Estate Planning for Subsequent Marriages

          Married clients who are planning their estates when they have previously married have unique challenges and issues.  This is especially true if there are children of the current marriage, the past marriage or both.  Usually the re-married parents want all their children to inherit a portion of the estate.  It becomes even more complicated because people are living longer and "gray divorce" or divorce among spouses who are over 50, is the fastest growing divorcing group.  Add in the fact that older people usually have more significant and substantial assets, it makes a great deal of sense to work with us to go over all of your estate planning needs.  After meeting with us, many clients learn that a trust may be the best way to achieve estate planning goals.  Likewise, some clients learn that a trust is simply too expensive and is not necessary to achieve the goals the client has defined.   

           Regardless of where you are on the wealth spectrum, it is important to sit down with a quality estate planning attorney to make sure your estate plan is current, accurate and achieves your goals.



The Pitfalls of Online Estate Planning Services

Why not use an online service to draft your important estate planning documents? While it is true that online services are extremely inexpensive and fast, you get what you pay for...a subpar product that may not fit your needs.  Online services are incomplete services; they have severe drawbacks, and can even contravene your estate planning goals!  Without an attorney to review your assets, family situation, recent life changes, Colorado law and other factors, you could be making blunders in estate planning by using an online service without even knowing it.

Only a live attorney can recognize the individual needs that affect your estate planning documents, unlike a computer program or website.  Attorneys do not just take your identifying information and put it in a form; they get to know you, your individual situation, your family situation and your estate planning goals, and then develop a plan, with you, to accomplish those goals. 

Live attorneys can also alert you to tax consequences of certain estate plans, beneficiary designation issues, how non-probate transfers can be used in your estate plan and other factors specific to you that can affect your plan.  An attorney can analyze the character and value of your assets and advice you on how to accomplish your goals for those assets. Speak with a live, Colorado licensed attorney who can help you develop a plan that is specific to you.

Finally, how safe do you think your personal information is on an online estate planning site?  Is the online site secure?  Is there a human being who is responsible to you for protecting your privacy and taking care of your needs?  Colorado licensed attorneys have an ethical obligation to protect your privacy and can be punished, up to and including disbarment, for failing to protect your private information.  We take your privacy seriously.  Speak with one of the experienced professionals at Toussaint & Coaty about your estate planning needs. 


Common Interest Ownership Communities and Licensed Professional Managers

            Colorado Homeowner’s Associations and other common interest ownership communities have had a spotted reputation in recent years.  In an effort to manage these issues, some Associations have started to hire professional managers, who are now required to obtain a license prior to hire.  House Bill 15-1343 modifies the regulation of persons who, for compensation, manage the affairs of a common interest community on behalf of a unit owners' association (community association managers) by:

  • Requiring a license for a community association management apprentice;
  • Amending the definition of "community association management" to specify the practices that relate to the management of a common interest community;
  • Exempting executives who employ or supervise an individual who performs community association management and independent contractors from being licensed as community association managers;
  • Providing that an entity may obtain a license by designating a manager who qualifies for a community association manager's license to manage and supervise all of the entity's licensed activity;
  • Modifying the examination requirement by conditioning the grant of a community association manager's license on an applicant passing two separate portions of an examination, referred to as the "general portion" and the "Colorado law portion"; and
  • Changing the fund used for implementation of the regulation of community association managers from the community association manager licensing cash fund to the division of real estate cash fund and repealing the former.

Raising Money Through “Crowdfunding”

 In 2015, the Colorado Legislature addressed the issue of corporations raising money through “crowdfunding” which is the raising of money through on-line small contributions from a very large number of investors.  Current securities law restricts businesses' ability to raise capital through crowdfunding.  The Act enacts the "Colorado Crowdfunding Act" to facilitate crowdfunding by authorizing on-line intermediaries to match a Colorado investor with a Colorado business that wishes to sell securities (an "issuer") pursuant to a simplified regulatory regime, including the following: during any one year period the aggregate amount sold to any single investor cannot exceed $5,000 dollars unless the investor is an "accredited investor" as defined by the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission; and the sum of all consideration paid for an issuer's securities cannot exceed $1 million unless the issuer submits audited financial statements to the securities commissioner, in which case the cap is $2 million.  In addition, issuers must: (1) inform investors, in plain, nontechnical language, that the securities have not been registered pursuant to federal or state securities law and that the securities are subject to limitations on resale, and the investor must acknowledge the risks associated with the purchase; and (2) provide a free quarterly report to investors that includes an analysis of the business operations and financial condition of the issuer and compensation to officers and directors, which report can simply be posted on the on-line intermediary's web site. 

On-line intermediaries cannot offer investment advice or handle investor funds or securities, and must: (1) maintain records of securities transactions, which are subject to inspection by the division of securities; and (2) be compensated only by a fixed amount for each offering, a variable amount based on the length of time that the securities are offered by the on-line intermediary, or a combination of the fixed and variable amounts.  Crowdfunding cannot begin until the securities commissioner adopts rules to implement the act.



Health Benefit Plans

        Under current law, health benefit plans issued, amended, or renewed in this state cannot require in-person health care delivery for a person covered under the plan who resides in a county with 150,000 or fewer residents if the care can be appropriately delivered through telemedicine and the county has the technology necessary for care delivery via telemedicine.  Starting January 1, 2017, this Act removes the population restrictions and precludes a health benefit plan from requiring in-person care delivery when telehealth is appropriate, regardless of the geographic location of the health care provider and the recipient of care. A provider need not demonstrate that a barrier to in-person care exists for coverage of telehealth under a health benefit plan to apply. Additionally, the act specifies that delivery of care via telehealth is not required when a provider determines that telehealth is inappropriate or if the covered person chooses not to receive care through telehealth.

       The act also specifies that carriers: (1) must reimburse a participating provider who delivers care through telehealth on the same basis that the carrier is responsible for reimbursing that provider for providing the same service in person; (2) cannot deny coverage of a health care service that is a covered benefit because the service is provided through telehealth if delivery of the service via telehealth is appropriate; (3) must include in the payment for telehealth interactions reasonable compensation for the transmission costs to the site where the covered person is receiving services, unless the covered person is located at a private residence when receiving services; (4) must charge the same deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amounts and durational benefit limitation or maximum benefits under the health benefit plan to the health care services delivered via telehealth that the carrier applies to the same health care services when performed through in-person care; and (5) cannot impose an annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies separately to health care services delivered through telehealth.  "Telehealth" is defined as a mode of delivery of health care services through telecommunications systems to facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, or self-management of a covered person's health care while the covered person is located at one site and the health care provider is located at a distant site. The term excludes delivery of health care services via telephone, facsimile machine, or electronic mail systems.