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Tips for protecting your estate if you become incapacitated

If you own property in Colorado, it’s generally a good idea to account for it in your estate plan. It isn’t uncommon for items held inside your estate to pass to beneficiaries per the terms of a will. However, a won’t take effect until after you pass. Therefore, it won’t be helpful if you become incapacitated for any reason. Fortunately, there are tools that you can use to protect yourself if you’re not able to manage your own affairs.

Put assets into a trust

A trust will take effect as soon as the document has been executed and funded. If you choose to create a revocable trust, you can name yourself as the trustee, which means that its terms can be changed without anyone else’s approval. Furthermore, you can include language in the document that disburses the assets inside it if you become incapacitated. This ensures that your beneficiaries receive their inheritance in a timely manner regardless of what happens to you.

Designate a financial agent

A financial agent will be able to write checks, sell a home or take other steps to ensure that your assets are used in accordance with your wishes. It’s important to note that you can authorize an agent to act on your behalf even if you’re in good health. An estate planning attorney may help you determine who may be best suited to fill this role. If you’d like, a lawyer may be able to serve as your agent.

Review your plan often

Regardless of what is in your plan, it’s a good idea to review it periodically to ensure that it still meets your needs. It’s possible that changes to the tax code, major life events or changes to state probate laws may render certain portions of a plan obsolete.

If you have concerns about your estate plan, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney. He or she may be able to provide insight that may prevent problems from arising in the future.