Denver Estate Planning Attorney
What Should an Estate Plan Include?
What is an estate plan? Simply stated, it is a blueprint. A well-crafted estate plan saves money and lessens the emotional stress on your family.
At the very minimum your plan should address the following:
- Elimination of Probate
- Property distribution upon your death
- Elimination (or reduction) of federal estate tax
- Healthcare decisions in the event of your incapacity
- Protection of bequests to minor children/grandchildren, spendthrifts and incapacitated family members
A Full-Service Firm
Because everyone's situation is unique, it is imperative that your plan is tailored to your needs and achieves your objectives. Your plan may involve the use of one or more estate planning strategies. Our Denver estate planning attorney at James A. Littlepage Law Offices offers a complete range of estate planning services.
- Last will & testament : Your will gives direction to your personal representative in the administration of your estate after your death. This document should be drafted with an attorney's help.
- Codicil : A codicil is a document that amends a particular detail of the last will and testament. An estate planning attorney should draft this document in order to avoid unintended consequences of the amendment.
- Creating a trust for your pet : It has become increasingly popular for families to create trusts and other end-of-life benefits for their pets. Loving pet owners want to be assured that their pet will be in good hands should they die or become incapacitate.
- Living revocable trust : A living revocable trust is typically administered by the Settlor for their own benefit during their lifetime, and the benefit of their heirs afterwards. This type of trust may be revoked or altered at any time with the assistance of your estate planning attorney.
- Irrevocable trustpoof : Similar in nature to a living revocable trust, this trust cannot be modified without a court order and the help of an attorney.
- Special needs trust : Many families with children of special needs require unique trusts to ensure that their child is protected and provided for after their death or incapacity. These trusts name a trustee who will oversee the child's inheritance and distribute funds in such a way that the child's benefits are not lost or compromised.
- Family limited partnership : This type of business relationship is generally utilized with taxable estates where the partners are the parents and their children or grandchildren. It allows parents as general partners to maintain control of the assets in the FLP while receiving all of the income that is generated.
- Charitable remainder trusts : An irrevocable trust set up to avoid capital gains taxes from the sale of a large asset. The creation of a CRT requires careful analysis, drafting, and implementation.
- Gifting : Every person is allowed to gift up to $14,000 per year to an unlimited number of individuals tax free. Gifting is often utilized in estate plans to reduce the size of an estate.
- Prenuptial, postnuptial, or cohabitation : Do you need legal assistance in creating a prenuptial, postnuptial, or co-habitation agreement? These agreements define your financial relationship with your partner and are becoming a common estate planning vehicle. Whether you choose to sign an agreement before or after marriage, our law firm can help.
- Living wills : A living will outlines your wishes in regards to life support and your medical choices. If you have been named in a family member's living will, you may want to talk to an attorney before making any major decisions.
- Probate avoidance : Avoiding probate is beneficial in most cases and can be easy to achieve if you plan ahead. Talk to our estate planning attorney to determine the most effective way to avoid probate.
- Benefits of probate : While most families prefer to avoid probate, there are situations where it may be beneficial. If you would like to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages, we can answer your questions!
- Change of beneficiary : Changing a beneficiary on your estate plan is easily achieved with an amendment or a codicil. Our estate planning attorney can assist you with this in order to insure that your goals are met while avoiding confusion and potential estate litigation for your heirs, trustee, or personal representative.
- Estate taxes : Currently most Colorado estates are not subject to estate taxes, but the number of taxable estates is likely to increase in the future due to changes in the estate tax law. With skilled estate planning, larger estates can avoid or greatly reduce taxation.
- Powers of attorney : Every adult needs a Durable Medical General Power of Attorney and Durable Financial Power of Attorney. Without powers of attorney, no one is authorized to make medical or financial decisions for you if you should become incapacitated. Protect your family from unnecessary stress and expense with this inexpensive solution.
Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Denver
Are you considering creating an estate plan? James A. Littlepage Law Offices provide detailed and personalized estate planning services to individuals throughout the Denver area and other front range communities. Having provided excellent service to over 2,000 clients, Mr. Littlepage has been recognized in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 with a Five Star Wealth Manager Award℠ and the 2015 and 2016 Five Star Financial Services Award℠, as seen in 5280 and ColoradoBiz magazines.
Contact the Denver estate planning lawyer who is able to provide you with all manner of estate planning services that are customized to your specific needs.