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Why A Revocable Living Trust?

One of my favorite questions from an estate planning client is – why do people get a revocable living trust? A revocable living trusts can be a highly effective and flexible estate planning tool. While a not everyone needs a trust, there are a lot of reasons to consider a revocable living trust. Here my top three reasons to consider a revocable living trust as part of your estate plan: 1. Avoid Probate. When a person owes no significant debts, probate is simply the court process of transferring title of a decedent’s property to his/her heirs. But, why avoid it? For most people, the Court system is a complex and daunting system, and their primary interaction with the Court is through jury duty or a traffic ticket. But, we go to probate court only when someone dies. When you couple the grieving family with an already negative perception of the court, you have the recipe for nightmares, battles, and layers of anxiety. Besides, the cost of probate, both in money and time, is significant. Even in a State like Colorado, where probate court can be mostly an administrative process with little actual court involvement, the typical cost (with an attorney involved) is $3,000 to $5,000 and the typical timeframe is 1-2 years. So, save your family the heartache and nightmare – avoid probate, if possible! 2. Asset Management

0 April 3, 2018

Living Wills, Part 1 – What State Am I In?

The Living Will (a.k.a. the Advance Directive, End of Life Directive) is a relatively straightforward document, yet it is the one document we spend the most time discussing when doing a person’s estate plan. The question is deceptively simple – if you are in a “Persistent Vegetative State” or “Terminal Condition”, how long do you want to remain on life support?

But, before you can answer that question, you have to understand what “Persistent Vegetative State” and “Terminal Condition” means:

1. Persistent Vegetative State in Colorado is defined as: A medical state in which an attending physician and another doctor, qualified to make such diagnosis, agree that within a reasonable degree of medical probability the patient can no longer think, feel anything, knowingly move, or be aware of being alive. The physicians must agree this condition will last indefinitely without hope for improvement and have monitored the patient long enough to make that decision. “Persistent Vegetative State” is defined by reference to the criteria and definitions employed by prevailing community medical standards of practice, and not by the definition above.

2. Terminal

Posted in Living Wills
0 January 30, 2018

Why Do People Delay Getting Their Estate Planning Done?

PART 1 – FEAR OF DEATH

“Fear is a four-letter word, gentlemen!” – Calhoun from “Wreck-It Ralph”

FEAR – Future Events Appear Real. I love that acronym because in moments of fear it helps me realize the worst things I imagine are only that – my imagination. And, when I realize the worst thing I have imagined only appears real, I can more easily slide past the emotion of fear and move on with life. Because, for the most part, the worst things I imagine rarely ever happen.

There is, however, one future event I know will happen, someday – I will die. That event does not just appear real it is real for me, as well as for everyone else in the world. The only unknown in that future event is how. But, regardless of how it happens, it will happen, and the only thing I can do about it is prepare and, in the meantime, live!

“Every man dies, but not every man ever truly lives.” – William Wallace from “Braveheart”

Ironically, the vast majority of people do little or nothing (legally, spiritually, and/or physically) to prepare for death. According to the AARP, sixty percent (60

Posted in Estate Planning
0 January 5, 2018