Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Survey Finds Only Half of American Parents Have an Estate Plan

Posted By: Christopher M. Unger
Practice Area: Estate Planning

According to a new survey out yesterday from, only half of all American parents have an Estate plan or a Will. The survey further revealed that of those who do have a Will or other Estate planning document, only 40 percent of those people had updated their Will in the last five years.

The survey also asked adult children if they knew if their parents had an Estate plan, where the Will was kept, and if the children know the contents of the Will. The survey found that more than half of the children surveyed did not know where the Will was or what it said.

As Andy Cohen, CEO of, pointed out, this is a very difficult discussion for families to have, but nonetheless it is an important discussion. Taking the time to create an effective Estate plan now can save time and money, and can adequately address difficult questions before they arise.

While this new survey underscores the importance of having a Will or Estate plan it also highlights some issues for individuals who may already have an Estate plan. It is important that an individual’s Estate plan be kept up to date. As one’s life grows and evolves, these changes can have an impact on the Estes plan. Common life occurrences, such as marriage, divorce, change in jobs, large purchases (like a house or a car), birth of a child or grandchild, or moving from one state to another, can effect an Estate plan. An Estate plan must be updated to reflect these changes in circumstances.

The survey also shows the importance of fighting through the awkwardness and discomfort and having the hard conversation. It is important to discuss Estate planning with your family and loved ones. Adult children should know if their parents have a Will and where the Will is located. Knowing where the Will is can eliminate the time and expense spent searching for the Will in the difficult days after a loved one passes.

An attorney can help to facilitate the difficult conversation and ask questions to facilitate this process. The attorneys at Mountain West Business Law, P.C. can help draft and set up an effective Estate plan, keep the Estate plan up to date, or review and update existing Estate plans.

Check Out the Survey Results from

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Colorado Law Requires Licensing for Homeowner Association Managers

Posted By: Christopher M. Unger
Practice Area: Homeowners Associations

On March 4, 2015 the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (“DORA”) created new laws regarding Colorado Community Association managers. These new laws go into effect on April 1, 2015. The new laws relate directly to the licensing requirements for community managers.

Under the new law, anyone who serves as community manager for a Community Association must be licensed with DORA. This includes individuals who serve in this capacity, as well as corporations, partnerships, firms, or associations who serve as a community manager.

The new law defines who is considered to be a community manager. A community manager is someone who is hired by the community to oversee operations of the community. Some of the duties of a community manager might include day-to-day operations of the community, conducting investigations of community rule violations, accounting of the funds of the community, et cetera.

There are some exceptions to these licensing requirements. They include:

  • Any person or company who is not compensated for their service as community manager,
  •  Any public official,
  • Any receiver, trustee, administrator, or conservator acting under proper authority, or
  • Any attorney in connection with their representation of the Community Association.

This is only a sampling of the more common exemptions. The law does make exemptions for other, less common situations.

Anyone required to be licensed must be fully licensed by July 1, 2015. To become licensed you must comply with the following requirements. You must meet the required education requirements or complete 24 hours of alternative course work. You must pass the state examination given at various testing centers. You must submit to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check. Finally, you must complete all required forms and applications.

This new law will have far reaching implications across the state of Colorado. As such, it is important for Community Associations and association managers to be well versed in the new law and its requirements. The team at Mountain West Business Law, P.C. routinely assists Community Associations with their legal compliance and understanding changes in the law.

For more information, visit: Department of Regulatory Agencies - Division of Real Estate, Community Association Manager Licensing Rules