There is more to estate planning than preparing your will. Estate planning is a comprehensive program reflecting your wishes for distributing your assets at death with minimal taxation and providing for careful management of your assets while you’re still living. Sound estate planning also includes decision-making capacity should you become disabled or ill and includes your wishes for end-of-life care.
The Law Firm of Tammy W. Akers, LLC in Colorado Springs, can help guide you through the process of designing and implementing your estate plan, and explain options for preserving your assets. Contact the Law Firm of Tammy W. Akers today at 719-985-8192 to schedule a confidential, free consultation.
What makes up an estate plan?
A comprehensive estate plan includes a person’s will, healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney and end-of-life instructions, otherwise known as a living will. The healthcare power of attorney names a person—an “agent”—responsible for healthcare decisions, and the financial power of attorney names an agent responsible for managing assets, bills, and other fiscal tasks. The responsibility for both powers of attorney may lie with a single person. Powers of attorney become active if you become ill or disabled and are no longer able to make these decisions yourself.
The Law Firm of Tammy W. Akers can help explain how powers of attorney work and provide more detailed answers to your estate planning questions. Call us to schedule a comprehensive, free consultation.
What can happen if I die without a will?
When a person dies without a will, each state has statutes that determine the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate, known as laws of intestate succession. Effectively, if you die without a will, the state will create one for you based on its intestate succession laws. Estates of persons who have a written will are administered according to their wishes to the designated beneficiaries.
Colorado’s intestate succession law has specific rules for those who die without a will, trust, or another means of conveying ownership.
- Unmarried persons with parents but no descendants: the estate goes to the parents.
- Unmarried persons with siblings but no parents or descendants: the estate goes to any siblings.
- Unmarried persons with descendants: the estate goes to the descendants.
- Married persons with a living spouse and no parents or children: the estate goes to the spouse.
- Married persons with a living spouse and children from that marriage: the estate goes to the spouse.
- Married persons with a living spouse and children from that marriage, and the spouse has children from a previous relationship: the spouse inherits the first $225,000 of the estate and half of the balance. Any descendants inherit the remainder.
- Married persons with a living spouse and children from a previous relationship that was not the current spouse: the spouse inherits the first $150,000 of the estate and half of the balance. Any descendants inherit the remainder.
- Married persons with living parents and no children: the spouse inherits the first $300,000 of the estate plus ¾ of the balance. The parents inherit the remainder.
If you have no survivors, your estate becomes the property of the state. Don’t let your estate go untended at the end of life. Contact the Law Firm of Tammy W. Akers in Colorado Springs at 719-985-8192 to create an estate plan that reflects your wishes.