Last Will & Testament Denver CO
Estate Administration & Planning with General Wills
When you think about your parents, other family members, and your spouse and children, it’s almost certain preparing a will is not the first thing that comes to mind. Many people that our Denver CO estate planning law firm works with, admit that they have not taken care of their estate planning and put into place the documents they need to care for the family members they love. There are many reasons that people procrastinate and avoid preparing their will. Almost always, people feel enormous relief once they have taken care of this critically important end of life planning. When there are clear directions about what you want to have happen, it also makes it much easier for those left behind.
Reasons Why You Need a Will
Preparing a Last Will and Testament is not just for the retired or wealthy. Any of the following events trigger the need for a will and proper estate plan:
- Home ownership
- Owning a business
- Having a child
Along with your will, it is important to have a durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney, living will, and, in certain circumstances, a living trust. With your estate planning taken care of you may rest assured that if something happens to you, your loved ones will be provided for and receive the inheritance you wish for them to have. When you make a will, you describe how you want things to happen after you’re gone and you designate who will make sure your carefully prepared plans are put into place as you have described. Without such instruction, your money and property may pass in ways that you don’t really want or intend for them to pass. This is particularly important for nontraditional couples such as same sex couples or unmarried partners. Without particular direction in a will, it is likely that the surviving companion will receive little or nothing and may be excluded from participation in the process at all.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
If you don’t have a will, the State of Colorado has one for you, which may or may not be what you want to happen. When someone dies without a valid will, their money and property is handled according to the intestate laws of Colorado. This means that the probate court appoints someone to handle your affairs and that person appointed will distribute your money and property as laid out in the intestacy laws. In essence, by not having a will that says what you want to happen, the final distribution of your assets will be according to the laws of Colorado, not according to what you might have wanted to happen or what might be best for your spouse, your children, your domestic partner, and other friends and relatives.
This may not sound like a big issue, but if you don’t get along with your family, and want everything you have to go to your best friend, it won’t happen without a valid will. It doesn’t matter if your intentions were to pass your entire estate to your favorite niece, if it isn’t in writing it may not happen. The potential problems are more complicated if you own a business, own real estate in other states, have a special needs child, etc.
Although it is difficult to consider and confront the day when you will no longer be here, having a plan in place provides peace of mind that your loved ones will not have to struggle financially.
Call our Denver CO estate planning attorney today at 303-562-5973 and make this a priority. No one knows what the future holds, but this is one aspect of your life where you can make and implement a good plan. Laws change, circumstances change, and people change – make sure your estate plan is there for all the changes you will face.