When engaged in estate planning, individuals and couples often explore a very wide range of options. While typically they will work with professionals to do the planning, it can help to have some knowledge about the options before discussing them. One option is a trust.
Unfortunately, young people in Colorado and other states, often ignore estate planning. Maybe that is because most young people are just in the highlight, or beginning, of building an estate. But young or old, if you have established any assets at all, you should consider the possibility that something could happen to you.
A new year is an excellent time for Colorado residents to take stock of their estate plans. Changes in federal tax laws can be evaluated to determine the potential impact on one's heirs. Additionally, this is an important time to make adjustments related to major life events that have occurred recently. In 2014, the federal government received nearly $13 billion in estate taxes, making closer scrutiny of one's plans a priority.
Colorado residents who are new to the subject of estate planning may be interested to learn more about the various kinds of trusts that are available. Trusts fall into two general categories: testamentary and living trusts. A testamentary trust is set up only after the benefactor's death, when the person's will is put into effect. On the other hand, a living trust is established during the benefactor's lifetime.
There are several factors that an individual may need to consider prior to creating a trust in Colorado. An important question to ask is whether a trust is necessary to protect the assets within the estate. Generally, those who have more than $100,000 in assets should consider using a trust. Trusts are also good for those who want to protect a family business or want to provide for a disabled family member.
In the state of Colorado, a person's will dictates what they want to happen to their assets or estate when they die. This legal document, which can be enforced by the court, assists family members with the division of any property, family items or financial assets.
Although both types of documents are designed to aid people in distributing their assets according to their wishes, there are significant differences in how wills and trusts work. In some situations, a living trust is more advantageous, and in others, a will is the better option. There are a number of situations where the use of both kinds of documents is advisable.
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.
One of the most important estate planning issues for Colorado residents may be having enough money saved to address living expenses during retirement years. Without sufficient funds, there could be the need to get rid of some assets in order to handle the costs of living. Whether or not enough money has been saved, however, an estate plan is important for prescribing how one's remaining assets will be distributed after death. With a revocable trust, these directions can be changed as often as necessary to account for changes in holdings based on the liquidation of bad assets or the decrease in value of a good asset.
Almost all Colorado residents need to make a will. This most basic of estate planning documents details how you want your assets and possessions disbursed after your death. But even more importantly, it allows you to name a guardian for any minor or disabled children. Without it, your child(ren) may become the center of a courtroom battle between family members fighting for the right to physical custody.