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The living trust as an estate planning tool for Colorado citizens

Benefactors in Colorado have the option of using a living trust to provide a safe method of transferring assets to named beneficiaries. This instrument of estate planning differs from the traditional will in that a living trust includes directions for the management of property while the benefactor is alive. This can be especially useful if the benefactor serves as the trustee and loses the ability to manage the trust.

Another significant departure from wills is that wills go through probate court, which involves fees and waiting periods. A revocable trust keeps the estate plan and assets private provided it is not challenged in court. It also establishes the beneficiaries directly and provides explicit instructions on how and when they are to receive funds.

Despite the increased cost of constructing a living trust when compared to a will, trusts provide substantial protection for anyone facing the possibility of mental incapacitation in the future. Succession from the benefactor to another trustee is part of the document. Beyond this, directions regarding the disbursement of assets may include bill payments, methods of covering medical and living expenses, and other aspects of financial management.

A revocable trust makes it possible for the benefactor to provide directions for a trusted successor. Those who might be interested in forming a trust as part of their estate plans might consult with an attorney. An attorney could help a client determine if a trust fits his or her situation. In addition, the attorney could help drafter the necessary paperwork for establishing the trust. The attorney might also provide insight into other estate planning tools, including powers of attorney and living wills.

Source: Colorado Bar Association , "Living Trusts", September 23, 2014

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