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Federal Estate Tax and Carryover Basis

Federal Estate Tax and Carryover Basis in 2010 – The Unthinkable With its priorities elsewhere last year, the U.S. Congress failed to address a major problem with the 2001 federal estate tax law that may wreak havoc with estates of people who die in 2010. Under the 2001 law, the federal estate and generation-skipping taxes … Continue Reading

Joint Revocable Living Trust

Joint Revocable Living Trusts: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that basically serves as one’s “alter ego” during lifetime, holding legal title to assets but having no separate tax identity. The creator of the trust, known as the “grantor,” “settlor” or “trustor,” also typically serves … Continue Reading

Determination of Heirs Proceedings

Determination of Heirs Proceedings: Clearing Title in a Decedent’s Unadministered Property When someone dies, their probate assets are typically distributed through a probate proceeding. However, if a probate proceeding is never commenced, or if certain assets are not distributed through probate, those assets remain titled in the name of the decedent. In order for the … Continue Reading

Wills and Advance Directives

Simple Wills and Advance Directives Our firm receives frequent inquires related to the preparation of “simple wills.” Simple wills are sometimes sufficient instruments for clients to direct the disposition of their probate property. However, other clients may need more complex planning tools. This article discusses circumstances for which a simple will may be appropriate, then … Continue Reading

Beneficiary Deed

Co-Author:  Miriam Abrams Goodman, Esq. Question:    What is a “beneficiary deed” and how are they useful in Colorado? Response:   A beneficiary deed is a legal document to pass title to real property to a “grantee-beneficiary” at death, without the need for probate administration. In Colorado, probate can be avoided if the decedent’s estate consists … Continue Reading

Properly Signing a Will

The Importance of a Properly Executed Will, and What it Does and Doesn’t Control In Colorado, signing a will with the proper formalities can make a big difference in the administration and distribution of your estate. Colorado has a progressive, consumer-oriented probate system. Commentators in the national media constantly warn the public to “avoid probate,” … Continue Reading

Personal Representative’s Deed for Closing

Need a Personal Representative’s Deed for a Closing? REALTORS® regularly call the firm to assist with a scheduled closing where the seller does not yet have title to the property because the property hasn’t been administered from an estate of a deceased person. We find that often there is a misunderstanding that the Personal Representative’s … Continue Reading

Terry Schiavo Case: In Colorado, A Living Will Is Not The Correct Solution

As a result of publicity over the Terry Schiavo case, I have received several inquiries from clients and others about the use of living wills and advance directives in Colorado. After reviewing the living will and medical durable power of attorney forms published by the Colorado Bar Association, and Colorado’s statutes governing living wills and … Continue Reading

Beneficiary Deeds in Colorado

Colorado’s new beneficiary deed law became effective on August 4, 2004. The law applies to beneficiary deeds recorded by owners who die after that date, and governs not only beneficiary deeds created after that date under the new statutory guidelines, but also to the older “transfer on death” deeds previously authorized in Colorado. The new … Continue Reading

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