be divided amongst your children. This division can be further complicated if you have children and a surviving spouse, or a spouse and surviving parents. That’s why it’s imperative you 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 includes 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, 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 does offer 2 different 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 involvement of the court to address issues. including any Will contest.
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 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” which will allow them to maintain management of their trust, assets, and property, with a “successor trustee” named as well. To find out more about this process, give our Denver trust lawyer a call today.
What Is a Trustee?
A trustee acts as a fiduciary. This party is responsible for administering the property and assets to the beneficiaries that are 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 that you have accumulated likely has some value to you, whether that value is monetary or 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 that you have worked to build. A local Denver trust lawyer from our Colorado office can help with every aspect of both the trust or probate process.
Why Hire a Lawyer for the Probate or Trust Process?
A named representative of an estate or trust may not always be a professional. In fact, 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.
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.
Why Choose Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC?
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 we have licenses to represent clients in both Colorado and Louisiana. We help beneficiaries or descendants navigating through state probate and trust law as it applies to them. A Colorado trust and estate planning attorney from our firm is proficient in business law as well as estate planning in order to complement our probate law and trust services.
Contact Our Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys in Denver
For over four decades, Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors 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. We want our clients to move on with some sense of security.
To schedule an appointment with a Colorado trust and will lawyer, call our Breckenridge office or our Denver office at(303) 747-6791. Additionally, you can fill out our online form. We are confident that we can help you meet your estate planning and probate needs.
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