Wills, Trusts, Tax Planning and Charitable Giving
Drawing up a will is just one step in the process of getting your affairs in order. In fact, many people do not need a Will. Other estate planning documents can be far more useful. At Sutherland & Connor, we develop a comprehensive plan that is made for you.
We help you navigate critical components of your plan, such as:
- Choosing agents, executors, guardians, and trustees
- Drafting documents that you need to accomplish your goals
- Evaluating various trust arrangements and the need for tax planning
Client goals are the foundation of every estate plan we develop.
Your goals, which may include:
- Providing for young children or other dependents
- Making estate administration easy of your beneficiaries
- Reducing estate taxes or protection assets
We will help you develop the estate plan that you need and understand.
Our clients are diverse. We are honored to help:
- Single adults
- Unmarried partners
- Business owners
- Families with young children or disabled dependents
- Blended families
- High net worth families
We develop straightforward, robust estate plans that are driven by your goals, delivered when promised, for a reasonable fee.
Speak to an attorney today
Tell us how we can be of service and one of our team members will contact you.
You truly understand something when you are able to explain it to others. As your lawyer, I not only have to know the law, but must be able to explain it to you. I am delighted when my clients say, “wow you made that so easy.”
Erin Connor, Attorney – Managing Partner
The traditional method to bequeath assets after your death is a Will. Wills can be simple or complex. A complex Will may include trusts with a variety of purposes such as reducing estate taxes or preserving assets for a dependent’s benefit. In a Will, you nominate your executor (personal representative) and can also name guardians and trustees for your dependents. In Colorado, most estate planning objectives can be met with a Will.
Trusts are made by a trustor, and controlled by a trustee, for the benefit of another, the beneficiary. Trusts serve a variety of purposes. They can be contained in a Will or can be a standalone document. Some trusts are created as a function of the law, even when there is no written agreement. There are appropriate uses for trusts, but there are also misconceptions about what it means to have trust. At Sutherland & Connor, we discuss your goals and help you determine if a trust is appropriate and, if so, what kind. In addition to preparing trust agreements, we advise trustors, trustees, on their duties and beneficiaries of their rights.
For clients with high net worth, we prepare estate plans that will minimize estate taxes and maximize the estate for future generations. Although Colorado does not have an estate tax, the federal government does. If your estate is subject to the federal estate tax, meaning it is higher than the available estate tax exemption, you should know that the tax rate is nearly 40%. The federal estate tax exemption amount will exceed 12.9 Million in 2023. For most of us, that means estate tax planning is not necessary. You may be worth more than you think, consult us to determine what, if any, tax planning you need. Do not make decisions on misperceptions about taxes. Your goals should drive your decisions, not the tax code.
To minimize estate tax liabilities, establish a legacy, and support causes that are important to you, Sutherland & Connor helps many clients develop a strategy for making charitable donations, commonly called “planned giving.” While these strategies may be as simple as making bequests to charities in a Will, they may also involve forming a private foundation or utilizing charitable trusts to carry on your philanthropic legacy. We advise clients on a variety of options and help them chose the best strategy given their resources and goals.