Areas of Practice:

Elder Law
Estate Planning
Wills and Trusts
Estate Administration
Trust Administration
Guardianships
Conservatorships
Real Estate

Frequent Questions

  1. How long is my will good for?  Wills do not expire.  Unless you change or revoke a will it remains in effect until you die.  Therefore, if your wishes change you must update your will.
  2. Can I write my own will?  Pursuant to Colorado Law, you may write your own will.  It will be valid if it is signed by you and if all the material provisions of the document are in your handwriting.  There may be many problems with writing your own will though because it may not be clear and it may not include all of the provisions that a will should contain.
  3. Do I need to go through probate?  In Colorado, if you own any interest in real estate, or if you own other assets which are valued at more than $64,000 (2015 date of death value) your estate must be probated, whether you have a will or not. 
  4. What are the usual documents for estate planning?  Most people should have a last will and testament or a revocable living trust, a health care power of attorney, a general durable power of attorney and a living will.
  5. I am the agent under a power of attorney, isn’t that all I need to take care of things?  A power of attorney is not valid after the death of the principal (the person giving the agent authority).  In addition, it may not be valid once the principal becomes incapacitated unless it has the right language.  You must examine your power of attorney to see what powers it includes and under what conditions the agent may act.  The powers of attorney in the yellow brochures obtained at the hospital do not give an agent the right over financial matters, like paying someone’s bills.
  6. What is a trust?  There are many types of trust.  A trust is generally a document which establishes an arrangement whereby property is transferred  to the trust with the intention that it be administered by a trustee for someone’s benefit.  You may establish a trust for your own benefit and act as trustee.  The biggest advantage for setting up a revocable living trust for your own benefit is to avoid probate of your estate at your death.

This article was written by Tamra K Waltemath of Tamra K. Waltemath, P.C.  This information is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  For specific questions, you should consult a qualified attorney.  Tamra K. Waltemath is an elder law attorney focusing on wills, trusts, estate and trust administration, probate and non-probate transfers, guardianships and conservatorships.  She can be contacted at:  Tamra K. Waltemath, P.C., 3843 West 73rd Avenue, Westminster, CO  80030; 303-657-0360; or visit her website at: www.WaltemathLawOffice.com.

 


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