Estate planning, including wills, trusts for children, trusts for spouses, and revocable trusts
A will is a document which allows you to leave your property to persons or charities in the percentages or specific amounts you wish. It also names guardians for your minor children, trustees for any trusts you create and your personal representative. A revocable trust is an alternative to a will in which you enter into a written agreement (trust agreement) that provides for ownership and management of your property during your lifetime and also disposes of your property at death.
Living wills, medical and financial powers of attorney, and burial instructions
A living will is a directive not to be kept alive by artificial life support systems if you are in a persistent vegetative state or have a terminal condition. Financial and medical powers of attorney are documents in which you name another person to act on your behalf for financial and medical matters.
Recommendations for ways to reduce federal estate taxes and gift taxes
We advise clients as to numerous ways in which estate and gift taxes can be reduced, including tax planned wills, charitable gifts, lifetime gifts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, and generation skipping transfer tax trusts.
Coordination of beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement plan benefits
In order for an estate plan to work properly, beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement plan benefits must be consistent with your will or revocable trust and often require changes.
Probate and estate administration
Probate is the court process in which property is collected, debts and taxes are paid, and the assets are distributed according to your will by a personal representative.
Trust administration involves the ongoing administration of a trust and, when a trust terminates, the distribution of the assets in the trust according to the wishes of the person who created the trust.
We provide specialized advice to clients who serve in various fiduciary capacities, such as a personal representative of a probate proceeding, trustee, and agent under a power of attorney.
Family partnerships and limited liability companies
We prepare family partnerships or limited liability companies (LLC) for families as part of gift-giving programs for assets that are difficult to divide, such as real property, or for discounting purposes.
Business succession planning
We advise clients regarding their existing buy-sell agreements and often prepare buy-sell agreements for clients who own closely-held businesses. A buy-sell agreement can minimize estate taxes and more importantly provide adequate security for a surviving spouse.
For clients who are passionate about charitable giving, we can provide recommendations for numerous ways to give to charities during life and at death, including the creation of charitable remainder trusts and private foundations.
Review of out-of-state estate planning documents for compliance with Colorado law
We frequently review estate planning documents for clients who have moved to Colorado from other states to ensure that the documents comply with Colorado law.
Preparation of federal estate tax returns (Form 706)
Depending upon the amount of a person’s assets and the estate tax exemption amount in the year of death, it may be necessary for a federal estate tax return to be filed for a deceased person. Our firm has the expertise and tools to efficiently prepare and file the federal estate tax return as part of the estate or trust administration process.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for details of our practice areas.