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Stewart + Gordon
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Info, Updates, and Interesting Minutiae

How to Leave Assets to a Loved One who Struggles with Addiction

In the United States, 21.5 million adults (aged 12 or older) battle with some kind of substance abuse disorder. The opioid epidemic is on the rise, and addiction affects many families nationwide. Decades of research show that addiction is a chronic illness, and many in recovery have one or more relapses (60% of patients relapse within one year of receiving treatment, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association). Relapse, rather than a failure, is a common part of recovery.

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Taking it to the Grave: How Creditors Can Impact Your Legacy

Very often, clients tell us that they wish they hadn’t waited so long to start the estate planning process. It can seem scary or overwhelming, and there are a lot of reasons people put it off. One of the most common is that people want to wait until they have achieved certain financial goals before meeting with an attorney. These goals may include buying a home or earning a certain amount of money, but one we hear the most is getting out of debt.

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What is the Difference Between Hiring an Attorney and Drafting Your Own Will Online?

The majority of individuals in the United States do not have a will or any other estate planning document in place. Often, this is because it can be difficult and painful to confront mortality, the process can be expensive, and people tend to put it off for a time in the future when it feels more urgent. In response to this phenomenon, there are many “simple” and “low-cost” solutions to estate planning available such as online legal form services, DIY books, and fill-in-the-blank forms. These companies try to sell their will-drafting methods as simpler, faster, and cheaper than working with an attorney. What does this mean in practical terms? You get what you pay for.

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Seven Reasons Why You Avoid Your Estate Planning

Whether we realize it or not, if we fail to plan, we're planning to fail.

In my years of practice, I’ve heard a lot of excuses as to why people avoid estate planning. Before you stop reading, let me address some of them straight on and try to convince you why avoiding your estate plan may not be the best choice for you and your family.

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Christopher Gordon
How Often Do You Need to Revisit Your Estate Plan?

We’ve mentioned this statistic before, but it bears repeating: 6 out of 10 adult Americans do not have any estate plan documents in place. Of course, we know that doesn’t mean that nothing will happen to their assets or their loved ones after they pass. Instead, a failure to plan simply means that your assets and loved ones will be treated in accordance with state law. Basically, the state is writing your will for you.

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Christopher Gordon
What to Do When a Spouse Suddenly Passes

In the first weeks following a spouse’s death, you will be faced with dozens of decisions - some minor and some with long-lasting impacts. It will be essential to remain organized and to move carefully through each decision to make sure that nothing gets left unaddressed. Keep a list and ask for help where you need it. Go slow as you move through this process. Set aside a period of time each day to deal with financial matters. Getting just one or two tasks accomplished a day can keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

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Christopher Gordon
Are Collectibles A Good Investment?

When thinking about building wealth and saving for the future, many investors are looking for ways to diversify their portfolios. For some, this means bonds, securities, and gold. Others are looking for something a little more interesting. Collecting rare instruments, vintage watches, fine wines, classic cars, minerals, sports memorabilia, and comic books are all ways to merge your passions with your wealth-building endeavor. But, are they really a good investment?

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What Constitutes a Valid Will in Colorado?

Recently, a court in France ruled that a text message sent shortly before a man’s death in 2016 altering his will was not enforceable. The court decided that a text message altering the terms of a legally executed will cannot be verified, and so is not considered a valid will. However, a court in Australia found the opposite to be true in 2017, in part because the deceased man used the words “my will” in the text message. These conflicting messages raise the question: what constitutes a valid will in Colorado?

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How to Leave Your Home to Your Kids

If you are like most people, your home is the largest and most valuable asset in your estate. It is likely that you have spent years building equity in your home, making lifelong memories, cutting the grass, and working against a mortgage or two. With all of the time and money you have spent on your home, it is essential that you take the time to ensure that your hard-won asset passes down to the next generation.

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Estate Planning for the Blended Family

A blended family is one with children from more than one partnership. For many families, this may be a second marriage in which one or both partners have children from a previous relationship. In some blended families, the second marriage also results in children. Blended families are very common, but the default laws in Colorado likely do not reflect how you want to provide for your loved ones after you pass.

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Asset Protection: When a Will Won't Work

When people hear the phrase “estate planning,” their minds usually jump to a will. While a will is generally the simplest form of estate planning, it does not do what most people think it can. Often, a will drafted with an attorney or using an online or DIY form does not do what the drafter thought it would when he or she put it together. 

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Christopher Gordon
Financial Protection for the Newly Divorced

If you have recently gone through or are currently navigating a divorce, you may be feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and tired of meeting with lawyers. It seems like there is so much to do: separate assets, sell or move homes, negotiate a custody agreement, and settle daily living expenses. It is a lot, but there is one more thing that is often overlooked and is equally as important: updating or creating an estate plan.

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Christopher Gordon