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I have practiced law in Colorado for ten years and specialize in Colorado Estate Planning and Colorado Probate. I earned Bachelor of Science and Mast... (more)

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Robert A. Schuetze

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LEGAL TERMS

INCOMPETENCE

The inability, as determined by a court, to handle one's own personal or financial affairs. A court may declare that a person is incompetent after a hearing at ... (more...)
The inability, as determined by a court, to handle one's own personal or financial affairs. A court may declare that a person is incompetent after a hearing at which the person is present and/or represented by an attorney. A finding of incompetence may lead to the appointment of a conservator to manage the person's affairs. Also known as 'incompetency.'

NET ESTATE

The value of all property owned at death less liabilities or debts.

PETITION

A formal written request made to a court, asking for an order or ruling on a particular matter. For example, if you want to be appointed conservator for an elde... (more...)
A formal written request made to a court, asking for an order or ruling on a particular matter. For example, if you want to be appointed conservator for an elderly relative, you must file a petition with a court. See also complaint.

QTIP TRUST

A type of trust for wealthy married couples that allows a surviving spouse to postpone estate taxes. A QTIP trust allows the surviving spouse to make use of the... (more...)
A type of trust for wealthy married couples that allows a surviving spouse to postpone estate taxes. A QTIP trust allows the surviving spouse to make use of the trust property tax-free. Taxes are deferred until the surviving spouse dies and the trust property is received by the final trust beneficiaries, who were named by the first spouse to die.

ADMINISTRATION (OF AN ESTATE)

The court-supervised distribution of the probate estate of a deceased person. If there is a will that names an executor, that person manages the distribution. I... (more...)
The court-supervised distribution of the probate estate of a deceased person. If there is a will that names an executor, that person manages the distribution. If not, the court appoints someone, who is generally known as the administrator. In some states, the person is called the 'personal representative' in either instance.

UNIFORM TRANSFER-ON-DEATH SECURITY ACT

A statute that allows people to name a beneficiary to inherit stocks or bonds without probate. The owner of the securities can register them with a broker using... (more...)
A statute that allows people to name a beneficiary to inherit stocks or bonds without probate. The owner of the securities can register them with a broker using a simple form that names a person to receive the property after the owner's death. Every state but Texas has adopted the statute.

SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE

The person or institution who takes over the management of trust property when the original trustee has died or become incapacitated.

BEQUEATH

A legal term sometimes used in wills that means 'leave' -- for example, 'I bequeath my garden tools to my brother-in-law, Buster Jenkins.'

TRUST CORPUS

Latin for 'the body' of the trust. This term refers to all the property transferred to a trust. For example, if a trust is established (funded) with $250,000, t... (more...)
Latin for 'the body' of the trust. This term refers to all the property transferred to a trust. For example, if a trust is established (funded) with $250,000, that money is the corpus. Sometimes the trust corpus is known as the 'res,' a Latin word meaning 'thing.'

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

People v. Mason

... sanction. • In October 2001, Respondent was suspended for one year and one day for violating Colo. RPC 1.1, 1.5(a), and 5.3(b) after he conducted an estate-planning seminar for the purpose of avoiding "rest" homecare costs. 148 ...

People v. Foster

... We consider in aggravation that Respondent has been licensed for over twenty years in Colorado. We note, however, that Respondent's background and experience is in estate planning and tax law, not domestic relations law. Absence of a Prior Disciplinary Record — 9.32(b): ...