As soon as possible is the short answer. The reality is that having a will in place now can protect you, your family and your estate tomorrow (and at any point in the future), providing invaluable peace of mind.
How to Start Drafting a Will & Creating an Effective Estate Plan: FAQs
To help you get started creating a will (and, ideally, putting a comprehensive estate plan in place), the following provides some helpful answers to commonly asked questions about drafting wills and kicking off the estate planning process.
While the answers below are generally helpful, please feel free to contact our Pueblo attorneys when you need more answers, advice and information related to your circumstances, needs and goals.
Q – What elements do I need to include and detail in my will?
A – In general, your will should provide details regarding:
- How your various assets – the ones you own solely (i.e., not jointly) and that do not already have beneficiary designations – should be handled and distributed upon your passing
- Who you want to serve as the executor to the will (i.e., the person you prefer to oversee the administration of the will and the settlement of the estate) – Note, here, that it’s typically smart to name at least one alternative option (in case your first choice for executor is unable to fulfill this role for any reason).
Q – How do wills become official legal documents?
A – Colorado law requires that testators (i.e., the people creating wills) sign (i.e., execute) the will in front of at least two ‘non-interested’ witnesses (i.e., people who are not named as personal representatives or beneficiaries in the will). When testators cannot physically sign will documents, there are other options for executing wills and having them take legal effect.
Q – Do I need to do anything after devising and executing my will?
A – Yes, if you are serious about protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your estate in the future, it’s important to do the following after devising and executing your will:
- Prepare the rest of your estate plan, which may include features like (but not necessarily limited to):
- Financial and/or medical powers of attorney
- Funeral and burial plans
- Set up a schedule for revising and revising your will and estate plan so that it can be updated to reflect your evolving needs and changing life circumstances – Generally, it’s advised that people review their wills and estate plans at least once a year and/or when major life changes happen (like, for example, divorce, the birth of child, the passing of a loved one, major losses from or acquisitions to an estate, etc.).
Q – Do I really need a lawyer to help me create a will and estate plan?
A – Yes, if you want to make sure that your will and estate plan meet all of your needs and goals, working with a lawyer throughout the process is crucial. A lawyer can help you put the necessary estate planning devices in place while helping you avoid some common (and potentially costly) pitfalls.
Contact the Pueblo Attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth
For experienced help drafting, revising and/or administering wills and estate plans in Colorado, contact the Pueblo attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth. Our lawyers are ready to provide you with superior representation and the highest quality legal services throughout the estate planning and administration processes.
To set up an appointment with one of our lawyers and discuss your best estate planning options, call us at (719) 556- 8844 or email us using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Pueblo, we represent clients throughout Pueblo, Trinidad, La Jara, Lamar, Walsenburg, Alamosa and the state of Colorado