Wills can be effective estate planning tools, allowing people to designate their beneficiaries and explain how they want their estate to be settled after they pass away. What people may not realize, however, is that, oftentimes, a will is NOT the only estate planning document or tool that they need to have in place, as there are various things that wills cannot do.

So, if you are preparing to start estate planning for yourself and your family, here’s a look at some additional items to consider putting in place now to ensure that your loved ones have the support and protections that may be needed later.

3 Estate Planning Tools to Support a Will

Having a will may not be sufficient to support and protect your family after you pass, a Trinidad & Pueblo estate planning lawyer explains. Here’s why.

Having a will may not be sufficient to support and protect your family after you pass, a Trinidad & Pueblo estate planning lawyer explains. Here’s why.

Your personal circumstances should inform your estate planning process. In general, however, some of the most common estate planning tools that are used to support wills (and provide things that wills cannot grant) include (but are by no means limited to):

  1. Trusts – Do you have a sizeable estate? Do you have children with special needs? Or are you just concerned about reducing your loved ones’ estate tax obligations and/or probate stresses later? If so, setting up a trust can help deal with these issues. When it comes to developing trusts, there are many options, however (including living trusts, irrevocable trusts, etc.), and the right type of trust for you will depend on the purpose of the trust.

    Here, it’s also important to note that trusts can take effect while someone is living or upon death (again, depending on the purpose of the trust).

  2. Powers of attorney – Have you recently been diagnosed with a serious health impairment? Or do have someone who is authorized to make important medical or financial decisions on your behalf (if you can’t)? If not, then setting up medical and/or financial powers of attorney can be another important step in the estate planning process.

    With these powers of attorney, you should be aware that you can grant powers that are as broad or limited as you would like them to be. Also, you can decide when these powers should take effect (which could be now, upon the occurrence of a certain event, etc.).

  3. Instructions for final arrangements – Have you taken the time to detail what your wishes are regarding how you are to be put to rest? Although this may seem like one of the more morbid aspects of the estate planning process, it is, nevertheless, important to do, especially if you want to minimize your loved one’s stresses after you pass away.

    Here, we want to point out that, while these arrangements may be included in a will, it’s usually a good idea to have them in separate documents, as well, because wills may not be easy to locate in the days immediately following a death (and plans for final arrangements usually have to be made ASAP).

Trinidad & Pueblo Estate Planning Lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth

Are you ready to develop a comprehensive estate plan? Or do you need help settling an estate or getting through probate? If so, it is time to contact an experienced Trinidad & Pueblo estate planning lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth.

To learn more about our superior legal services and how we can assist you, contact us by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our offices based in Pueblo, we represent clients in Trinidad, La Jara, Lamar, Walsenburg, Alamosa and throughout the state of Colorado.

Categories: Estate Planning