Colorado Springs Legal Blog

How do the new tax reforms affect estate plans?

Estate plans are rarely "one and done." They need a little maintenance to keep them healthy over time. Anytime there's a major overhaul of the tax code is a good time to review your estate plan and see what might have changed for you and your heirs.

Based on the most recent tax changes, here are some things that you should know:

How do you stop the financial exploitation of a senior?

Financial exploitation can happen to anyone. There are plenty of con artists and thieves out there willing to take your money. Some seniors are, unfortunately, at the most risk from members of their own family, neighbors and friends.

A family member, neighbor or friend can often prey on the sympathies and fears of an older person. They may even consciously know that they're being exploited, but are afraid of what will happen if they refuse -- especially if they feel like they need to rely on their exploiter for any of their needs.

Stepmothers and stepchildren drive many estate fights

Stepmothers have always had a bad image in popular mythology. Snow White certainly had trouble with hers. Hansel and Gretal didn't fare much better.

It turns out, many stepchildren feel like their stepmothers' interests and theirs collide -- especially when it comes to inheritance.

Cleaning up your finances can simplify estate administration

Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Financial planning can be a crucial component to alleviating stress on your loved ones upon your passing or incapacity. One of the biggest stressors when administering an estate is finances.

Here are some things that you can do to tidy up your finances for the “just in case” scenarios.

Take steps to protect your adult autistic child

Do you have an autistic child who is about to celebrate his or her 18th birthday?

If so, there's more reason to fear than celebrate. Now that he or she is legally an adult, you aren't in as strong of a position to protect him or her from the rest of the world.

Elder abuse, neglect and medical powers of attorney

Do you have the medical power of attorney for your mother, father or another relative who is in a nursing home?

If so, there's a tremendous amount of responsibility lying on you. You could be the only person able to stop any abuse or neglect that's going on.

Legal woes surround serial killer's estate

Most people who die behind bars after decades of incarceration have little to bequeath anybody.

However, notoriety often brings financial benefits -- even to the infamous. Such is the case of the estate belonging to cult leader and serial killer Charles Manson.

A new tax law, a new estate plan

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changes nearly every aspect of estate plans and wills. There are many new opportunities to pass on your business, property, and other assets to be sure that it stays in the family.

Because of these changes, it is wise to re-visit your estate plan. It’s important to be sure that your wishes are well preserved, particularly if you have significant assets to protect for generations to come.

Why does an 18-year-old need basic estate planning?

It doesn't matter how old you are or how little you have, an estate plan is one of those things that you really need to consider once you cross the threshold from childhood into adulthood.

Why? What's so important about having one?

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