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Denver Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Lessons learned from Justice Ginsberg

As the media has widely reported, earlier this month U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg fell in her office, breaking three ribs. At 85 years old, a fall raises concerns for an older patient’s physical and mental health as well as questions about whether her environment could be safer. 

Here at Chayet & Danzo, LLC, our elder law attorneys advocate for Colorado seniors by planning for aging and incapacity, navigating health care and long-term care systems and financing, establishing estate plans, and creating safety nets using powers of attorney, medical directives, conservatorship and guardianship, and other techniques.

When are estate and trust administration expenses deductible?

Prior to the 2017 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (TCJA) these administrative expenses generally fell into the miscellaneous itemized deduction bucket. The TCJA suspended miscellaneous deductions until Jan. 1, 2026. This had created uncertainty about whether an estate, a non-grantor trust or an individual beneficiary could still claim them in the interim.

In July, the IRS issued a notice clarifying its position on the topic. Estates and non-grantor trusts will still be able to deduct these expenses. A beneficiary, however, might not be able to deduct them after termination of an estate or trust.

Gift and estate tax planning for wealthy Colorado taxpayers

At our law firm, we provide estate planning advice and services to Colorado clients at all levels of wealth, but for those at upper tax brackets, it is important to evaluate if and how federal gift and estate taxes could impact choices to make lifetime gifts as well as estate planning choices to minimize tax liability. 

The estate tax is assessed on money and property transferred to beneficiaries or heirs from highly valued estates and even then, a large part of an eligible estate is exempt from tax.

Brother of Denver Broncos incapacitated owner petitions court

On October 26, The Denver Post published an article about the petition Bill Bowlen had just filed in Arapahoe County District Court asking the court to review the actions of three agents appointed to act on his brother Pat Bowlen’s behalf pursuant to a power of attorney. As is well known in Colorado, Pat Bowlen, the owner of the Broncos, suffers from severe Alzheimer’s disease. 

The Post attached a copy of the court petition to the online article.

What to consider when gifting appreciated stock?

Investing in individual stocks can diversify your financial portfolio. Warren Buffett’s four principles are to look for shares in a business you understand with good long-term prospects, operated by competent and honest people and at an attractive price.

This might mean opting into a company discounted stock purchase program or picking up a couple quality stocks. If you started investing years ago, you may have an E*TRADE or an Edward Jones account with an appreciated portfolio. What happens if you want to give appreciated shares to a family member?

Powers of an agent under a Colorado power of attorney

In the past week, we have talked about the power of attorney as a component of your estate plan, including what to look for in choosing your agent and his or her legal duties. Today, we will discuss the kinds of powers and responsibilities you can delegate to your agent using your power of attorney

The beauty of a POA is that you can craft it to transfer whatever powers you choose. For example, you could execute a POA just for one transaction such as to have the agent act for you at a real estate closing or manage one asset.

What to consider in choosing an agent under a power of attorney

Today we continue our discussion of the financial power of attorney in Colorado estate planning. Specifically, we will touch on what is important to consider as you decide whom to name as your agent. 

For many people, a spouse, other family member or close friend is a good choice, especially when the main assets support the family or the principal as an individual. For example, a principal may face older age and need to name an agent to take over paying bills and expenses should cognitive problems arise.

The role of a power of attorney in your estate planning toolbox

At Chayet & Danzo, LLC, we sit down with Colorado clients to learn about their concerns and goals for financial security during their lives and the financial protection of their loved ones now and into the future. Under Colorado law, many estate planning tools exist to help our clients meet those goals. Today we will talk about one of them: the financial power of attorney

A financial power of attorney, sometimes referred to as a POA, is a legal document that you (called the principal) can execute to give another person (called the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority and responsibility to handle your financial affairs.

Charitable giving and legacy planning in an estate plan

Philanthropy is a part of our culture. Last year, it surged past the $400 billion mark for the first time. According to the Giving USA Foundation, a 5.2 percent year-over-year increase resulted in charitable organizations receiving about $410 billion.

While the increase is impressive, there is a disconcerting trend: Fewer Americans are donating to charity – between 2000 and 2014, the percentage fell from about two-thirds to little more than half. Could modeling charitable giving for loved ones in the next generation stem this tide? How do you leave a bequest?

The role of the guardian ad litem in Colorado court proceedings

At our Colorado law firm, our attorneys act when appointed by courts throughout the state as guardians ad litem in court proceedings involving vulnerable individuals like children, people with intellectual disabilities and incapacitated persons of any age, including elders. The job of the GAL is to investigate how the proceeding impacts the vulnerable person and advocate for his or her best interests before the court. 

The GAL by bringing issues related to the interests of the vulnerable person to the attention of the judge helps to ensure that the court thoroughly considers that person’s role, rights and needs. A vulnerable person needs someone to look out for him or her since the capacity to self-advocate is likely diminished.

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