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Estate planning may not be at the top of your list. It’s easier to push those thoughts off until later down the line, but having a plan in place now can make all the difference to your family when they need the answers you can no longer give.

The sooner you get comprehensive documents in place, the better. Over 35% of people experienced family conflict first- or secondhand because of an incomplete estate plan. This can happen for all kinds of reasons, but one of the easiest ways to combat the pitfalls it is by getting something established early.

A way without a will

When you pass without a will, Colorado has laws that will determine how to handle your estate. Amounts and recipients are predetermined, so there is plenty of leeway when distribution time comes. A will can allow a much more personalized means of transfer:

  • Name your beneficiaries, including non-family members and organizations
  • Assign the amount everyone will receive
  • Determine the system for handling money, like trusts or gifts

More than money

Assets aren’t the only things you’ll need to manage when the time comes. A will has even further-reaching abilities, that may be left up to anyone’s best guess when you set your wishes in stone:

  • Guardianship: You’re able to assign a guardian for your children in the event you leave them when they’re still young or have special needs. This can leave them safety and security in what could prove to be one of the most difficult times in their lives.
  • Executor: Someone will need to handle all your debts and asset assignments when you’re gone. You can handpick someone to act on your behalf to make sure the right person is responsible for carrying out your plans.
  • Healthcare: You can establish a living will to take action for end-of-life care, in case you can’t make your desires known. If you become incapacitated, your plan can outline important things like resuscitation orders and allowable medications.

Leaving without guidelines doesn’t just hold up assets. There is an enormous breadth of things that your family will need to deal with, and making sure you have a plan in place could be the best way to make sure you’re taking care of them when it’s time.