Ms. Peterson specializes in estate planning, probate, trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships. Prior to joining Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Ms. Peterson had her own law practice where she worked with numerous families to work through the unpredictable contingencies of the death or incapacity of a loved one as well as ...assisting clients with creating a legacy through their estate plan. More

Mandatory Reporting And The Rise Of Elder Abuse

The number of elderly people continues to rise across the nation. In fact, it is projected that approximately 1 in 5 Coloradans will be 65 years of age or older by the year 2030. Unfortunately, with the rise in the number of elderly people, the frequency of elder abuse is also on the rise, particularly for widows. Additionally, a recent report prepared by the state’s Strategic Action Planning Group indicated that Colorado citizens do not believe that the needs of seniors are a top priority for elected officials.

In response to the rise in elder abuse, legislation was passed a few years ago to require certain people to be held accountable to report elder abuse to law enforcement. C.R.S. § 18-6.5-108. Under Colorado law, these people are defined as mandatory reporters and are required to file a report with law enforcement if they witness or become aware of the fact that an at-risk elder, defined as any person 70 years of age or older, has been or is at imminent risk for abuse, caretaker neglect or exploitation. Exploitation is defined as the taking of an at-risk elder’s money or other assets against their will or without their knowledge. The report must be filed within 24 hours of observing or discovering the abuse, caretaker neglect or exploitation. Willful failure by a mandatory reporter to make a report is a class 3 Misdemeanor. Conviction can result in a fine of up to $750.00, a jail sentence of up to 6 months, or both.

Continue reading
  783 Hits
783 Hits

What Changes Does the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” Make to Estate Planning?

There are a variety of tax law changes as a result of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”). However, the following is a brief summary of the specific changes that will impact estate planning issues.

Although only approximately 0.2% of the population was subject to the federal estate tax prior to the Act, now the estate tax will apply to even fewer people. If you died in 2017, you could leave up to $5,490,000.00 estate tax free as a single person and $10,980,000.00 as a married couple. The Act changed the amount to $11,200,000.00 for a single person and $22,400,000.00 for a married couple. In addition to amounts that you can leave on death, these figures also apply to gift tax exemptions as well as generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions. The amounts will be adjusted for inflation in 2018 through 2025. However, on January 1, 2026, the amounts are scheduled to revert to the 2017 amounts adjusted for inflation. The top estate tax rate will remain at 40% and the tax rate for generation-skipping transfers will remain at a flat rate of 40%.

Continue reading
  663 Hits
663 Hits