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February 2014 Archives

Avoid family conflicts with power of attorney and living will

According to several recent surverys, only about 33 percent of people in the U.S. have a living will or medical power of attorney. These estate planning documents detail what medical care you want to receive in cases of serious or terminal illness or catastrophic injury.

Control of assets spawns disputes for King heirs

Any individual in Denver, Colorado, who has assets or a legacy to pass on to loved ones should carefully consider how wills and other estate documents are written. Failure to make wishes known and set expectations about how assets are handled could result in future disputes between heirs. According to recent news reports, disputes have been the norm for the three surviving Martin Luther King, Jr. heirs.

Paul Walker's estate points out advantages of trusts

The death of famous actor Paul Walker in November of last year was a tragedy that left fans of his movies devastated. While there are often many lessons that can be learned from tragedies such as this, an important but possibly overlooked lesson includes how the deceased person's estate is handled. It's safe to say that Walker had more assets than the average person in Colorado -- he was worth around $25 million including the real estate he owned, which was worth around $8.5 million. Nevertheless, the setup of Walker's estate may provide some insight and useful estate planning lessons to people with much fewer assets, especially with regards to trusts.

Battle over guardianship highlights hospital's power

When a person becomes sick or incapacitated and is no longer able to make decisions for themselves, disputes can arise over the person's medical care. Aging Colorado residents should consider establishing legal guardianships to make sure that their medical wishes are carried out if they become incapacitated. People often choose a family member to be their guardian, but a guardian can really be anybody a person trusts to fight for their medical requests when they're unable to. In rare cases, however, a hospital can seek a guardianship for a patient - sometimes causing anger within a patient's family. If this situation occurs, it's important to have an elder law attorney on your side.

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