Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

Kevin D. Millard was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1950. He is a graduate of Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio (B.A. magna cum laude 1972), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and the University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. cum laude 1975). Mr. Millard was in private law practice in Minneapolis from 1975 until 1981. During 1980–81, Mr. M...illard was an assistant professor of law, teaching trust law and co-directing the legal research and writing program at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. During the same academic year, he also taught trusts and estates at the University of Minnesota Law School. He then moved to Denver, Colorado and resumed private law practice, but he continues to enjoy teaching law, and has taught Trusts & Estates at the University of Denver Law School (1984–87), and Estate Planning (1993–2003) and Federal Estate & Gift Tax (2016) at the University of Colorado Law School. Mr. Millard is active in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the Trust and Estate section of the Colorado Bar Association. He has presented numerous continuing legal education programs and is the author of several published articles and author or co-author of three books. Mr. Millard limits his practice to estate planning, estate and trust administration, and serving as a consulting expert or expert witness in trust and estate matters. More

Joint Income Tax Returns and Common-Law Marriage in Colorado

Colorado is one of about ten states that recognize common law marriage. In a 1987 case, People v. Lucero, the Colorado Supreme Court held that “common law marriage is established by the mutual consent or agreement of the parties to be husband and wife, followed by a mutual and open assumption of a marital relationship.” The couple’s agreement to be married need not be explicit and may be inferred from the couple’s conduct. Under Lucero, “[t]he two factors that most clearly show an intention to be married are cohabitation and a general understanding or reputation among persons in the community in which the couple lives that the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife.” The court listed a number of behaviors that a court may consider in analyzing those two factors: joint bank or credit accounts, joint ownership of other property, the woman’s use of the man’s surname, the use of the man’s surname by children born to the parties, and the filing of joint tax returns.

Continue reading
  112 Hits
112 Hits

What’s So Bad About Donor-Advised Funds?

Last Friday, the New York Times published a very negative article about donor-advised funds (DAFs), calling them a “Philanthropic Loophole” in its headline and quoting a tax professor at the University of Southern California as calling DAFs “a fraud on the American taxpayer.” What, exactly, is a DAF, and are DAFs really so bad?

Continue reading
  336 Hits
336 Hits

Beneficiary Designations May be Dangerous to Your Estate Plan

Traditionally, the central document in an estate plan was a will or revocable trust. For many people, that continues to be true, but it is now possible to pass almost any kind of property outside the terms of your will. For example, this can be done by adding the beneficiary as a joint owner on a bank account, by naming the beneficiary as a “pay on death” (POD) or “transfer on death” (TOD) payee on a stock or securities account, or by signing a “beneficiary deed” that names a beneficiary to become the owner of real estate when you die. Colorado recently added automobiles to the list of assets that can pass by a TOD beneficiary designation. These arrangements, which I refer to generically as “beneficiary designations” can be useful, but they can also seriously disrupt a careful estate plan if they are done without care and appropriate advice.

Continue reading
  600 Hits
600 Hits

Don’t Defer Planning Your Estate Because The Estate Tax Might Be Repealed

In 2001, when the estate tax exemption was $675,000 and George W. Bush was President, Congress “repealed” the estate tax. But the repeal was phased in over ten years and was then scheduled to last for only one year. Instead of actual repeal, what we got, under President Obama, was a reinstated estate tax with a much higher exemption of $5 million, indexed for inflation. The Republican party now controls both houses of Congress as well as the White House, and we are again hearing calls for repeal of the estate tax.

Continue reading
  698 Hits
698 Hits

Is It Time to Update Your Estate Plan?

We recommend that our clients review their estate plan every few years to make sure that it remains current. Here is a list of “life events” and other things that should trigger a review of your estate plan.

Continue reading
  650 Hits
650 Hits