Category: Kokish & Goldmanis

Resolve to Complete Your Estate Plan

The new year brings excitement, opportunity and resolutions. Often people resolve to complete their estate plan in the coming year. Given that most people do not have a current, integrated and HIPAA compliant plan, that is a great resolution.

So how do you get started? Start by watching this video, especially if you have a family:

Your goal should be to have an integrated and HIPAA compliant plan. To learn what plan is right for you and your family, call our office today at 303-688-3535 to schedule your in depth estat planning assessment. You’ll be glad you did.

The Gift of Estate Planning

Many articles have been published about the gift of estate planning. In fact, it is one of the most important gifts you can give to your family and loved ones. A well crafted estate plan represents part of your legacy and how you will be remembered. How you would like to be remembered when you are gone and does your estate plan reflect those wishes?

Why can estate planning be such important gift for your family? Consider these benefits your family receives from your well thought out plan:

1. Protection for your spouse from creditors and predators. Are you leaving a plan which exposes your spouse to risk or protects them?

2. Protection of children from the over indulgence of youth, protection from creditors and protection against predators. Does your plan for your children provide these protections?

3. Inclusion of grandchildren or other family members who are disabled. Such issues should be considered in every plan. Are they addressed i yours?

4. Asset and probate planning. Do your assets create problems and are these issues addressed in your estate plan?

5. HIPAA compliance. Protection of your health information is important in our electronic age. Is your entire plan and all documents HIPAA compliant? If not it needs to be.

6. How recently have your reviewed your plan? Plans older than 5-7 years may create unexpected traps and negative results for your family. Has your plan been reviewed recently?

Does your current plan provide these benefits to your family? Now you know why estate planning is one of the best gifts for your family not only at the holiday season but also year round.

The Importance of Proper Beneficiary Designations

In estate planning the details matter. In fact they matter so much that the tiniest of details can derail your entire plan. A good example of that is your beneficiary designations.

Family Lawyer Castle Rock

Beneficiary designations can be on things like bank accounts, insurance policies, IRA’s and brokerage accounts. The key question is are your beneficiary designations synchronized with your estate plan? If they are not then your estate plan can fail.

To avoid the inadvertent failure of your plan, work with your estate planning attorney to check each beneficiary designation to ensure coordination with your estate plan.

Protect Yourself and Family from Scams and Fraud

Our firm is located in Castle Rock, Colorado, currently rated as one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S. As our community has grown it has attracted an assortment of scammers, fraudsters and con-artists. Each year we publish an article on the latest tips you can use to protect your family and yourself from getting scammed. Here is our 2019 update on avoiding fraud and cons.

Here are some of the latest frauds to watch out for:

1) Fake families begging at local stores.
2) Fake notices on obtaining recorded documents about real estate.
3) The ever popular robo call now also on your cell phone.
4) Skimming machines at local gas stations.
5) In good weather the always annoying door to door sales person.
6) Internet scams now appearing on your facebook and twitter pages and in the groups you follow there.

There are many more and scammers get bolder and more sophisticated each day. Your job, with these tips is to outsmart the con-artists. Here are several tips to use:

1) Any time and in any place that you feel threatened or uncomfortable, call the police or sheriff’s office. Nothing makes rats run away faster than the cops arriving.

2) If you are unsure about an offer or sales person, check them out before signing anything or giving them money. Use these links to get more detailed tips:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud

https://www.bbb.org/avoidscams/

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-yourself-from-scams

3) Ask your lawyer or CPA for their opinion before you hand your hard earned money over to someone. Your lawyer and CPA owe you what is called “fiduciary care” so they are required to have your interest paramount.

4) As hard as this may be to do, NEVER EVER give money to someone who is begging at the store. If you fail to follow this rule you will probably see that fake family at the car dealer buying their next car with your money!

5) As fun as it is to follow advice on facebook, twitter and nextdoor, don’t buy ANYTHING just because you see it there. I recently purchased a tool for my bike on facebook and, to my total dismay it was a total piece of garbage and I should have known better!

The basis rule in our law is Caveat Emptor. This means that only you can prevent fraud and only you are the best means to protect yourself from scams and con-artists. Remember this: Be careful out there!

3 (Of Many) Reasons Why Estate Planning is Not Only for the Wealthy

Before I became an estate planning, I did not fully understand the importance of having an estate plan.  I thought that estate planning was only for the wealthy.  Nothing can be further from the truth!
So, here are 3 reasons why you should consider meeting with an estate planning attorney, regardless of your wealth:
1. You have children under the age of 18.
A good estate plan protects your children from an uncertain future.  For example, a comprehensive estate plan for families with young children will include an Appointment of Guardian, which allows you to nominate a guardian to care for your children when you die or become incapacitated and are unable to care for them.  They also include an Authorization for Care of Minor Children, which allows you to appoint an another adult to temporarily care for and make decisions on behalf of your minor children when you are on vacation, unavailable, or become incapacitated.
2. To appoint decision makers to take care of you and your finances should you become unable to do so.
Not all estate planning concerns death.  For example, power of attorney documents are important estate planning tools.  These documents allow you to name people you trust (agents) to make medical and financial decisions for you while you alive, but are unable, or don’t want to, make such decisions for yourself.
3. The State in which you live has already created an estate plan for you.
All 50 states, and the District of Columbia, have laws that dictate how your property will be distributed after you die.  These laws are called the laws of intestacy and apply when you die without a will.  These laws may not match how you want your property to be distributed after your death.
Greta Suneson

K&G Attorney Named 2019 Castle Rock Citizen of the Year

K&G happily announces that the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce has named K&G partner Bernie Greenberg as the 2019 Castle Rock Citizen of the Year. Bernie’s involvement in the local community is extensive as he has a long list of community service and is the 2019-2020 Chair of the Castle Rock Chamber Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which provides public education in business, economics and civics. Congratulations to Bernie Greenberg!

Get Help If You Suspect Exploitation

Exploitation of the elderly and other persons at risk is increasing daily. The K&G Estate Department has an array of tools and lawyers to help in these difficult cases. Society should protect it’s most vulnerable, elderly, children, the disabled but alarmingly these vulnerable people are most often at risk from their own families.

Abuse of persons at risk can come in many forms. Physical, emotional or financial. Protecting at risk individuals begins with education, training and sometimes legal intervention. If you become aware of an abuse case please take these steps immediately:

  1. Report to the person responsible for the person unless that is the abuser.
  2. Report to authorities. Police and sheriff departments have training and personnel to deal with these cases.
  3. Contact our office 303-688-3535 for assistance. The K&G Estate Department has attorneys trained to assist with these matters and who specialize in protecting at risk individuals.

Family Attorney Hannah Paille Joins Kokish & Goldmanis

K&G is excited to announce that family law attorney Hannah Paille has joined the firm’s Family Law Department. Paille will be specializing in family law matters such as divorce and post decree matters.

Paille is originally from Bossier City, Louisiana.  She attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana and achieved a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in journalism and political science with a concentration in pre-law. There, she was the president of the debate team, traveled the world competing in debate, and discovered her passion for public speaking and in-depth analysis of complex issues.

Paille went to law school at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for her first two years, where she gained valuable experience at the East Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender and clerking for the first woman to serve as a judge at the Middle District of Louisiana District Court. She then transferred to the University of Denver for her last year of law school.

Welcome Hannah Paille, to the K&G family!

Becky Goldmanis Named a Colorado Super Lawyer for 2018-2019

Kokish & Goldmanis is proud to announce that K&G partner Becky Goldmanis has been named a Colorado Super Lawyer for 2018-2019.

The Colorado Super Lawyers are well known and recognized as the best lawyers in Colorado.

Goldmanis, who heads K&G’s Family Law Department had this to say, “I am honored to be named a Colorado Super Lawyer! As a former district attorney it is gratifying to know that our work at K&G in helping families is recognized”.