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

Denver DA News

Bringing smarter criminal justice...

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Certain Changes Effective in 2019

The gift, estate and generation-skipping exemptions are $11.4 million per taxpayer in 2019. Keep in mind that if a Credit Shelter Trust was earlier created at the death of a family member, that trust ordinarily will not be included in the estate of the beneficiary. With the larger estate tax exemption, the family may not care about estate tax inclusion, but they may want a “stepped up basis” for the assets in the trust at the death of the current beneficiary to minimize capital gains taxes. If this applies to your situation, you probably need to take some actions now in order to obtain the stepped-up basis for the trust assets on the death of the current beneficiary.

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This is What a Social Security Scam Sounds Like

Be cautious of a new social security scam targeting the elderly and the vulnerable...

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Make Sure Your Surviving Spouse is Provided for in Your Estate Plan

     The Colorado Probate Code affords a surviving spouse, who may be unintentionally omitted from his or her deceased spouse’s Will, an intestate share. The rationale for this provision of the Code is the presumption that the Decedent would have wanted the surviving spouse to receive his or her estate rather than beneficiaries named in a prior Will that predates the marriage.

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Aretha Franklin's Funky Wills

In May, three hand-written wills were found hidden in Aretha Franklin’s Detroit area home. Her family and lawyers previously thought she had died intestate. Two hand-written wills dated 2010 were found in a locked cabinet and third hand-written will dated 2014 was found under a couch in Ms. Franklin’s living room. The wills are difficult to follow. (Click here for example.) All three documents have been offered for probate as valid holographic wills. There is some question whether they are valid under Michigan law.

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128 Hits

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.

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“Sound Mind”, “Lucid Intervals” and “Insane Delusions” – What Does It All Mean?

Author and director William “Tim” Burton is quoted as saying, “They say that one person’s insanity is another person’s reality.” Recently, Wade Ash has been involved in several interesting cases involving testators suffering from cognitive impairment when they prepared their Will or Trust. Even persons who are declared mentally incompetent, incapacitated or suffering from various types of mental illness or addiction, may still have sufficient capacity to prepare a Will or Trust. A testator may even lack testamentary capacity, but still have “lucid intervals” enabling them to prepare a Will.

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265 Hits

Annual Review Checklist

January is the perfect time for the annual review of estate plans, particularly if you have had significant changes in your life such as deaths, relationships or assets. Here are a few questions to help get started.

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Phishing Isn't a Sport

Don't take the phishing bait...

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175 Hits

Community!

What is the city but the People...

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12 Days of Holiday Scams

12 scams you should be aware of this holiday season...

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Will Contests

The proponents of the Will have the initial burden of due execution, venue, and proof of death. The burden is on the contestant to show lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, undue influence, duress, mistake or revocation. However, undue influence cannot be inferred by motive and opportunity alone. There must be some evidence, either direct or circumstantial, to show that undue influence not only existed but also influenced the making of the Will.

I have always considered the two most important witnesses in a Will contest to be the drafting attorney and treating doctor.

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219 Hits

Cyber Monday, Black Friday - Good Deals?

Shop "smart" this holiday season.  Scammers are watching for you...

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197 Hits

Thinking About Moving to a Retirement Community?

Maybe your adult children have brought up the idea, or maybe you’ve had some discussions with friends about their moves to senior communities. Whatever the case may be, if you’re considering a move, be sure to plan well ahead and educate yourself about your options.

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202 Hits

Happy Halloween From the Dark Web

The more you know, the better off you are...

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219 Hits

New Initiatives Underway!

Alternatives to jail, specialty courts for women and veterans, and juvenile justice reform...

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190 Hits

Scammers Are Rotating Around Hurricane Florence

Do your research - know where you are sending your money...

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Scammers Can't Wait for Back-to-School

Keep your college-bound children safe from a scammer's trap...

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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?

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National Emoji Day Beware the Smiling Emoji

The sinister aspect of emojis....

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