Areas of Practice:

Elder Law
Estate Planning
Wills and Trusts
Estate Administration
Trust Administration
Guardianships
Conservatorships
Real Estate

LEGAL LINGO

Agent:  The person named in a power of attorney to act on the principal=s behalf.  Sometimes called an attorney-in-fact.  It is extinguished at death.
Beneficiary Deed:  A revocable deed designating persons to receive your Colorado real estate while avoiding probate.     
Codicil:  An amendment to a will.
Community property:  Assets a married person acquires during the person=s marriage while living in a community property state.
Conservatorship:  A court proceeding in which a judge appoints a person or organization (the conservator) to take control of and manage the financial affairs of an incapacitated person.
Estate administration:  Sorting out what happens to a person=s estate after the person dies.
Estate tax:  A tax on assets owned by a decedent at death. 
Gift tax:  A tax on gifts made while the giver is alive.  No tax is due until the giver has used up his or her lifetime gift tax exemption amount.
Grantor:  The person creating and signing a trust.  Sometimes called the settlor or trustor.
Guardianship:  A court proceeding in which a judge appoints a person to deal with personal and medical affairs of an incapacitated person.
Holographic will:  A will where all material provisions are in the testator=s handwriting.
Intestate:  A person who dies without a valid will dies Aintestate@, and Colorado Law determines who is entitled to the deceased’s assets. 
Life estate deed:  An irrevocable deed transferring the remainder of real estate upon owner=s death.
Living Trust:  An estate planning document used to transfer assets at death while avoiding probate.
Medicaid:  A combined Federal and State program that pays for care services (nursing homes) for people who have few assets and limited income.

Medicare:  A federal program that provides health insurance for individuals who have certain disabilities or are 65 or older.
Personal Representative:  The person a judge appoints to handle the probate estate, (pay debts and distribute assets). The term Executor is used in other states.
Pour-over will:  A simplified will that directs that any probate estate assets transfer at death (pour over) to trust ownership.  Used with a living trust.
Power of attorney for financial matters:  A legal document in which you name one or more agents to manage financial and property affairs for you.
Power of attorney for medical care:  A legal document in which you name one or more agents to be your medical advocate.
Principal:  The person who signs a power of attorney.
Probate:  A court proceeding to pass the probate estate of a deceased person to his or her heirs.
Probate avoider: An arrangement (beneficiary naming, joint tenancy, pay-on-death account, revocable trust, etc.) used by a person during lifetime that removes an asset from his or her probate estate.
Separate property:  Typically, assets a married person inherits or receives as a gift, or that were owned by the married person before the marriage. 
SSD:  Social Security Disability, a disability program for those 65 years or younger.
SSI:  Supplemental Security Income, an income assistance program for people who are 65 or older, blind or disabled, with low assets and low income.
Testator/Testatrix:  The person who creates and signs a will.  Testator is masculine, testatrix is feminine.
Trustee:  The person named in a trust to be in charge of trust assets.
Will:  An estate planning document used to name the personal representative (executor) and who will receive the probate estate.

 


This article was written by Tamra K Waltemath of Tamra K. Waltemath, P.C.  Material contained in this article is informational in nature and should not be taken as legal advice. For specific questions, you should schedule a consultation with the attorney.  Tamra K. Waltemath is an elder law attorney focusing on wills, trusts, estate and trust administration, probate and non-probate transfers, guardianships and conservatorships.  She can be contacted at:  Tamra K. Waltemath, P.C., 3843 West 73rd Avenue, Westminster, CO  80030; 303-657-0360; or visit her website at: www.WaltemathLawOffice.com.  Any inquiry via this website does not form a lawyer-client relationship.

 

 


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