Creating an estate plan is crucial to protecting your legacy, your estate, and your loved ones – regardless of what tomorrow may bring. While the best estate planning features for you will depend on a number of factors (like the nature of your assets, who your beneficiaries are, and what exactly your wishes are), the following are the main devices that are typically important to include in any estate plan.
No. 1 A Will or Living Will
Your will or living will is usually the cornerstone of your estate planning. Via this estate planning device, you can:
- Bequeath property, money, and other assets to your heirs
- Designate specific beneficiaries (and specify who should not inherit your assets)
- Appoint a guardian to care for your minor children
- Designate an executor or personal representative to oversee the administration of your will and to settle your estate
- Name back-up executors (in the event your first choice is not available to assume this role when the time comes)
- Include “no contest” clauses (to prevent heirs from trying to contest the will at any point in the future).
No. 2 Power(s) of Attorney
Another essential device to incorporate in your estate plan is a power of attorney. In fact, it’s usually recommended that, during the estate planning process, grantors (i.e., those developing estate plans) create:
- A medical power of attorney, which will designate someone to oversee and make all important health care-related decisions for you in the even you are incapacitated and unable to do so for yourself in the future (due to, for example, a serious accident or illness)
- A financial power of attorney, which will appoint someone to handle your financial and/or business affairs in the event of incapacity.
Without these devices in place, it could be up to the court (i.e., a total stranger) to make these decisions for you.
No. 3 End-of-Life Directives
Another important element to include in estate plans – regardless of your wealth and wishes – is a directive regarding your burial and/or funeral wishes. These end-of-life directives can save your loved ones significant stress in the future, as they won’t have to guess whether you want to be resuscitated, have a funeral, be buried versus cremated, etc.
The Bottom Line on Estate Planning
When it comes to the essentials of estate planning, the bottom line is that:
- Planning now can save you and your loved ones a lot of time, money and stress in the future.
- Working closely with an experienced attorney – like a Pueblo estate planning lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth – can be intergral to developing a comprehensive estate plan that will be effective at protecting you, your family and your wishes no matter what the future may hold.
Contact an Pueblo Estate Planning Lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth
For experienced help developing, revising or settling an estate plan in Colorado, contact a trusted Pueblo estate planning lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us (via the contact form on this page). We have decades of experience helping Coloradans with all of their estate planning and probate needs, and we are ready to get to work helping you.
From offices based in Pueblo, we serve clients throughout Pueblo County and the state of Colorado.