Do the words "estate planning" seem like they're meant for other people? Setting up strategies for this critical aspect of life planning isn't that difficult and will not only give you peace of mind, but will also make things easier for your surviving family members if something happens to you.
But how to begin? If you'd like an in-depth resource, the bountiful Legal Information Reference Center (available with your DPL card) has an online, 35-chapter book entitled Plan Your Estate, which covers all of the basics, as well as topics such as family business estate planning, living trusts, and providing care to children with mental or physical disabilities.
If your situation isn't too complicated, though, you can start with Nolo's 12 Simple Steps to an Estate Plan. Focusing on just one step at a time will make your task less formidable, and the library has some great sources for the first step, which is Make a Will. A will is simply a legal document that communicates your final wishes pertaining to possessions and dependents.
The Legal Information Reference Center also has The Quick & Legal Will Book, which is geared to those needing a basic will. It's written in simple language, and if you follow the step-by-step instructions you can create a will that:
- leaves your property to the people and organizations you choose.
- names someone to care for your minor children.
- names someone to manage property you leave to minor children, including your own children.
- names your executor, the person with authority to make sure the terms of your will are carried out.
The Quick & Legal Will Book also has all of the forms you'll need, as well as sample wills and information on how to store, change, or revoke your will.
If you prefer a physical book, the Reference Department, located on Floor 3 of the Central Library, has a copy of The Colorado Will and Estate Planner, by attorney Mark D. Masters. You'll find an overview of the estate planning process, a glossary, an asset checklist, and many legal forms customized for Colorado.
Questions? Ask Reference Services or call 720-865-1363 today!