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Common Questions And Answers About Estate Planning And Probate

The attorneys at Pickard Law, P.C., offer experienced guidance in all estate law matters. On this page, we’ve answered some common questions about estate planning and probate. We invite you to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

How will I know what to include in my will or my overall estate plan?

Many people are hesitant to create an estate plan because they don’t know where to begin or what should be included. Making these decisions on your own can feel paralyzing, but the good news is that the entire process is much easier with the help of an attorney.

Every estate plan will include a will, and most should include a living will. Trusts can be very useful legal instruments, but they are not necessary or appropriate for all estates. When you work with the experienced attorneys at our firm, we can quickly help you determine which estate planning documents are right for you (including some not mentioned here) and will guide you through the process of creating a thorough and legally sound estate plan.

Why can’t I just create my own estate plan with online forms?

You certainly can take the do-it-yourself approach to estate planning, but it is not advisable to do so. As mentioned above, most people won’t know which documents to include before consulting with an attorney.

Moreover, printable online forms are templated documents that are difficult or impossible to customize, increasing the risk that your estate plan will be incomplete and ambiguously worded. Having an unclear or poorly written estate plan can be worse than not having one at all because it can lead to confusion, family strife and even litigation. The financial consequences of these problems would outweigh any money saved by writing an estate plan without an attorney.

Is it important to avoid probate?

In Colorado, the answer is usually no, unless you happen to have an estate worth more than $12 million. This is the federal estate tax limit for an individual. Estates of less than $12 million will not be taxed, and the probate process is straightforward (with the help of a good attorney) and fairly inexpensive. In many cases, it may be preferable to having a trust.

How often should I update my will?

You will need to update your will after any major changes in life or family circumstances that could impact your estate or your intended heirs. For instance, most people might update their will after getting married or divorced, or following the birth of a child. Even if you haven’t experienced major chances recently, it’s a good idea to at least review your will every few years.

Contact Us Today To Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs

The attorneys at Pickard Law, P.C., are ready to guide you through the estate planning and probate processes. To get started or to learn more about how we can help, call us in Littleton at 303-647-1453 or send us an email.