Trusts in Colorado | Boulder Estate Planning Lawyer
As a Boulder estate planning lawyer James Newell routinely helps clients with the drafting and review of revocable living trusts (RLTs). Trusts can be very useful tools in estate planning. Trusts are sometimes incorporated into wills (testamentary trusts). Often, they are used as a substitute for a will, with a pour-over will executed concurrently to sweep any probate assets into the trust estate. RLTs are written agreements to administer property. The property is first administered by the creator of the trust (settlor) during his or her lifetime. Then, upon the settlor’s incapacity or death, RLTs usually become irrevocable and are administered by a successor trustee of the settlor’s choosing. The RLT is then administered for the benefit of the beneficiaries designated in the trust document.
It is commonly believed that the probate process, which is the process through which the estate of a deceased person is administered with the oversight of a probate court, is always so expensive and burdensome on the heirs and representatives of those who have died that it should be avoided in all situations and at all costs. This belief started becoming widespread in 1966 when the prominent estate planning attorney Norman F. Dacey published his landmark book “How to Avoid Probate!”. The book became an instant best-seller and led to the widespread use of trusts, lifetime gifts and a variety of other legal tools and strategies whose underlying goal was the avoidance of the probate process.
While probate has a justified reputation as an expensive and tedious process in some states, that process is generally streamlined in Colorado, largely thanks to the adoption of the Uniform Probate Code. Given the relatively streamlined nature of the probate process in Colorado, the facts surrounding each individual’s circumstances should be the guiding force behind any decision to use a will or a RLT as the primary dispositive document in any given client’s estate plan. There are a number of complex and interconnected variables that should be weighed with the assistance of your estate planning lawyer to determine which option is right for you.
If you are looking for a Boulder Estate Planning Lawyer with a results oriented approach tailored to your matter’s specific needs, contact Newell Law. We have the experience and knowledge to make your experience with the estate planning process as easy to understand and stress free as possible.