About Stinson Legal, LLC.

Some people think they know exactly what they want when it comes to estate planning.  They are sure they want a will.  Some people are convinced they want a trust. Some people want a will with a trust in it.  And then there are those that have no idea what they want because they don’t know enough to know yet.  

My goal is to educate you on various estate planning tools available to you, work with you to evaluate your assets, clarify your priorities, and then you get to decide how you want to proceed to create the plan that best fits your needs and wishes. We also give you direction on how to maintain your plan into the future. There is a lot to consider but we do our best to walk you through it to keep you from getting overwhelmed

  • Wayne H.
    7/19/2022
    We had a very good experience with Kristine working through some complicated estate planning. She was patient and took the time to explain everything carefully. Great follow up support and guidance as well. Highly recommend!
  • Edie N.
    7/19/2022
    Great person knowledgeable and professional. Definitely recommend!
  • anonymous
    12/17/2019
    Patient and Thorough Ms. Stinson assisted in in creating and implementing a family trust. She was thorough in her development of our documents, patient in explaining the laws and all that we needed to consider, and provided extremely competent counsel that we found refreshing and trustworthy. We give her the highest possible recommendation for anyone preparing for the future wellbeing of their family.
  • Marc C.
    1/24/2021
    I first worked with Kristine in 1991, and she has proven herself to be diligent in everything she does. She is smart, detail oriented, and focused, while also being friendly and kind. Her goal is to educate clients about the pros and cons of wills and trusts so clients can make intelligent decisions about the plan they choose to protect their family. She is wonderful to work with and produces quality legal documents.
  • Dana
    3/08/2021
    Kristine helped us with estate planning Kristine just helped us complete our estate plan and we were both very pleased with the entire process. Kristine is professional, organized, understands the laws in Colorado and helped us make difficult decisions rewarding. If you are in need of a will or trust to protect you and your family, I guarantee you will love working with Kristine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing to not have a will or a trust is a decision that may cause problems for your family down the road. In Colorado, if a person dies without a will or a trust, Colorado state law dictates who will receive your assets and in what proportions. Not making a will or a trust relinquishes control of your assets to others; if you don’t decide, someone else will.

Probate is the legal process that transfers title of assets from the person who died to the people named in the will, if there was a will, or to his or her heirs as dictated by statute if there was no will.

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A will is a document that becomes effective upon the death of the person who wrote it and directs who receives their property and appoints a legal representative to handle probate.

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The short answer to this question is that it depends entirely upon your circumstances, your priorities, and your preferences. You will decide what fits for you after you learn your options.

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The benefits of a trust are not limited to large and complicated estates because a trust allows for the grantor (or creator of the trust) to control his or her assets throughout their lifetime until they are unable or unwilling to continue in that role.

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If your will and other important estate planning documents cannot be located when they are needed, it can cause confusion and conflict.

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A Living Will is your statement of intent to your doctors about what treatment you would like to have or like to avoid in the event you are deemed to be in a persistent vegetative state or have a terminal illness and cannot speak for yourself.

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A will and a living will are completely different.

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Both documents serve to allow a person you designate (called an agent) to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot speak for yourself, however they serve very different purposes.

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A coordinated will-based estate plan will include both the will and the Durable Financial Power of Attorney because one, the will, becomes controlling at death, while the other, a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, allows your agent to handle your financial affairs while you are alive.

Joint tenancy is a form of property ownership for real property and personal property. How the property is owned with another impacts how property ownership changes at an owner’s death. With joint tenancy, there is a right of survivorship between the parties when one party dies. In other words, the property does not pass through probate or a trust; the surviving owner owns the entire property.

The type of ownership of property (such as joint ownership or tenants in common), when ownership was transferred, and how ownership was transferred, is critical to evaluating potential estate planning impacts, basis adjustment (income taxes), and Medicaid issues. It is important to consult with an attorney and/or a CPA before transferring ownership of property, so you fully understand the ramifications of such a transfer.

“Funding” a trust is the process of changing the ownership of assets and/or beneficiary designations to the name of the trust.

A will that is valid where it was created should be valid in all 50 states. However, It is always a good practice to have a lawyer in your new state of residence look at your estate planning documents to determine whether they still effectively carry out your wishes. A new Colorado will or trust may be beneficial.

The thought of someone else raising your children is heartbreaking and distressing.

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In Colorado, only spouses have a right to inherit based on statute. Otherwise, to whom you leave your assets to is your choice; children do not have the right to force an inheritance if you choose otherwise. If this is your goal, your will or trust must be drafted with care to make your intentions clear.

Remarriage can result in inadvertent consequences when you do not plan ahead. A subsequent marriage could inadvertently divert a substantial portion of your estate, if not all of it, away from your children should you die prior to your new spouse. Situations differ; however, a prenuptial agreement may make good sense here.

There is a gift tax exclusion that allows you to give up to a certain amount.

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This is a Colorado form that allows an appropriate party to collect and distribute assets of a deceased party.

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A Beneficiary Deed is a document signed and notarized by the owner of a property directing that ownership will pass to specified individual(s) upon their death.

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Not sure where to start?

Schedule a call and I’ll walk you through it.

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