Ideally, Colorado residents will review their estate plans on a regular basis. Doing so can make it easier to spot any weak points that may arise because of changes to the tax code or a major life event such as a marriage or divorce. Reviewing an estate plan could also help a person decide if he or she needs a trust or other plan documents in addition to a will.
Assets that are held inside of a trust are typically not subject to probate. This means that they can be transferred to beneficiaries much faster than if they were part of a will. Assets that are held in the trust must be titled in its name if they are to avoid probate. Life insurance policies or other items that have beneficiary designations attached to them can usually be transferred in a timely manner regardless of how they are titled.
In addition to avoiding probate, a trust can protect a family’s privacy. Unlike a will, the terms of a trust are not entered into the public record. Items held by a trust are generally protected from being seized by creditors or from being taken by a spouse after a divorce. As trusts are harder to challenge than wills, using one can reduce the chances of family infighting.
An attorney may be helpful regardless of where clients are on their estate planning journey. Legal counsel may be able to help prepare a will, review power of attorney forms or provide insight into the potential benefits of a trust. Generally speaking, trusts can be ideal for those who are looking to protect assets from creditors or want to keep their financial information a secret.