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Woodland Park Family Law And Estate Planning Law Blog

Can adults decide their future medical treatment?

Some decisions should be made in advance, just in case a person is unable to make them in the future. Proper estate planning helps fulfill this role. This planning should include living wills and other medical directives, which set forth a person's wishes on the care they will receive at the end of their life.

In Colorado, a living will is also known as a declaration for medical treatment. These documents address whether medical providers should administer, withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures when a person has an incurable condition or is unconscious or incompetent. A life sustaining procedure is defined as CPR, defibrillation, administering medications, surgery and any procedure that prolongs the dying process.

Protecting retirement from divorce

Ending a marriage may have serious and long-standing financial consequences, especially if the spouses have unequal income or assets. However, divorce may have the greatest financial impact on retirement savings unless some precautions are taken.

Spouses who have retirement savings that are roughly close in value may agree to simply keep their own accounts. However, a spouse with less money in their account may try to negotiate for part of their former spouse's retirement savings.

Protecting assets in the digital age

Estate assets are not restricted to the contents of safety deposit boxes and files. While drafting wills and engaging in other estate planning, digital assets must be dealt with.

Estate planning is designed to manage and preserve assets when the owner is alive and to control distribution of those assets after that person dies. It traditionally covered physical and financial assets, such as real estate, jewelry, vehicles, furniture, cash and securities.

How does child custody work in Colorado?

Child custody is an important element of divorce law. When going through a divorce, protecting the best interests of a child are always right at the top of the list.

Doing so requires a handful of difficult choices including deciding which parent the child will live with, who gets to make important decisions such as education or health and the approach to visitation for the parent of the child that that does not have physical custody, which refers to the parent who cares for the child on a day-to-day basis.

Long-term care expenses are in our future

A person turning 65 today has a 70% chance of needing long-term care services. With insurance premiums escalating and paying for nursing home and other care becoming more challenging, experts recommend financial planning. This should start when people are in their 50s.

Median yearly costs are alarming. These include $48,000 for care at an assisted care facility, $89,000 for a semi-private room in a nursing home, $50,400 for a home health aide and $48,000 for homemaker services.

How does probate work in Colorado?

Colorado, like other states, often requires a legal process for overseeing the transfer of assets from a deceased person to the recipients named in their will. Undergoing probate may be a complex part of estate administration.

There are three types of probate in Colorado for estates. First, small estates with bank accounts, cash and other personal property valued under $50,000 and without real estate do not have to undergo a court probate process. An heir or devisee collecting the assets must execute an affidavit swearing that they are entitled to the assets and will assure their distribution to any other entitled heirs or devisees.

Can property divisions decision be reversed?

If you and your ex shared a lot of assets, you may fear making a mistake while divvying them all up. But when there’s a large pot to split, property division can end up taking a lengthy amount of time to resolve. This may leave you wondering how particular you should be about the process.

Afterall, what happens if you decide to change your mind? Can a decision be omitted later on? Here’s how final property division can be.

The benefits of preparing powers of attorney

Death is a certainty in the life of all Colorado residents, but most individuals don't like to think about it as something that may happen before they reach old age. The sense that death is something that only afflicts the elderly is a falsity, and young individuals may hurt their wealth if they do not make plans for how such assets will be managed when they are no longer able to do so on their own.

Not long ago Hollywood director John Singleton passed away at the age of 51. While Singleton was hospitalized and in a coma, members of his family were in court, fighting over who should have control over his financial and health care affairs. Had Singleton executed certain estate planning tools, his loved ones may have avoided this confrontation in the days before his death.

Taxation of trusts under review by US Supreme Court

Many Colorado residents work with estate planning attorneys to device ways to protect their wealth for future generations and to avoid the costly process of probate. There are a number of different testamentary tools that can be used to achieve these goals, and trusts are often implemented to support estate planners' needs. Not long ago the United States Supreme Court decided to take on a trust-related case, and its decision on the matter may have major implications for how financially useful trusts are to estate planners.

As the law stands, a trust cannot be taxed by a state unless it has a sufficiently close relationship to that state. The case at issue arose when the state of North Carolina taxed a New York trust over $1 million over the course of several years. No distributions were paid out of the trust and the trust was created in New York; its only connection to North Carolina was that a beneficiary lived in that state.

What is parental visitation?

During and after a Colorado divorce, parents may struggle to come to terms with their new parenting responsibilities. After years of living in the same household as their children they may discover that the distance and space between them affects their abilities to stay close and connected. Parents who do not have physical custody of their kids may struggle to stay involved in the busy lives of their children.

When a parent does not live with their child through their physical custody plan they may have visitation time with them. Visitation is an option for parents who cannot or may not provide their kids with day-to-day care but who still desire contact with them. Generally, visitation can be supervised or unsupervised, or when necessary arranged through virtual means.

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