Having a comprehensive estate plan can help protect your assets, interests, and family's future. Of the different estate planning options, creating a trust can help you avoid or reduce estate tax burdens, bypass the lengthy and expensive probate process, and outline your decisions in case of mental incapacitation. Unfortunately, a lot of American adults often delay creating their estate plans. According to a 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study by Caring.com, more than two-thirds of U.S. adults currently don't have estate planning documents.
If you are considering drafting your living trust or want to understand how estate planning works, it is important that you consult with an experienced Colorado estate planning attorney for proper guidance. At The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter, we have the experience and resources to assist and guide individuals, families, and fiduciaries in the legal matters of estate planning. We are available to discuss your unique situation, explore your possible options, and help decide the right estate plan that best fits your needs and your family's best interests.
The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter proudly serve clients across Englewood, Colorado, as well as communities in and around Denver, and throughout Orange County, California, including Irvine, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and Tustin.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship that is often established to provide legal protection for a person’s assets (grantor or trustor). It gives another party (the trustee) the authority or right to manage the trustor's assets upon their death or sudden incapacitation for the benefit of their heirs and beneficiaries. The trustee will administer the estate and distribute assets to heirs and beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of the trust documents.
Generally, there are three parties involved in a trust agreement:
Grantor: The grantor or trustor is a person or entity who creates and puts assets into the trust.
Trustee: The trustee or successor trustee is the person or company who administers the trust and distributes trust assets to beneficiaries.
Beneficiary: The beneficiary is the person who receives the assets placed in the trust and their benefit.
There are two major types of trusts in Colorado: revocable and irrevocable.
Revocable: A revocable or living trust is a trust that is flexible and can be amended, revoked, or dissolved by the grantor at any time. The revocable trust is established while the grantor is alive. The trustor will maintain complete control over the trust assets while they're still alive.
Irrevocable: An irrevocable trust is a trust that, once executed, cannot be amended, modified, or revoked by the grantor. As such, the grantor will have no control over the irrevocable trust assets. Moreover, assets placed in an irrevocable trust will not be subject to estate taxes.
Others: Other types of trusts in Colorado include:
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
Inter Vivos Trust
Special Needs Trust
Tax Planning Trusts
A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your different options, help you understand the benefits, and guide you through the process of creating your trust documents.
Here are the steps involved in creating a living trust in Colorado:
Decide whether to create a shared or individual trust.
Select the assets and property you want to put in the trust.
Choose a successor trustee.
Determine the beneficiaries of the trust assets.
Draft the trust document with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Sign the trust document in front of a notary public.
Change the title of the trust assets.
For a trust to be legal and valid in the state of Colorado, you must follow all procedural requirements when creating it. A skilled estate planning attorney can offer you the detailed guidance and assistance you need to draft your trust and ensure that it is legal and valid.
A trust is an important estate planning tool that can help you achieve different goals. A trust can:
Bypass the court-supervised probate process entirely.
Give you control over who will inherit or receive certain assets.
Reduce or eliminate income taxes and estate taxes.
Responsibly manage and control investments and spending.
Protect heirs and beneficiaries from poor judgment and wasting resources.
Protect assets from creditors and frivolous lawsuits.
Choose a successor trustee to oversee and manage the trust assets.
Responsibly keep away assets and resources for minors until a future date or after meeting certain conditions.
Protect you in the event of mental incapacitation or critical illness.
Manage business assets to facilitate business succession.
Having a trust can help protect your assets and family's future upon your death or sudden incapacitation. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate important decisions when creating your trust documents, including choosing a reliable trustee.
Choosing a trustee to manage your trust assets remains a huge decision that requires thoughtful consideration. Follow the tips below to choose a dependable trustee:
Choose a reliable and trustworthy person.
Choose a person who is financially smart.
Choose an accountable person who is capable of keeping detailed records.
Choose a person who understands the basic concepts of investing.
Choose a person capable of making informed decisions even while under pressure or in strenuous situations.
An experienced attorney can review your unique needs and help you make informed decisions when choosing a trustee.
Making adequate plans for your future can never be too early. In the event that you become critically ill, incapacitated, unable, or otherwise unavailable to voice your opinion, your loved ones can still benefit from knowing your exact wishes. A knowledgeable Colorado estate planning attorney can evaluate your available options and determine the right estate plan that best suits you and your family's needs.
At The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter, we are dedicated to offering knowledgeable guidance and brilliant advocacy to clients in estate planning-related matters, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and our Total Family Trust Plan. As your legal counsel, we can help you understand the benefits of having a trust and how to structure your estate plan to achieve your personal goals.
Additionally, our team will help draft your trust documents and outline a detailed plan to fund your trust. We will guide you through the whole estate planning process and work diligently with you to address your needs and concerns. Our team will help you navigate key decisions in your estate planning and help you achieve your goals for transferring your property, investments, and wealth to your family.
If you need assistance creating your trust or estate plan, contact The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter today to schedule a simple consultation. We can offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, support, and reliable advocacy you need to make informed decisions regarding your estate plan. We're proud to serve clients across Englewood, communities in and around Denver, Colorado, and throughout Orange County, including Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana, Tustin, California.