Better Together!

Today is a huge happy Tuesday for me, and I am beyond excited to share my joy. But first, for those who don’t know my story, let me share some bits and pieces with you.

I was raised in Florida, was educated in Florida, raised my family in Florida, and practiced law in Florida. Fifty years of life in Florida, and I never thought I would ever leave Florida.

As we know, life changes, and at the prospect of my grandchildren being born and raised in Colorado, Florida lost its hold on me. I happily moved to Colorado to assume my grandmotherly role and become CoCo (my grandmother name). What could be more perfect than a part-time position on Tuesdays and Thursdays where love, relationships, connection, stretching, and learning with the grandchildren was the reality? My life was beyond wonderful.

But, as we all know, sometimes life changes, and the unexpected happens. When my husband died, I hurt. Frankly, I had never experienced such a tremendous loss, and I didn’t think I could go on. However, there were others that were not willing to let me give up. With the love and support of my children, grandchildren, and many close friends in Colorado and Florida, life changed. It looked different, but it did go on. I developed a new rhythm because I had to. And two short years later (time pretty much stands still as you grieve the loss of someone you dreamed of living out your life with), my daughter and her family announced that they were moving to Dallas, Texas.

They were kind and invited me to move with them to Dallas. However, it just didn’t seem like I should tag along. So, I stayed put. And again, I grieved a loss. I hurt, and I was alone. I spent a lot of time in Dallas. I would go to Dallas for holidays, special occasions, and grandchildren’s events. A new rhythm developed. Not ideal, but the best I could make of it.

And it bears repeating that we all know that sometimes life changes and the unexpected happens. And so it does. I have been walking on cloud nine as my daughter and family announced at the end of last year that they were coming home to Fort Collins. And today is THE day that they arrive!!!!

This (grand)mother’s HEART is so full. Not much more to say than that. So let me leave you with words from Jack Johnson’s song, “Better Together:”

“Love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart.

Like why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it’s so hard?

It’s not always easy, and sometimes life can be deceiving.

—- Well, it’s always better when we’re together.

Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together!”

Listen to the full song here.

Adulting 101: Your Living Will

You may have heard people speak of a “living will” and wondered what they are talking about. A living will is also called an advance health care directive. But, no matter what you call it, every adult needs a legal document that tells your loved ones and doctors the medical care you want if you cannot make those decisions yourself.

Your living will outlines the procedures, medications, and treatments you want or do not want to prolong your life when you cannot make those decisions for yourself. Additionally, it can address if and when you want life support removed and whether you want hydration and nutrition supplied if that is the only thing keeping you alive. If these decisions need to be made and you haven’t provided specific instructions, decisions will be made, and they may not be the decisions that you would have chosen.

Don’t confuse a “living will” with a “last will.” A “last will” sets forth what happens to your property and wealth after you die. A living will sets forth what medical treatment you want while alive.

A healthcare or medical power of attorney is another part of advanced healthcare directives. The healthcare power of attorney is the legal document that names who will make the healthcare decisions for you. Simply put, a medical power of attorney names those who can make medical decisions in the event of your incapacity, while a living will explains what medical care you want.

A living will is a vital part of every adult’s estate plan, as it can ensure your medical treatment is handled exactly the way you want if you cannot communicate. Without a living will, your loved ones are left to make difficult decisions which can result in conflict, stress, and guilt.

We all know that unforeseen illness or injury could strike at any time. Don’t wait to plan. We can assist you to ensure your medical treatment and end-of-life care is tailored to suit your unique needs and wishes and provide counseling and guidance in decision-making.

5 Loving Things To Do For The Ones You Love

5 Loving Things To Do For The Ones You Love

It’s a new year, which means a new chance to do what you’ve been putting off until the time is right. That time is now. Here are 5 of the most loving things you can do for the people you love in the New Year because, at some point, you will become sick or die. And while we don’t like to think about it, the best way not to need to think about it is to plan well.  Then, you can put it out of your mind and live your life as if every day is your last.

The Five Most Loving Things You Can Do For The People You Love In The New Year:

1. Make a Plan. Having a will, a trust, a power of attorney, a health care directive, and, if you have kids, a Children’s Protection Plan is vitally important so you don’t leave your family in a mess and having to deal with an expensive court process overseen by a judge who doesn’t know (or really care) about you or your family. Without a plan in place, you are planning to fail! Don’t do that to your loved ones.

2. Write a letter or record a CD. Pass on what really matters to your family — your values, insights, stories, and experience — in written or recorded form so they can return to you long after you are gone. There are many ways you can save special memories for those you will leave behind one day.

3. Pay for and plan your funeral. Cremated or buried? Ashes or body where? Yes or no to a viewing? Make these decisions now and let your loved ones know, in writing, so they don’t have to worry and wonder. And have the payment arrangements for your funeral expenses handled so they don’t have to scramble and pay for the arrangements at a time when they are overwhelmed with grief.

4. Plan to pay no taxes. Will there be taxes on your estate, and if so, how will your heirs pay them? Meet with your personal and trusted attorney to be sure there are no surprises with estate taxes or other costs, especially if there’s insurance involved. You don’t have to be rich to think about this.

5. Get organized. Let loved ones know where they can find your legal documents, other important paperwork, and the key to your safe deposit box. Be sure to include all of your password information to access online accounts, including email, Facebook, and other regularly accessed computer programs.

Now is the Time to Act

Tax-Saving Strategies For 2022

Although the end of the year can be hectic, it’s also the deadline for you and your family to implement several key tax-savings strategies. By taking action now, you may be able to reduce your tax bill due in April significantly. But you must do this before the end of the year, so act fast.

While there are dozens of potential tax breaks you may qualify for, here are 4 of the leading moves you can make to save big on your 2022 tax return.

1. Maximize retirement account contributions

By maximizing your contributions to tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, you can save for retirement and reduce your taxable income for 2022.

In 2022, you can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA, up to $20,500 to a 401(k) if you’re under 50, and up to $7,000 to an IRA and $27,000 to a 401(k) for those 50 and older. If you don’t have the cash available to fund the maximum amount, contribute at least any amount that your employer will match since that’s basically free money, and you lose it if you don’t use it.

That said, the ability to deduct your traditional IRA contributions from your taxes comes with certain limitations. These limitations are based on factors such as whether or not you or your spouse are covered by a retirement plan at work and your adjusted gross income (AGI), so make sure you know how your family is affected by these limits when taking deductions. On the other hand, Roth IRA contributions are not tax-deductible since they are made after taxes are taken out, but withdrawals from a Roth in retirement are tax-free.

Additionally, consider maxing out your Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions. Contributions to HSAs for 2022 are capped at $3,650 for individuals and $7,300 for families, with an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 allowed for those aged 55 and older.

You have until December 31st, 2022, to contribute to a 401(k) plan and until April 18th, 2023, to contribute to an IRA or HSA for the 2022 tax year.

2. Defer income if you’ll make less next year

If you’re expecting to make significantly more income this year than in 2023, try to defer as much income into next year as possible. However, this strategy only makes sense if you’ll be in the same or a lower tax bracket next year.

On the other hand, if you think you’ll be in a higher tax bracket in 2023, you may want to do the opposite and accelerate income into 2022 to take advantage of a lower tax bracket.

3. Use “loss harvesting” to offset capital gains

With the stock and crypto markets down this year, it can be the ideal time to use a strategy called “loss harvesting.” This means selling taxable investment assets (such as stocks, mutual funds, and bonds) at a loss to offset any capital gains you may have realized earlier in the year. Capital losses offset capital gains dollar for dollar.

If your losses exceed your gains, you can write off up to $3,000 of collective losses against other income. Any losses in excess of $3,000 can be carried over into the following year. In fact, you can carry over such losses year after year over your lifetime.

Note that the loss harvesting strategy does not apply to tax-advantaged accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and 529 plans. Additionally, the IRS “wash-sale” rule prohibits using this tax write-off for buying a “substantially identical” asset within a 30-day window before or after the sale that generated the loss.

Always consult your CPA or financial advisor before employing loss harvesting to ensure it doesn’t backfire on you.

4. Watch your required minimum distributions (RMDs)—or ensure your parents are watching theirs—if you or they are over age 72

If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, including a 401(k), 403(b), traditional IRA, SEP IRA, or SIMPLE IRA, you must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) by April 1st of the year that follows

the year you turn 72. After that, annual withdrawals must be made by December 31st each year to avoid a severe penalty.

If you fail to take the proper RMD, you may face a 50% excise tax on the amount you should have withdrawn based on your age, life expectancy, and account balance at the beginning of the year. That said, if you do make a mistake, you may be able to avoid the penalty by requesting a waiver from the IRS. You can request a waiver if your failure to take the RMD is due to a reasonable error and you take steps to make the required distribution. To request a waiver, submit Form 5329 to the IRS with a statement explaining the error and the steps you are taking to correct it.

Note that in 2022 the IRS updated its uniform lifetime table to calculate RMDs to account for longer life expectancies. As a result, your RMDs for this year may be slightly lower compared to previous years. To determine your RMD, refer to the IRS RMD worksheet or use an RMD calculator.

Maximize Your 2022 Tax Saving

There you have just four year-end tax-saving strategies that could save your family thousands of dollars on your 2022 tax bill. But DO IT NOW, as the end of the year will be here before you know it.

It’s The Most Magical Time Of The Year… Camp CoCo!

Camp CoCo

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is a coolness in the air today, which is a sign that fall is on the way. I will welcome the fall season this year, given the challenge we have endured through the past hot, hot summer months.

I hope your summertime was great. Mine has been a summer filled with wonder. For the first several months, the wonder came from you, the clients I serve. I feel blessed to meet and work with such special people. What I get to do every day is life-giving because of you all. To have that as the backdrop for Camp CoCo, which happens in August every summer, prepares me for the joy of being with grandchildren.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the key to happiness is to be fully present in each and every moment. So my estate planning advice for you as we move into fall is to make memories with those you love now! Let me share what making memories looked like for me this summer and how simple that can be.

Every August, I spend one-on-one quality time with my children and grandchildren at Camp CoCo. It is fast, fun, and full of delight. Most everyone knows me as Cris Carter, but my loved ones call me CoCo- hence Camp CoCo. CoCo was the name I chose 12 years ago with the birth of my first grandchild. I can’t believe it has been 12 years, but that is another story for another time.

Camp CoCo has become a family tradition where I get first-class time with my three grandchildren in Colorado. If you have seen me this summer, you know my face lights up when I think or talk about Camp CoCo. It is a challenging time as I find fun, stimulating, wholesome activities for the “grands” who are now twelve, ten, and eight and live in Texas. The days at Camp CoCo are some of the best days of my life, bar none.

The highlights of the 2022 Camp CoCo event included a couple of nights at the Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs, a trip to the newly rebuilt Flying W Ranch also in Colorado Springs, the Larimer County Rodeo, a melodrama titled “To be ORE not to be” at Gold Hill, Colorado, just outside of Boulder and a stay in Winter Park Colorado. And, yes, after Camp CoCo is over, I need a lot of R & R!

From the perspective of the “grands,” they gave the highest score this year to celebrating old-time Colorado tradition at the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs. The Flying W is a working mountain cattle ranch that has provided family education and entertainment in the foothills of Colorado Springs, Colorado, since 1953. I lived in Colorado Springs in 2012 when the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed the Flying W and was delighted that they were able to rebuild and reopen in 2020. That was also the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is quite a testimony to the grit and resilience of the Flying W Ranch family that visitors can enjoy the nostalgia of the old west once again.

The Flying W is open daily from May to October and features western-style living. With its humble beginnings as a mountain cattle ranch in 1947, the Flying W Ranch is a living symbol of western heritage and has many opportunities for adults and children alike. I suggest you arrive early so you can fully enjoy the fun activities, including:

  • Hands-on with the Ranch animals, including oxen, miniature horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens, and turkeys
  • A hayride on the Percheron horses
  • Riding the train through Christmas Rock Train Tunnel
  • Watching the native Indian Sweetwater Plains Dancers around the open campfire
  • Watching Navajo rug weavers and silversmiths
  • Viewing a horseshoeing demonstration
  • Ranges where you can test your skills at axe throwing and archery

Here is a short video to glimpse the fun and beauty of the Flying W Ranch.

The Ranch is open until October 3, 2022, and will have special Christmas shows in December 2022. I highly recommend visiting the ranch sooner than later with your loved ones. You’ve undoubtedly heard the key to happiness is to be fully present in each and every moment. So as my estate planning advice as we move into fall, I say make those memories with those you love now!

Mind The Gap(s)

Did you know that August is “National Make-A-Will Month?” If you have already prepared your will, congratulations! You have taken the first step in the estate planning process. Also, you are in the minority according to Caring.com’s 2022 Wills and Estate Planning Study, which found only 33% of Americans have created their will. Where I see the most significant gaps in people’s knowledge is that they don’t understand what a will does not do. With this in mind, let’s look at three things that having a will —WILL NOT— do for you and your loved ones regarding estate planning.

Here are a few examples of what a will does not do.

  1. As a parent, your most important role in life is to protect your children now and in the future. Most people think naming a guardian for their children in their will is sufficient. What they don’t realize is that your will only comes into effect when you die. By naming guardians for your minor children in your will, that ONLY works to name a guardian if you are dead. A will is not effective to name guardians if you are temporarily unavailable because you were in an accident or are hospitalized, and it leaves your children vulnerable to being taken into child services and the care of strangers if something happens to you. Unfortunately, this gap may exist in your estate plan even if you’ve worked with another lawyer to create your will. Why? Because many lawyers have not been trained on what’s necessary to ensure the well-being and care of minor children if your children need care and you are alive but unable to look after your children. That is why we offer a comprehensive system we call our Children’s Protection Plan, included with every estate plan we prepare for families with children.
  2. Having a will, does not keep your assets or your loved ones out of court. In fact, your will is the one document that tells the judge what you want and will become a public record in the probate process, where your will takes center stage. Unbeknownst to most people, a will only allows you to provide for the distribution of certain types of assets—typically, a will only covers assets owned solely in your name. Many other types of assets are not covered or affected by your will at all. I commonly see people who think that “all” of their assets have been planned for under their will, only to be (unpleasantly) surprised to find out this is not the case and that their planning is full of gaps.
  3. A will does not leave you or your loved ones in charge. A will leaves the local probate judge in charge. Court rules will dictate the process by which your assets will be managed, how creditors are notified, the timing of when all debts and claims are settled and paid (including your final income taxes), and finally, hopefully no more than 9 months later (but it can be longer) how your remaining assets are distributed.

As you can see here, having a will in place is a small but important first step in your estate plan. What is even more important is knowing what a will does and does not do as it has some gaps. But that doesn’t mean you should go without one. Without a will, you would have no say in who inherits your assets when you die, and everything you own is left up to the laws in the state where you are a legal resident. But even worse, your loved ones that survive will be the ones who must clean up the mess you’ve left behind. You should see your will as an important first step in the estate planning process—one that works best when integrated with a variety of other legal vehicles, such as trusts, powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives.

Your “Blended” Family Is Likely Headed to Court Unless You Do This

Family is the most important priority to a great majority of people – whether that includes full or step-siblings, birth parents or adoptive, or family you have chosen for yourself. Because it is so important, many of us want to make sure our families are taken care of after we are gone. For those of us who don’t have a nuclear family, however, which is made up of a mom, a dad, and full siblings, protecting and taking care of your family can be a little more complex.

If you have a blended family and you do not plan for what happens to your assets if you are incapacitated or gone, you are almost certainly guaranteeing hurt feelings, conflict, and maybe even a long, drawn out court battle.

So let’s start with an explanation of what a blended family is and whether you have one. If you have stepchildren, or children from a prior marriage, or other people you consider “kin” who are not considered legal relatives in the eyes of the law, you’ve got a blended family.

Bottom line: if you have a blended family, you need an estate plan, and not just a will you created for yourself online, or a trust that isn’t intentionally designed to keep your family out of court and out of conflict. Period. End of story. Unless you are okay with setting your loved ones up for unnecessary heartache, confusion, and pain when something happens to you, you need a well-structured estate plan.

What Will the Law Do?

Blended Families, once considered ‘non-traditional’ families are swiftly becoming the norm. Currently 52% of married couples (or unmarried couples who live together) have a stepkin relationship of some kind, and 4 in 10 new marriages involve remarriage. So, clearly, this is no longer ‘non-traditional’ but quite traditional, though our laws about what happens if you become incapacitated or die are still very much based on the traditional nuclear family.

Every state has different provisions for what happens when you become incapacitated or die, and the laws of the state where you become incapacitated or die may or may not match your wishes.

For example, in Colorado, if you are survived by a spouse, your surviving spouse would only receive a part of your estate if you have living children (or parents!), and your living children or parents would receive the rest. And the amount your spouse receives is variable based on the number and ages of your children.

In contrast, in California, all community property assets would go to your surviving spouse, and separate property assets would be distributed partially to a surviving spouse and partially to your children, in amounts depending on the number of surviving children.

In Texas, it can get very complex, depending on whether your assets are separate or community, and whether you have children from the marriage, no children from the marriage, or living parents or siblings.

These are examples to show you that where you die can significantly change the outcome for your family and for your assets, and it may not result in the outcome you want for your loved ones, especially if you have a blended family situation.

So, here’s what you do to make sure that things do go the way you want: call us and schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session. While the session is normally $500, if you do some homework ahead of time (homework that’s going to make sure your family can find everything you have if and when you become incapacitated or die), we’ll waive the Family Wealth Planning Session fee for you, and spend two hours getting to know you, your family dynamics, and your assets, and teach you about the law here in our county and how it would impact your family and your assets in the event of your incapacity or death, so you can ensure that things go the way you want for the people you love.

Even within “traditional” families, aka married parents with families, I want to emphasize that having a full plan is the best way to provide for your loved ones. However, with “blended” families, carefully considered estate plans are even more vital to avoid the massive misunderstanding and conflict that comes with faulty or incomplete plans, and often result in having your assets tied up in court instead of going to the people you want to receive them.

Disputes Between Spouse and Children from Previous Marriage

One of the most common problems that arises in a blended family is that the children from a prior marriage and the surviving spouse end up in conflict. This one is sadly common. Unless a comprehensive plan has been created, it could be very easy for your surviving spouse to cut your kids out completely.

When you’re considering all of these factors for the people you love, it’s important to have a lawyer who can help you look at the reality of what will happen if you become incapacitated or when you die. With the complexities of modern families, it’s better to know than to leave it to the law or a court to provide. That way, not only do the people you love get the assets that you want them to receive, but you may also be saving them from years of legal conflict. Just give us a call and we’ll help you review your options.

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This article is a service of Cris Carter Law, the attorney with heart. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session,™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $500 session at no charge.

The Most Important Legal and Financial Actions You Can Take Right Now

Not Business As Usual

What we have learned over the past 3 weeks is that the COVID-19 pandemic means nothing is normal. There is NO business as usual. Finally, state after state has implemented a “shelter-in-place” order in an attempt to limit the spread of the disease; still every day we come across people and populations who are not following the mandate.

Once you have attended to your needs, the needs of your children and your parents’ immediate needs, it will be time to consider more long term precautions.

In this time of stress and chaos, many people continue to be resistant to talking about estate planning. It may feel too pessimistic to plan for the worst in the midst of a scary situation. However, that’s exactly why it’s the most important time to do so. Plus, since hopefully, you are staying inside, you now have the time to get these tasks taken care of.

Here are actions you can, and should, take to ensure you and your family are protected both legally and financially.

Update Your Health Care Documents

Above all, you first need to ensure that both you and your parents have advance care directives. This will be an invaluable reference point for those who are assisting you, whether they be friends, family, or medical professionals. This directive should include instructions on your preferred methods of care and the contact information for each of your doctors.

Review and Update Who Speaks for You When You are Unable to Speak for Yourself

You must also clearly state who will be in charge of handling your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity. Even if you have done this already, I urge you to take out any existing documents now and review them. Have your circumstances changed? Do you have additions to make? Encourage your parents to do the same thing, and to communicate with you about what their directives say.

Here’s an article to read, and share with your parents (AND ADULT KIDS, if you have them) on the 3 parts of a Health Care Directive, and the 5 things you want to look for in your Health Care Directive right now, to ensure it’s up to date for COVID-19.

If you are unsure whether your Health Care Directive is in ship-shape, call us, as your Personal Family Lawyer®, to take an expert look at them.

Create a “Personal Resource Map”—an Inventory of Everything That Matters

You might think that only the very rich need to worry about making specific plans for their assets. But not so fast. Do you have investments or a retirement account? Physical things like jewelry, musical instruments, or furniture? What about crypto? Or even social media accounts? In the event of your incapacity or death, your family members won’t know where to look for what you have, or how to access it, unless you’ve planned for that ahead of time.

Somewhere between 49 and 80 billion dollars are currently unclaimed, or unable to be claimed, by family members of people who have passed away. This is money that individuals may have forgotten they had, or that they made no provisions to pass on to their family after they died. That’s why it’s extra important that you create a “personal resource map” to tell your loved ones where everything is and how they should move forward according to your wishes.

To help you make your own personal resource map, and to help your parents make theirs, you can go to http://www.personalresourcemap.com/ or call us direct and we’ll walk you through it.

Wisely Maximize Your Access To and Use of Credit

Financial experts often recommend a rainy day savings account, and it seems that the rainy day has come. Whether or not you have sizable savings, you should also maximize your access to credit. Getting approved for a higher credit line is good to do sooner rather than later. If you find yourself in a position where you need money quickly (to afford a medical expense, for instance), you don’t want to be scrambling to pay the bill.

Some people might balk at the idea of applying for more personal credit, particularly people who are afraid of debt. Think of it, however, as a worst-case precaution. You can get approved for credit even if you have a decent amount of savings—just as a backup. If you need reassurance, or if you need some help encouraging your parents to get approved for a higher credit line, you can contact us to walk you through your options.

Remember that it’s never an inappropriate time to plan for the future. It’s also always a good time to ask for legal and financial help. #WereAllInThisTogether and we’re here to support you, virtually now, as well, even when nothing is normal. We can take care of you, and your family, fully online. Call us, we’re here.

This article is a service of Cris Carter Law, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $500 session at no charge. Or, schedule online here.

Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness, Time for Emergence and Growth

“It is precisely because we resist the darkness in ourselves that we miss the depths of the loveliness, beauty, brilliance, creativity, and joy that lie at our core.” ― Thomas Moore

April is usually a sign that spring is here. A time of emergence and growth. Yet we find ourselves confined in our homes. Unable to see the ones we love. Separated by something we cannot see. Something we cannot touch. Feeling numb, hidden, unseen.

April also symbolizes the process of coming into view. Becoming. What was hidden is exposed after being concealed. The process of coming into being. April provides the gust that spring needs to bloom and flourish.

Perhaps what we are living through, the stillness, is giving us the opportunity to sit, listen, and see. Listen to what our soul has been trying to tell us. Look and see the things that we have buried behind the busyness of life. It is a time for us to look at the things in our life that we have been putting on hold.

Whatever you do, don’t assume all is lost. We have heard many times that it is never too early to plan for your future. However, the sooner you can have an estate plan in place, the better it is for you and your family. If there is one thing that we have learned from the Corona Virus is that nothing is certain. It may never be too early to plan, but it can be too late.

If you do not have ANY estate plan at all before something happens to you, whether that be a serious illness or death, your family will end up in court and the court will choose the people that will handle tying up all the loose ends. How your estate gets distributed will be based upon the general laws in effect. Depending on your family structure, it may or may not be what you would have chosen for your loved ones. If you only have a Last Will and Testament and (not a Trust), your estate will also wind its’ way through the court system.

Going to court is expensive and the money pair for court and lawyers comes straight out of the pockets of those loved ones left behind. And of course, the time and energy it takes for your loved ones to deal with the court process, may be way more stress than they can manage at a delicate time. Only an estate plan with a trust will keep your loved ones out of court, confusion, and conflict.

During this pandemic, we want to make sure you and your family are taken care of. We have gone to virtual meetings to ensure you still have access to our services whenever you need them. We want to help you make informed and empowered decisions and feel protected in times of need. It is all about making sure your plan works for you and the people you love.

At Cris Carter Law, we have gone virtual to protect you and your loved ones. Just like the promise of growth and bounty that comes after planting seeds in the spring, planning your legacy now, promises protection for your loved ones when you are gone.

It isn’t comfortable or easy to talk about the necessity of planning. Yet what planning has to offer your loved ones is far deeper and greater than any discomfort.

At Cris Carter Law, we are here for you. We want to know you. We want to know what matters to you. Together we spend time and focus on what is most important to you and your family. We will guide you as we create the estate plan that aligns with your objectives and will be there for your family when they need it the most. Call us today to set up your virtual appointment.

Our hope is that you will look for the light in the darkness. The light that will teach us a new way to care. A new way to laugh. A new way to love. A new way to live. The darkness prepares us for what is to come. Together, we hope for a new tomorrow.

“During the dark night, there is no choice but to surrender control, give in to unknowing, and stop and listen to whatever signals of wisdom might come along. It’s a time of enforced retreat and perhaps unwilling withdrawal. The dark night is more than a learning experience; it’s a profound initiation into a realm that nothing in the culture, so preoccupied with external concerns and material success, prepares you for.” Thomas Moore

This article is a service of Cris Carter Law, the attorney with a heart. We don’t just draft documents; we guide you to make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love so that your estate plan works when it needs to. Call today and schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.