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Denver Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Part 2: Considerations when nominating a trustee

In today’s post, we continue our discussion of the factors to consider when deciding whom to name as the trustee in a trust. In part 1, we talked about some of the reasons people ask relatives and friends to serve as trustees.

Those reasons can include a pre-existing relationship with and concern for the trust beneficiary. On a practical level, a family member or friend may serve without charging fees.

Part 1: Should you choose a personal or professional trustee?

At our law firm, our work often involves trusts. We help people set up trusts during their lifetimes such as revocable living trusts and special-needs trusts. Some clients arrange for testamentary trusts that take effect at death through provisions in wills.

Our lawyers also advise trustees about how to carry out the terms of the trusts for which they are responsible and how to fulfill their fiduciary duties. Finally, an attorney at our firm may agree to act as a professional trustee.

Caring for Fido if you become incapacitated or after your death

Dogs, cats and other companion animals are important members of many Colorado families. Beloved pets also commonly provide companionship and meaning in the lives of elders. Those who love their furry family members should be aware that they can take legal steps to provide for care of pets if owners become too ill or injured to provide pet care themselves and even after owner death.

How to update digital profiles after a death

The LinkedIn update arrived with a work anniversary. It said to congratulate a connection on his 12th year with the State Department. The only thing was that he had passed away in 2009.

No one had notified LinkedIn. This leads to the important topic of social media and what to do with accounts after a loved one passes away. In this post, we will share some tips for LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.

Elder-protection study places Colorado in middle tier of states

In a new study, WalletHub placed Colorado at number 29 out of 51 states (including the District of Columbia) in elder-abuse protection. We have posted here regularly about our law firm's dedication to the safety of vulnerable, elderly Coloradans. 

We devote much of our practice to representing seniors and their family members, caregivers, conservators, guardians, fiduciaries, friends and others concerned for the well-being of elders. We provide advice about long-term care; signs of physical, emotional and financial abuse; and legal remedies that can stop mistreatment, set up protections for the individual and seek damages for previous harm.

Making 2019 resolutions? Don’t neglect estate planning

Did the last year feel like it went fast? Imagine how quickly the next might pass. With age, time can have the tendency to accelerate.

Yet certain things remain on the back burner. Scheduling an appointment to create or review an estate plan might be right up there on your list with cleaning out the drain traps. It shouldn't be. Here is a list of some things to aspire to in 2019 and a reference to our 2018 post for tips on when to revisit an estate plan.

Estate planning can be a gift to your surviving loved ones

As a country, we tend to avoid talking with our loved ones about the inevitable: our deaths. As 5280 Magazine recently put it, “we … tend to separate ourselves, emotionally and physically, from both the ugliness and the beauty of our inevitable ends.” 

As part of a longer feature article about the recently approved Proposition 106, the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act, 5280 shares the story of a woman who found her father’s estate planning documents neatly organized in a blue notebook in his bedroom at home when he unexpectedly needed to be put into an induced coma.

Keep the promise or get appropriate memory loss care

The conversation could come up while visiting with an aging parent over the holidays. Your 85-year-old mother or father might acknowledge slowing down, but then ask you to promise never to consider a nursing home. Many elderly individuals are adamant they would rather die first.

Occupancy rates in many skilled nursing homes across the country has decreased. Assisted living has gained popularity and more programs exist to help seniors stay in their homes longer. While skilled nursing care serves an important purpose, advance planning for long-term care can reduce time in a nursing home.

Survey of older Coloradans fosters understanding of their needs

The National Research Center’s 2018 Community Assessment Survey of Older Adults was recently released, providing detailed responses that inform us about the needs and strengths of our Colorado elders. Key players like local government bodies, nonprofits, private entities and others will use the CASOA data to better target services for older community members.

Psychiatric advance directives: Is there a Colorado equivalent?

Mental illness spans a continuum and reaching the right diagnosis and mix of medications can take years. Some who struggle with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or severe depression, to name a few, recognize the symptoms of an oncoming mental health crisis and check themselves into a hospital. Others may live in denial, refusing to seek treatment or going off prescribed medications as soon as they stabilize.

Recently, the New York Times covered how a person with bipolar and borderline personality disorders used a psychiatric advance directive (PAD) to find peace of mind. This document allows a patient to describe which treatment they do and do not want. While Colorado does not recognize a specified PAD form, a Medical Power of Attorney can offer some of the same relief.

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