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Woodland Park Family Law And Estate Planning Law Blog

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.

Dividing up property during a Colorado divorce

It is not uncommon for married people to embrace the saying, "What's mine is yours, and what's yours is mine." It generally means that individuals who have committed their lives to each other are willing and able to share that which they acquire with the people with whom they have decided to spend their lives. However, in the world of property, identifying what is "mine" or "yours" is important if those individuals decide to go through a divorce.

The property that the parties to a couple own must be divided up in the event that their marriage ends. Property that is identified as separate will go with its individual owner. Separate property may be considered the property a person owned before they got married that was never converted to marital property; it may also be property that was gifted exclusively to one party to a marriage.

Does your estate plan need to be updated?

Your estate plan is not something you should create and just forget about. Life is full of changes, and for your estate plan to be as effective as possible, it should reflect those changes.

It is good practice to review your estate plan with a professional about every three years. However, there are several circumstances that warrant a plan being checked over right away.

Estate planning takes the worry out of an uncertain future

Readers of this Woodland Park-based legal blog may have been shocked to learn of the sudden passing of actor, Luke Perry. Perry was only 52 when he succumbed to the effects of a massive stroke and died days after being taken to the hospital. While his situation is a tragedy, it is also a good reminder for Colorado residents that the future is uncertain and it can be wise to make important decisions before it is too late.

This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. An estate plan is a set of legal tools that explain how a person wants their estate distributed when they die and who has control over certain important management aspects of ensuring those wants are honored. An estate plan does not have to be fancy to accomplish the goals of the person who creates it.

Circumstances when sole custody may be appropriate

Even when Colorado parents cannot agree on most things in life, they will agree that they want what is best for their children. During separations and divorces, parents may dispute the other's assertions regarding property and support needs but may find it easier to come to common terms about how to serve their children's developmental, physical, and emotional needs. With the help of their family law attorneys, they may find balanced plans that afford both parents time and opportunities to be with their kids.

In some circumstances, though, courts may elect to give exclusive custody to one parent rather than allowing the parents to share in such responsibilities. Sole custody may be appropriate in some cases when the safety of the children is in question. Parents who have committed physical or sexual abuse against the kids may be denied custodial rights; severe emotional abuse can also bar a parent from having custody of their kids.

What is the Older Americans Act?

In many cultures, older individuals are viewed as wise elders who are sought out as important resources regarding the communities' history and practices. They are a significant part of their cultural groups and provide wisdom to those who plan to take the reins of power. These views are not always applicable in the United States, and readers of this blog may recognize that, in some cases, older individuals are seen as burdens on their younger family members and colleagues.

The Older Americans Act was passed to recognize the value of individuals age 60 or older and the contributions they make to their communities. It is also in place to ensure that older Americans and their care givers have access to the resources and support they need to allow them to live healthy and fulfilled lives.

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