Essential Estate Planning Knowledge – Inheritance Planning

In this week’s blog entry on essential estate planning knowledge, we turn our attention to the question of inheritance planning. Inheritance planning is an essential part of creating a comprehensive estate plan, even though the two issues are not exactly the same. A lot of people mistakenly equate inheritance planning to estate planning itself, which is why we want to take a little time to explain why the two areas are slightly different. So, here’s what you need to know about inheritance planning in the Colorado Springs and Centennial, Colorado area.

Inheritance Planning

An inheritance plan, as its name implies, is a plan that allows you to make inheritance choices. How you choose to leave your property after you die is a decision that only you get to make.

However, you cannot simply make a choice and expected it to be legally enforced. In order to craft an inheritance plan, you have to make your inheritance choices known in a legally recognized manner. The process of making choices, and using the right tools to make them, is what inheritance planning is all about.

Many people believe that making inheritance choices is all that an estate plan allows you to do. This is not true. Estate plans include much more than inheritance planning tools.  A comprehensive estate plan not only allows you to make inheritance choices, but it will also allow you protections should you become incapacitated, make plans for when you get elderly, and include many other tools that are not related to inheritance choices.

Inheritance Planning Tools

There are a number of different tools available for people interested in creating an inheritance plan, most of which we have already discussed in this series. For example, we’ve taken a look at many aspects of last wills and testaments before, and you probably already know that a will is primarily designed to allow you to make inheritance choices. You should also already know that in addition to a will, most modern inheritance plans rely on a revocable living trust. Revocable living trusts also allows you to make inheritance planning choices, and provides you with certain benefits that wills do not.

Beyond the will and living trust, there are quite a few more inheritance planning tools you might need to include in your plan. The only way to determine if you need these tools, and how you need to go about creating or using them, is by talking to your estate planning attorney. Once you craft a comprehensive inheritance plan as a part of a broader estate plan, only then can you be secure in the knowledge that your inheritance planning choices will be protected.

Upcoming Estate Planning Workshops

For more information about wills and trusts, you are welcome to attend one of our complementary estate planning workshops scheduled for late July or early August.  Register for one of these workshop on our website or by calling our office at 303.736.6060 or 719.520.1474.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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