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Plan now for asset distribution after death

Nobody likes to dwell on their own mortality, but some issues need to be addressed before health declines or the mind begins to fail. Some of those issues affecting Colorado residents of any age include planning for the distribution of assets after death.

To make certain that your wishes are carried out posthumously regarding the distribution of assets, everyone should have a will, and some people may benefit from establishing a trust for their heirs. Also, be especially sure that you have named a beneficiary for such assets like life insurance policies.

Beneficiaries may change over the years. A young parent may decide to name his children as beneficiaries in a company-sponsored life insurance policy to make sure that they are taken care of no matter if his spouse remarries. But 20 or 30 years down the road, when the children are all adults and on their own, he may want to change the beneficiary to his spouse so that she has the means to live independently as long as possible. Simply making the change in the will won't do; he actually must change the beneficiary on the policy itself. An estate attorney can assist you with reviewing your beneficiaries periodically or when circumstances change.

Realize that marriage definitely provides some benefits when it comes to avoiding probate and inheritance taxes. Assets in both spouses' names can bypass probate entirely, which can be a godsend if money will be tight while the estate languishes in the courts.

A Colorado estate planning attorney can work with you to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of after you're gone and that your wishes are carried out to the letter.

Source: Huffington Post, "When You Die, Where Does Your Dough Go?" David A. Dedman, Mar. 24, 2014

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