Colorado Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys
Securing Your Family's Future
Are you concerned about securing the future of you and your loved ones'? Many people believe that because they are in good health with enough financial means to be comfortable, there is no hurry to plan for their estate. No one knows what may be right around the corner, however, and unfortunately that could include your own incapacitation or premature death. If you want to know how you can secure your future, Feldmann Nagel Margulis is here to help you understand your options.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is planning for what happens to your assets and, in some cases, how family members would be cared for after your death. This process might include deciding who would be guardian of your children, establishing trusts to ensure the support of your children, and assessing the potential impact of estate taxes on your estate.
A comprehensive estate plan also includes planning for your assets and your personal care during your life. You may benefit by considering income tax and gift tax planning, charitable giving, orderly transfer of a family business, and instructions regarding your medical care in the event of a disability. The major estate planning documents are wills, trusts, living wills/advance medical directives, anatomical gifts, and medical and financial powers of attorney. We can also assist with:
- Nonprofits - We advise clients on the formation and governance of a variety of nonprofit organizations, including charitable organizations, real estate boards, Chambers of Commerce, recreational clubs, churches, schools, hospitals, and community foundations. We can help organizations obtain and maintain tax-exempt status, establish charitable giving programs, and address state and local tax issues.
- Wealth Transfer - Effective planning to transfer wealth involves the selection and application of strategies to minimize estate taxes. It also provides an opportunity to convey a legacy of a family's values through philanthropic objectives and charitable gifting. We will work with you to understand your family dynamics and to clarify your intentions about how and when to transfer wealth to your children and grandchildren. Our team, which includes two attorney-CPAs, has the technical expertise to guide you through this important process.
We encourage our clients to periodically review their current estate plan. The laws affecting estate taxes change frequently, and your personal, financial, marital, family, and business circumstances may have changed as well.
What is Probate?
Probate includes the process by which a personal representative is appointed to collect property, ensure debts and taxes are paid, and distribute the assets of a decedent's estate following that person's death. Distributions are made according to the will, if a valid will exists, or by state law if no will exists (through the law of intestate succession). The probate process typically lasts six months to one year. The probate process has been simplified in Colorado with the adoption of the Uniform Probate Code and may usually be done in an "informal" process.
Clients seek our assistance to help them navigate trust and estate disputes, probate litigation, will contests, inheritance issues arising from common law marriages, issues related to lack of capacity to write a will, wills, trusts or gifts created under undue influence, fraud, or mistake. We work with our clients to protect beneficiary rights, and we provide representation of Personal Representatives (formerly called "Executors") and representation of other fiduciaries.
An ancillary (out of state) proceeding is one in which a personal representative appointed in another state seeks to have his or her Letters Testamentary recorded in Colorado so that the personal representative may conduct the estate's business in Colorado. A common example of when this process occurs in Colorado is when a person appointed as personal representative in another state needs to sell a vacation home in the mountains that now belongs to the decedent's estate.
Our attorneys, with decades of expertise, are well-positioned to ensure that your personal matters and financial affairs are appropriately handled and structured. By choosing our firm, you can rest assured that all that is possible will be done to see that your wishes are followed.
For assistance in all aspects of planning for your future, contact an attorney at Feldmann Nagel Margulis immediately.