"Failing to plan is planning to fail." -Benjamin Franklin
Individuals put off estate planning because they think they don't own enough, they're not old enough, they're busy, think they have plenty of time, they're confused and don't know who can help them, or they just don't want to think it. Then, when something happens to them, their families have to pick up the pieces.
If you don't have a plan, Colorado has one for you, and you're not going to like it. Your current and ex-spouse may jointly control your house.
Your children from your first marriage may be left out in the cold. And some court is going to decide who is the best person to take care of your kids. You've worked hard to get where you are. You deserve to keep what you've got and make sure that it ends up in the hands of the ones you love.
Do you really want a total stranger to decide what's best for your family?
Your Trusted Planner, Matt Meuli and the Meuli Law Office are an estate planning practice offering wills, trusts and planning services to individuals and families in the Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming communities. When meeting with our clients, We strive to:
LISTEN – We take the time to listen to your needs, goals, dreams, concerns and aspirations to create flexible estate plans customized to your situation.
HELP TO EXPLAIN – Simplify estate planning concepts and options in easy to understand terms so you can be comfortable with your plan.
HONOR – Estate planning is a relationship, not a transaction. We will work diligently to develop lifelong relationships with you and your financial advisors through a culture of acceptance, care and respect.
PROVIDE VALUE – Making integrity and ethics central to our practice, We will provide you with the highest quality estate planning documents, counsel and resources. We work hard to stay current with the changing law in our practice areas.
BE EFFICIENT – We maintain a paperless office environment to provide you with efficient and cost-effective legal services.
MAKE IT COMFORTABLE FOR YOU – Conversations about future health or financial needs may touch on topics many people want to avoid. We will meet with you in your home or with your financial advisor to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
About Your Trusted Planner Matt Meuli and the Meuli Law Office
"Knowledge is learning from your own mistakes…wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others."
Helping people plan for the future is a passion of mine…a lesson I learned the hard way. As a teenager, I was fortunate to have had my grandparents set up a trust so my sisters and I could attend college. This trust provided for our school needs. Unfortunately for me, the trust ended when I was 21 years old and I received the principal. Not being mature enough to handle this amount, I spent it on “cool” stuff. Had that money remained in the trust, it would be worth over $225,000 today. I know this amount because the same year I received the money, I advised my sisters not to make the same mistake and leave their principal in the trust. Fortunately for them, they listened to my advice. I now smile when my children ask me why they do not have the "cool stuff" their cousins have.
I tell them it is because I did not have an older brother from which to learn wisdom.
My law practice focuses on estate planning and administration, asset protection and specialty trusts. I want to protect families and their legacies as well as their rights and privacy! Assisting you to plan in advance helps to avoid costly mistakes in the future. My philosophy is that people who fail to plan are planning to fail. I bring a wealth of real world experience anchored by a Christian outlook to my law practice.
This real world experience includes teaching people of all ages from all walks of life. From this experience, I gained an appreciation that we are all interdependent, a community, and that we are all in this together. I also believe that wisdom comes from seeking the counsel of many and will often include your financial advisors when planning. To this end I am a member of the Colorado Bar Association including the Taxation Law Section and Trusts & Estate Section, the Larimer County Bar Association, the Wyoming Bar Association, WealthCounsel (a Nationwide Community of Estate Planning Attorneys) and Gun Docx (a Community of Attorneys Passionate about Firearm Law).
I believe that life is a journey and much of what we learn is in the traveling and not in the destination. To this end, I believe that we all need a wilderness experience where life is difficult so that we may discover that small quiet voice inside of each of us. The journey is all about learning how to listen. I strive to empower my clients by truly listening to what they say prior to making any suggestions.
My education includes an associate degree in accounting, a bachelor’s degree in finance, and my Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming. I am licensed to practice law in Colorado and Wyoming. I also continue to be licensed with the Colorado Department of Education and the Association of Christian Schools International in Social Studies, Business and Computers
Take a look around, get to know us and request one or more of our special reports that most applies to you, your family and/or your business. We look forward to being here for your family and your business for life.
If you don't already have a plan,the state has one for you and you probably won't like it...
More than just a will, estate planning is a complete strategy to be carried out in the event you become disabled or die. It is not just for the wealthy or the aging. One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and the ones you love is to establish an estate plan. A well-designed plan can provide for your loved ones, including minor children or aging parents, provide for incapacity, avoid probate at death, reduce or avoid estate taxes, and provide for charitable organizations.
This may include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, health care powers of attorney or a combination of these, depending on your needs and goals. Our attorneys will guide you through the planning process by truly listening to you and handcrafting a plan that honors your wishes and provides continuing support for you and your family.
Our attorneys will help guide your personal representative through the probate process or your trustee through the trust administration process. Our top priority is to get your assets to your beneficiaries in a timely manner to help maintain your family harmony during such a difficult time.
Pet trusts are not just for the rich and eccentric. They are for any pet owner who wishes to ensure the proper care and treatment of their much-loved pet should the owner become disabled or die. At that point, will the person you leave in charge love your pets as much as you do? Our attorneys can honor your wishes to choose your pet’s caregiver and provide specific instructions on how to feed, exercise, and provide for your pet as well as protect the money you have set aside to care for your pet.
Help protect your family and friends from the "accidental felony"
Gun rights and owning guns are important to you. Your store them safely. You use them safely. Let us help you own, share, and transfer them safely.
What is a gun trust? Simply put, it is a revocable living trust for guns with detailed instructions about who gets to use the guns and how the guns will be used. The "revocable" part allows you to change your trust at any time. The trust is especially useful for acquiring "NFA weapons."
What are "NFA weapons?" Typically, these are machine guns, short barreled rifles or shotguns, and suppressors (silencers). These are easier to purchase with a trust because it avoids the need for the local Chief Law Enforcement Officer to sign-off on your application to the Federal Government and the trust allows you to share these weapons with the people listed in your trust.
Why use a gun trust? The trust makes it easier to acquire NFA weapons and avoids the local Chief Law Enforcement sign-off. The trust can avoid probate (a very public process) for your guns at the time of your death and pass those guns to named people. Also, the trust provides rules and instructions for use and transfer of your guns to prevent the "accidental felony."
What is the "accidental felony?" Local, state and federal laws control the registration, possession, use and legal ways to transfer firearms. A transfer may be letting a friend use a gun at a range, taking your guns to get cleaned, giving your key to your gun safe to your spouse, or getting your guns back from the pawnshop. Penalties for an illegal transfer are up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Why should I use a trust from Meuli Law Office? An improperly drafted gun trust creates serious problems. Many "free" or do-it-yourself trust that can be downloaded online are silent about compliance with gun laws. The "accidental felony" does not require your intent, it only requires sharing your gun with the wrong person. This gun may then be confiscated and destroyed. Let us protect your privacy, your property, your family and friends.
How does the gun trust work? You appoint a trustee that is given the power to manage trust assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. You can design it for anyone (including yourself) and you can be both the trustee and beneficiary. The trust owns the guns and accessories. Generally ownership of these items is transferred to the trust by an assignment or bill of sale.
What other reasons would I want a gun trust? One of the more obscure laws is the National Firearms Act (NFA) which regulates the possession, use, and transfer of several different types of weapons. The State of Colorado further restricts the possession and use of these weapons. Individual ownership of such a weapon may not allow your friend at a firing range to try your weapon or even allow your spouse to have the combination of the safe where the weapon is kept. Because of the vast amount of federal and state regulations pertaining to both NFA and non-NFA weapons, your loved ones taking your gun collection after you die or become disabled may make a mistake as to the applicable laws. These mistakes are usually a commission of a felony. A gun trust is designed to solve these challenges allowing multiple users of the weapons including your shooting partners. The trust also allows for the formal appointment of beneficiaries for a limited duration with a set expiration date. An “automatic beneficiary” and a “limited duration beneficiary” have no rights for inheritance unless they are also listed as a “remainder beneficiary.” Your trust does not require any fees with the state. Oh and by the way, the felony charge for such accidental mistake is up 10 years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine.
Workshop Series: Sign up for one of our workshops and design your own gun trust with the help and advice of an attorney. Use your trust to maintain privacy for ownership of all your firearms (not just NFA weapons), protect your firearms from government confiscation, and pass on your guns to the ones you love.
Our Planning Process
Complete the Estate Planning Personal Information Form
- Prior to the Initial Meeting and Interview, Client will fill out this form
- Client will provide Wills, Trusts, Powers of Appointment and other prior estate planning documents currently in place.
- Client will forward prior estate planning documents and the Estate Planning Personal Information for to attorney at least three business days before Initial Meeting and Interview to help facilitate estate planning process
Initial Meeting and Interview (approx. 2 hours)
- Listen to and discuss Client’s goals
- Discuss available estate planning options to meet those goals
- Quote a flat fee for the suggested estate plan (usually expressed in a range)
- If Client want to proceed in the estate planning process, attorney will provide engagement letter outlining specific provisions of the process and fee range
Design and Drafting (approx. 2 to 4 weeks)
Attorney will design and draft the documents based upon the Client’s goals
Review of Documents (approx. 2 hours)
Attorney will set a meeting time for review of drafted documents explaining each article and section to ensure it meets Clients goals
Signing Meeting (approx. ½ hour)
Attorney and Client will determine a the witnesses, date, location for signing and notarizing documents
Dealing with Changes
- Client’s documents should be reviewed annually to determine the appropriateness of changes (for example, changes in guardians for minor children, adding trustee beneficiaries, changing trustees and beneficiaries due to divorce or marriage)
- Attorney offers a Client Maintenance Program which allows Client peace of mind, knowing that the state plan will always remain current.