Do you know what will happen to your property and estate should you die? If not, do you trust Colorado’s inheritance rules to properly distribute your belongings?
You might want to think about that again. When a person passes away without plans in place for his or her assets, state law acts to redistribute those assets—often in ways that the owner never expected.
Making plans for the future isn’t something only the very wealthy should do. No matter what your net worth, our Colorado Springs estate planning attorneys can prepare wills and trusts that handle your assets the way you want them handled. Hiring a top legal team best assures your wishes are followed when you pass.
You could try to write your wills or trusts on own. Unfortunately, there are many complexities to the process that you might miss. Eventually, it will be well worth your time to hire an experienced will and trust attorney.
The sooner you talk to one of our estate planning attorneys, the better. Dramatic events can hit suddenly and unexpectedly. You can also plan to review and update your wills and trusts every few years or when there are significant changes in your life.
No estate is too big or too small. Give us a call at Springs Law Group to get started on writing or updating your wills and trusts today.
What Are Wills and Trusts?
A will is a legally binding document that lets the world know what to do with your assets when you die. A trust is also a document that allows you to distribute your assets after death. We’ll explain the difference between these two in more detail a little later on this page.
If you die without either a will or trust, the state in which you live will likely determine where your assets go. Therefore, a will or trust is the only way you can have control over your own assets once you pass away. This ability is important. You would hope that all your relations and loved ones would get along and work together to divide your assets after your death. However, it is a sad fact that individuals can and often do fight with each other when it comes to money. A will reduces the risk of a problem like this.
How Can a Lawyer Help With Wills and Trusts?
A lawyer who understands how to construct a will or trust is a valuable commodity. At Springs Law Group, we construct legal documents that will ensure our clients’ wishes and desires are fulfilled even after their death.
How Do Wills and Trusts Differ?
- Is a document that tells the world where or to whom your assets will go.
- Allows you to determine who will get your possessions. When you identify a person in this role, he or she becomes a beneficiary of your estate. These possessions could include a pension, IRA, 401K, life insurance policy, property, or other assets.
- Gives you the option of directing money to certain charities.
- Does more than help you allocate assets. With a will, you can also determine who will gain guardianship of your children. This makes a will especially important for individuals with young children still at home.
- Doesn’t take the place of a will.
- Allows you to place conditions on the way your assets are delegated or distributed.
- Is often used as a way to minimize estate or gift taxes.
- Typically deals with only certain assets. For example, you might be able to direct proceeds of your life insurance to someone, or leave her a piece of property through a trust. However, you cannot allocate the total of all your assets. Therefore, you must still have a will.
How Much Do Wills and Trusts Cost?
Of course, how much you can expect to pay for your will is contingent upon its complexity. The more assets you have and the more beneficiaries, the more you can expect to pay. In general, lawyers charge a flat fee to write a will along with other estate planning documents. The lower end of the cost is $300. The more common amount you can expect to pay is right around $1,000.
A trust typically runs from $2,000 to $2,500. When you look at the cost difference, you might be tempted to simply have a will drawn up and forget about the trust. However, the cost quoted above only takes into consideration the setup portion of a will. The other expense to consider is the cost of administering your will after your death.
How Probate Comes Into Play
If you employ a will, your estate will have to go through probate after your death. This is an expensive process. The average cost is upwards of $10,000. This shows you a will costs more than the expense of setting it up. Therefore, even if you get a deal on your will and have it done for $400, your survivors will still have to pay for the probate costs. In addition, the probate process itself is lengthy. This means your assets will be tied up the whole time the estate is processing.
On the other hand, if you opt for a trust in addition to your will, it will save you substantially overall. This is because there is no need for a court or an attorney when implementing your trust. It is also a quicker process. When you have a trust, the person you name as your successor or trustee can follow your last wishes within your will without waiting on the estate to go through probate.
How Good Are Do-It-Yourself Wills and Trusts?
Wills are the legal documents most often contested. If you construct your own will or trust, you might be okay. It is better than nothing. However, you might leave your family in a mess if you overlook something important. That’s why, even though it may be tempting to save money by doing it yourself, it is wise to spend the money for legal help in order to ensure your will and trust are legally sound.
Thinking about end-of-life plans and estate planning is never pleasant. After all, you likely would rather not think about what will happen once you pass away. However, if you have a will and trust constructed, you are leaving your family and loved ones the best possible gift. Simply imagine if they had to go through your belongings and wonder what to do with everything you own. What if they had no idea what your preferences are? Would you want to leave it up to the state to decide which of your children gets your prized collection of baseball cards? What if two of your grandkids both want the same vehicle? Who will decide who gets it? Will this argument cause a problem from now on?
All of these questions can be solved when you have the proper wills and trusts in place. That’s where we can help you.
Peace of Mind
To give your family the best chance at peace after your death, contact us online or call our Colorado Springs office directly at 719.421.7141. Springs Law Group is always there for you.