Hofgard & Associates, P.C.

Estate Planning Learning Center

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In a nutshell, estate planning that meets the five rights addresses the following:

A.    Basic Estate Plan in Place.

In our opinion, every person over 18, young or old, rich or not, married or single, needs to have a signed, witnessed, notarized, and easily accessible basic estate plan in place, which includes:

1.     Will, or Will with Testamentary Trust for Children – to ensure who is in charge in case of death and where assets go.

2.     Guardianship Designation for Minor Children – to ensure that someone will take care of children under age 18.

3.     Financial Power of Attorney – to ensure that you are treated the way you want to be treated.

4.     Medical/Healthcare Power of Attorney – to ensure that you are treated the way you want to be treated.

5.     HIPPA Authorization – to ensure that medical personnel will communicate with your family and friends.

6.     Advance Directive (Living Will) – to ensure that your wished are followed at end of life. 

B.    Accurate Beneficiary Designations.

Primary and secondary beneficiary designations can easily be checked (often on-line or with your financial advisor) for:

a.      IRAs

b.     401(k), 403(b), 457, and other qualified pension plans.

c.      Life insurance policies and annuities.

In addition, POD or TOD (payable on death or transfer on death) designations may have been made for checking/savings accounts, brokerage accounts, or stocks/mutual fund, and should be reviewed.

C.    Accurate Joint Tenancy Titling.

If real property is owned with another individual, the purchasing deed must have some iteration of “joint tenants” on the deed for the property to be owned in joint tenancy. Otherwise, the property is owned in tenancy in common and passes through probate.

D.    Other resources:

a.      Contact our office TODAY for an office or phone consultation to discuss your unique estate planning needs: 303-449-0055 or hofgardlaw@gmail.com

b.     For more Colorado-specific topics, visit the Colorado Bar Association’s “For The Public” page and look at the “Brochures” along the right side of the page:



c.      For end-of-life planning visit:

1.     Colorado Advance Directives Consortium:


2.     The Conversation Project:




Hofgard & Associates, P.C. * 1510 28th Street, Suite 275* Boulder, Colorado * USA * 80303 Phone: (303) 449-0055 * Fax: (303) 953-5363

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