Denver Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers
Attorneys specializing in estate planning, probate, estate litigation.
We have been doing estate planning and probate law for more than 20 years. Brian Stutheit is a member of the Elder Law section of the Colorado Bar. He has been appointed by the courts in Denver and Arapahoe County as an attorney to make recommendations for resolution of probate cases. We office 15 minutes from the Jefferson County Courts.
Wills and trusts
Too many clients are sold unnecessarily expensive estate plans. We are not in the business of “selling” estate plans. We are in the business of learning client goals, uncovering client needs, and recommending plans which meet the needs and goals for a fair fee.
Advance Health Care Directive or Living Will: $225. We frequently include this within the health power of attorney for no extra cost.
Beneficiary Deed to real estate: $250 plus recording fee. Can be a good way in small estates to avoid probate. An alternative to making an heir a joint owner in the property right now.
Postnuptial or Prenuptial Agreement: $800. Important for second marriages with children from the first marriage.
Power of Attorney for finances and health care decisions: $270 individual, $400 couple
Simple Will (including will with guardianship and trust provisions for children): $550 individual; $800 couple
Temporary Guardianship for Children while parents are absent: $150
HOME VISITS IN ARE AVAILABLE AT NO EXTRA COST
Powers of attorney
Most adults should have a current power of attorney for both finances and health care decision making. The power of attorney allows you to pick someone you trust to handle your affairs if you cannot do so yourself. It gives you peace of mind, reassuring you that in an emergency, someone you choose will have the authority to act for you. If you don’t have one and you are suddenly incapacitated, your family may have to go through an expensive and time-consuming court action to appoint a guardian or conservator to make decisions for you.
Generally, there are two types of probate lawyers: those who handle the administrative side of probates – transactional attorneys, and those who represent clients in lawsuits, called probate litigators. Lawyers often specialize in administration of estates, but Stutheit & Gartland, P.C. knows administration and litigation. We know probate, but unlike many probate attorneys, we also litigate. We are experienced, calm, confident trial lawyers.
Our probate specialties are:
Decedent Estate Administration;
Guardianship and Conservatorship;
Trust and Estate Litigation;
Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Removal of Trustees or Personal Representatives;
Will Contests and Disputes Among Heirs;
Claims Against Estates;
Abuse of Power of Attorney;
Surviving Spouse Rights;
Fraud and Undue Influence in making a will or trust.
Protect your heirs and inheritance. 303-321-3017
See these Stutheit & Gartland blog posts:
Colorado trusts – trustee legal duty managing investments
In this blog, Stutheit & Gartland summarizes the legal duty of a Colorado trustee when managing investments. Colorado follows what is called the “Prudent Man Rule” for trustees. In managing property for a trust beneficiary, the trustee must exercise judgment and care, under the circumstances, which trustees of prudence, discretion and intelligence would exercise in […]
What happens to the body in Colorado after someone dies?
Where death is by natural causes, and the person was under medical care, the family can make arrangements for a mortuary to take the person into its care right away. Colorado does not license individual morticians, but “funeral establishments” must be registered with the Department of Regulatory Agencies and it is unlawful to sell funeral […]
Colorado Probate Cost – executor fees
There is no explicit rule how much an executor (“personal representative”) of a Colorado estate may charge. “A personal representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for his or her services.” COLO REV STAT § 15-12-719(1). In reviewing the reasonableness of a compensation request, a probate court should consider: (a) The time and labor required, the […]
Dangerous Ways of Avoiding Probate
Many Coloradans are convinced that probate is something to be avoided. I do not agree that probate is always, or even usually, bad. I believe that trusts are used too often and unnecessarily complicate many estates. Here are some common ways to avoid probate which do not include a trust: * Put property in joint […]
Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have
On April 20 the Wall Street Journal published a simple, but useful article entitled Four Estate-Planning Documents Everyone Should Have. The article is available at the following url or web address: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304572204579503983567868234
Colorado law – trust registration
In the following discussion, a reference to C.R.S. means Colorado Revised Statutes, law created by the legislature. The symbol, “§”, is lawyer shorthand for “section”. Colorado has a statute which says the trustee of a trust having its principal place of administration in Colorado shall, within thirty days after his or her acceptance of the […]
Common questions about wills and estate planning – Colorado law
1. What happens if I die without a last will? If you do not make a last will, Colorado law will determine who gets your property. This process is called “intestate succession.” Your property would first be divided between your spouse and your children. If you are not married and have no children, your property […]
Fees in probate and conservatorships
Q: What is an appropriate rate to charge for services as guardian and conservator? A. An answer is usually something like “It depends on the circumstances.” Here are a few general guidelines: Family members often serve without a “fee” although a family member usually keeps a record of out-of-pocket costs and applies for reimbursement. For […]
Colorado common law marriage and estates
Q. What is Common Law Marriage? A. Colorado recognizes common law marriage. The following guidelines are used to determine if a common law marriage exits: The man and women are free to enter into a marriage contract, neither is married to another person, and both parties are 18 or older. The man and the woman […]
Colorado estate planning – everyone should know
Denver estate planning attorney Brian Stutheit offers simple estate planning ideas everyone should know: 1) Every adult should consider having a health care power of attorney. A medical directive instructs your loved ones and health care providers how you wish to be treated if you become incapacitated. It allows you to control who makes decisions […]