Estate Planning & Probate
The law firm of BuxmanKwitek, P.C. offers highly qualified attorneys with many years of experience in estate planning to assist you. A good estate plan can help your family transition through a difficult period. The plans you make today can protect your family tomorrow.
Estate Planning: Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I have an estate plan?
In one word, CONTROL. If anything ever happens to you, a good estate plan will allow you to be in control of your person and your finances, so that your affairs are managed in a manner that is satisfactory to you.
Do I need a Simple Will or a Living Trust?
For most people, a Simple Will is less expensive and easier to understand than a Living Trust. If you have property in multiple states, however, or if you need to have your finances handled in a special way, a Living Trust might be the best selection. Every person has a unique situation that requires a customized estate plan. Some attorneys and ill-informed financial advisors tout the Living Trust as the only way to go. Living Trusts can be expensive to set-up and maintain. You should only use one if you need it.
How much does a Will or Living Trust cost?
A Simple Will is actually only part of a good estate plan that should also include Powers of Attorney and Medical Declarations or a Living Will. A single person without minor children could expect to pay between $300 and $400 for a Simple Will based estate plan. For a couple without children, the costs would be between $450 and $600 for estates smaller than five million dollars and between $1,500 and $2,000 for estates larger than five million dollars. An individual or a couple with minor children might expect to pay between $700 and $850 for their estate planning package.
A Living Trust based estate plan also includes Powers of Attorney and Medical Declarations or a Living Will, along with what is called a Pour Over Will. The cost for a single person will generally range between $1,200 and $2,000. The cost for a couple will generally range between $1,500 and $3,000.
Can't I just make a Will online or prepare one myself?
You can, but online estate plans usually charge you for each document that you prepare so there is a separate charge for each Will, Power of Attorney and Medical Declaration. As such, the cost savings aren’t that significant. In addition, no online service or fill-in the blank form can provide you with the customized approach that you need to address your situation. If you do it yourself and it goes wrong, your family could pay a high price for a cheap estate plan.
Elder Law: Frequently Asked Questions
My father is no longer able to manage his finances, what can I do?
If he still has adequate mental capacity he can sign a Power of Attorney to help him manage his affairs. However, if a doctor has indicated that he no longer has the capacity to make such decisions then the Courts can appoint a Guardian or a Conservator to take over these decisions for him.
I’m about to move into a nursing home, will medicaid take my money?
Medicaid is a needs based government benefit that will pay for long term care under certain circumstances. It does not “take” your assets but you will not qualify for the benefit unless you meet very strict asset and income limits. When applying, the Medicaid technicians will look back five years to examine your finances and assets. It is imperative that you speak with a professional before you apply for Medicaid to make sure that you understand the requirements and can plan appropriately to manage your finances in the years prior to your application.
A neighbor is taking advantage of my father, what can we do?
Colorado law provides for restraining orders to be obtained to prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or of at-risk adults. If your parent is over the age of 65 or disabled and is being taken advantage of by persons manipulating his for their own gain, a restraining order can be entered to prohibit that person from any further contact.