Longmont Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate planning is a way to control your property and financial interests after your death. Well-planned estates can secure assets for your loved ones without negatively impacting their financial security.
A lot goes into crafting a strong estate plan. Doing it yourself could require familiarity with the various state and federal laws that govern property, wills, trusts, and probate. Even if you’re willing to do the research, missteps are common. Even minor mistakes may be costly for your family or significantly complicate the distribution of your assets.
Thankfully, you’re not alone. No matter where you are in the process, Althaus Law can help you take control of your estate and preserve assets for your loved ones. Our Longmont estate planning lawyers have well over two decades of combined experience providing a range of estate planning services to residents of the Mile High City. We invite you to let us use our experience and insight to help you craft an estate plan that accomplishes your long-term goals.
To schedule an appointment with our estate planning attorneys in the Longmont area, call (720) 513-2299.
Estate Planning Options
Drafting a Will
Most people begin planning their estate by drafting a will. A will expresses your wishes for how you would like your assets allocated following your death. It can also declare a personal representative to administer your estate and appoint guardians for certain dependents.
Each state establishes its own rules for drafting wills, so it’s important that you speak with a lawyer when you are prepared to take this important first step of the estate planning process. For example, Colorado requires most valid wills to be signed by two witnesses soon after they’re drafted. In the absence of signatories, the state may also recognize handwritten wills, so long as they meet specific conditions. Lawyers can help you ensure the validity of your will.
Depending on how a will is drafted, or if there is not one, your estate may need to be administered by the personal representative through a legal process known as “probate.” If the decedent did not have a will, the probate court will appoint someone to act in the capacity of the personal representative. This administrator has various fiduciary responsibilities in probate, such as filing documents with the court, communicating with relevant parties, distributing assets according to the will, and resolving any disputes among the beneficiaries.
Establishing a Trust
In the context of estate planning, trusts transfer property without needing to go through probate and mitigate tax liability for beneficiaries of assets. There are several other differences between wills and trusts. However, like wills, trusts must meet certain requirements (outlined in federal and state laws) to be legally valid.
All trusts must do the following:
- Name someone to manage the trust (the trustee)
- Specify the assets included in the trust (trust property)
- Declare specific objectives
- Identify beneficiaries
- Establish conditions for executing the trust and transferring property
There are many kinds of trusts, and each one is subject to additional state and federal laws. An attorney can help you evaluate your objectives and select a trust that suits your needs.
Estate Planning Legal Services in Longmont
At Althaus Law, our attorneys provide personalized legal counsel to individuals and families throughout Longmont and surrounding areas. We’ll listen to you and discuss your objectives, so we can tailor our services to your specific situation. Our team employs a diverse range of estate planning strategies—including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, guardianship arrangements, probate counsel, and more—to help you protect your family’s future.
Call (720) 513-2299 or fill out our contact form to discuss your options with our Longmont estate planning lawyers.