Back in 1984, pop sensation Madonna was a material girl living in a material world. In 1993, the Barenaked Ladies dreamed of everything they would buy if they “had a million dollars” (even a monkey!). Flash forward to 2019 and Ariana Grande sings, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it” in her song 7 Rings. For decades there have been dozens of songs about the pleasures of having money.
If these songs are any indication, it’s a simple fact that we like our stuff: our homes, cars, jewelry, clothing, shoes, electronics – all the things money can buy. We work hard to be able to afford these possessions for ourselves and our loved ones. They are status symbols, measures of success and meaningful in many different ways for different people.
If you can relate to these statements, stop and ask yourself this question: What would happen to my important stuff if I died tomorrow?
Do you have an explicit plan for how/where/when you want your important items distributed when you are gone? Or are you okay with having those possessions distributed pursuant to the laws of intestacy which may leave such items to people with whom you no longer have a relationship and don’t know your interpersonal relationships?
If you don’t have solid answers to these questions (and you currently have chills down your spine), it’s time to talk with an estate planning attorney. You don’t have to be as wealthy as Madonna or Ariana to need an estate plan; if you have any possessions at all, an estate planning lawyer will start the process of protecting your stuff and making sure it all goes to people or charitable organizations you like (or love).
By helping you set up a will, trust or other estate planning documents, you can control who will receive your possessions as well as when and how they will be distributed. For example, you can stipulate that:
- Your mean uncle Joe doesn’t end up with your guitar collection that he’s been eyeing up for years.
- Your niece Katy receives your car.
- One of your children receives your house in the suburbs while the other child receives your beach house.
But it doesn’t stop there. A Denver estate planning attorney may advise you to create a trust instead of a will to avoid probate and also out of public record. Creating a trust may also save your loved ones money on estate taxes. Depending on how vast your fortune is, there are countless other ways to protect what is yours from being over taxed and therefore diminish what your loved ones actually receive when you pass.
The team at Brown & Crona, LLC is ready to meet with you, discuss your goals and wishes and help you draft the right documents for your unique situation. Estate planning in Denver has never been easier or more thorough as when you choose Brown & Crona, LLC. Contact us today at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to start the conversation about your estate and the best ways to protect it.