Many Colorado residents put off estate planning for one simple reason: they don’t know where to start. This is somewhat understandable, since there can be many different estate planning options depending on any given person’s financial and family situation. However, the importance of estate planning cannot be overstated.

If a person does not have an estate plan in place, that person has no say in how assets will be distributed, because the state’s “intestate” laws will come into play. These laws typically distribute assets based on family relationships, with the most immediate family members the first to benefit. But, that may not be how a person wants assets distributed, and an estate plan can directly state how to do so instead.

For parents of minor children, an estate plan can spell out who the parents would like to have care for the children if the parents die. This can be the most important peace of mind for parents, to know that their children will be cared for by the person of their choosing if the worst should happen. And, as a recent news article mentioned, trusts can be an important part of an estate plan. Whether it is a revocable or irrevocable trust, these estate planning instruments, if properly drafted and executed, can help with a smooth transition of the ownership of assets and can help minimize potential tax implications.

Estate planning doesn’t have to be a mystery. For Colorado residents who want to get started with the process, getting the right information about their own unique circumstances will likely be the best first step.