We all make mistakes. Some mistakes can be easily remedied while others can leave lasting financial and emotional distress. When it comes to protecting your possessions and your loved ones, the more you know about legal processes the less chance you will have at making costly mistakes.
Situations that May Incur Financial or Emotional Costs
Regardless of your level of wealth, you most likely have earthly possessions and money that you would like to see passed down to your family members. A common mistake that many people make is thinking that you need to be rich to need an estate plan. The word estate may conjure up images of mansions, Maseratis and mega money. But an estate can be anything you own: a 10-year-old car, sentimental jewelry, a savings account or even a pet. If you want these possessions passed down to specific family members or friends, you need an estate plan (such as a will) to designate who gets what. Without this legal document in place, your estate will be distributed pursuant to the laws of intestacy – and they may end up in the hands of someone you would not have chosen.
There is more to estate planning than simply stating who you want to receive your possessions. You have the power to designate trusted individuals to handle your legal or medical affairs if you become unable to do so for yourself. If you become incapacitated, an agent under financial power of attorney can step in to pay your bills, make financial transactions on your behalf, etc., while an agent under medical power of attorney can ensure that healthcare decisions are made with your wishes in mind. These can be different individuals or the same person; a family member or a trusted friend.
You may also choose to draft a living will that states in writing your medical care wishes in the event you need life-sustaining treatments. If you don’t want your family incurring medical expenses for months or years if there is not a good chance of your recovery, a living will can make the difficult decision to halt treatments – so your family doesn’t have to make that decision for you.
A will is not the only type of estate planning document. There is also the option of creating a trust. A Colorado estate planning lawyer can help you decide if a trust would be better suited for to dispose of your assets.
The Time is Now
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in regard to your estate is putting these tasks on the backburner. We never know what the future holds. While this may be a morbid thought, it’s important to get your wishes into a legal document so you can control how your estate, health and finances are managed and passed down after you are gone.
Brown & Crona, LLC Can Help
The Denver estate lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC can help you learn what documents you need and draft them in a timely manner. We will help you think through different scenarios so you will be protected from as many situations as possible. Contact us today at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to start the conversation.