Distribution of Assets
Probate Attorney in Grand Junction
A primary consideration in Estate Planning is the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries of the deceased person's estate. If the deceased had a Will or a Trust, the estate is divided according to the terms of the Will or Trust. On the other hand, if the person died intestate (without a Will or a Trust), the estate is divided according to the Colorado Law of Intestacy which more often than not is contrary to the wishes of the deceased. As an example, many people believe that their spouse will automatically inherit everything at their death, but this is not necessarily true. Although the spouse cannot be totally disinherited, the law limits the spousal inheritance under certain circumstances.
The Use of Wills and Trusts to Determine the Distribution of Assets
A review of your major assets, such as the family home and investment accounts, is a prerequisite to the preparation of a well drafted estate plan and in determining whether a Will or a Living Revocable Trust is the best means to accomplish your objectives. Once this review is completed it will be apparent as to what is necessary to accomplish your major goals - creating a plan that addresses how the estate is to be divided and who is to administer the estate. Clear instructions in the Will or Trust foster trust and strengthen relationships between family members thus avoiding conflicts and litigation.
The Use of Trusts to Distribute Assets
For many clients, a Living Revocable Trust is the preferred vehicle for the distribution of assets. Trusts are more flexible than Wills and if properly funded will avoid Probate. A Trust can include provisions for a special needs family member, a child with poor money management skills or other special circumstances. For example, because the Trustee of the Trust generally has latitude to make distributions to a beneficiary for his "health, education, support and maintenance" he or she has the power to distribute funds to a beneficiary in need of expensive medical care or advanced education.
The Law Offices of James A. Littlepage, a Grand Junction Estate Planning firm, has been helping clients since 1993 in providing legal advice regarding Estate Planning. Mr. Littlepage has prepared over 2,000 estate plans and recently was recognized with a 2015 and 2016 Five Star Estate Planning Attorney℠ award. In 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 he received the Five Star Wealth Manager℠ award, as seen in 5280 and ColoradoBiz magazines. For legal advice regarding the preparation of Wills and Trusts please contact our Grand Junction office for a free 30 minute consultation for estate planning and probate.
Contact the Probate Attorney in Grand Junction at the firm for guidance in the distribution of your assets.