For people who live in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area who don’t know much about estate planning, we have come up with this brief list of tips to help you get started. Of course, nothing you read on the Internet, in a book, or hear from a friend will ever be a suitable substitute for the advice you receive from an experienced attorney.
If you are serious about getting started with estate planning, these tips won’t be enough to allow you to create a plan of your own. You still have to talk to a lawyer to do that. In the meantime, however, if you are unsure of what estate planning is and why it’s important, you can use these tips to help give you a better idea.
Understanding Estate Planning Tip 1. You, and everyone you know, have an estate.
If there is one central concept essential to estate planning that you need to understand, it’s that everyone has an estate. The term “estate” does not mean the same thing in legal circles as it does when many people use the term conversationally. In conversational circles, an estate might refer to a large home or piece of property. In legal circles, on the other hand, an estate is the collection of property that you leave behind after death, or after you become incapacitated. Regardless of whether you own real estate, personal possessions, investments, or cash, everyone has an estate.
Understanding Estate Planning Tip 2. Either you can create a plan or allow one to be made for you.
Whether you know it or not, not only do you have an estate, but you also have an estate plan. Most people never get around to creating an estate plan, and states around the country have adopted laws that effectively create default estate plans that apply in such situations.
In other words, if you have not taken the time to create an estate plan of your own, the laws of the state of Colorado already create a plan that makes your estate planning decisions for you. Luckily, these laws also allow you, a competent adult, to change the choices made for you by creating a plan and making decisions through it.
Understanding Estate Planning Tip 3. Estate planning addresses more than questions of inheritances.
One of the most essential aspects of an estate plan is that it will allow you to control many parts of your estate, but also your life. For example, your plan will allow you to make choices that will apply should you become incapacitated. Your plan allows you to choose representatives, make healthcare decisions, and control many other aspects of your life if you ever lose your ability to make choices.
If you have more questions about this subject, concider attending one of our estate planning workshops. Visit our workshop page to register.