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What You Need to Know About Last Will and Testament, Colorado

Protect your legacy with a last will and testament in Colorado. Duncan Legal, PC can help you write a will. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Last Will and Testament in Colorado

Are you a Colorado resident who wants to ensure your wealth is distributed according to your wishes after death? If so, it’s essential to understand the legal document that can make this happen: a last will and testament.

This powerful tool lets you specify exactly how your property has to be divided and distributed upon your death. You can also choose to have your wealth and assets transferred to charitable organizations.

Given the complexities of succession laws, navigating the intricacies of estate planning in Colorado can be daunting. But don’t worry. Estate planning attorneys from Duncan Legal, PC, are here to help you answer any questions about estate planning and succession in Colorado.

This guide explains everything you need to know about Colorado’s last will and testament. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Colorado Last Will and Testament?

It is a legal document outlining the distribution of a person’s assets to named beneficiaries upon death.

Simply put, it sets forth how an individual’s personal property must be distributed after the testator’s death. A testator refers to the person who makes the will. This document serves as the deceased’s final wishes and allows them to have control over who will inherit their possessions.

The Colorado last will and testament can serve the following purposes:

  • Appoint a guardian for minor children.

  • Establish trusts. For instance, include a testamentary trust to hold assets for the benefit of minor children until they reach a designated age.

  • Forgive debts owed to the testator.

  • Name an executor to carry out their final requests.

A will is ambulatory, meaning it moves with the person even if they relocate to a new state, and it may be changed at any time. Here at Duncan Legal, PC, you can find the help you need to establish a secure will or any other legal documents as per Colorado law.

What Will Happen if I Die Without a Will in Colorado?

When you die without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” Without this essential legal document in place, Colorado’s intestacy laws will determine how your assets are distributed. Essentially this means that your estate is divided according to a predetermined hierarchy. As a result, the state’s distribution of your assets may not reflect your wishes or benefit those you care about the most.

  • For example, if you have a surviving spouse but no children or parents, all your assets would go to your spouse.

  • If you have surviving children but no surviving spouse or parents, your children inherit equal shares.

  • If you die without any close relatives, your assets could potentially go to the state itself.

Why Should I Make a Will?

A will is a document that ensures your loved ones are taken care of. Without a will, the court decides who inherits what, which can cause unnecessary conflict within the family during property distribution.

Making a will provides peace of mind to the testator. They can control how their estate is managed and distributed after death. As a result, family members can avoid lengthy probate proceedings, saving time and money for those left behind. It also reduces the potential for disputes among heirs in the family.

It’s important to consider updating your last will and testament periodically. Consider doing so as life changes occur, such as:

  • Marriage

  • Divorce

  • Birth of children/grandchildren

  • Acquisition of new property/assets

Colorado Will and Testament Requirements

For a will to be valid in Colorado, it has to abide by the following requirements set out under section § 15-11-501 and 15-11-502 of the Colorado Revised Stwatutes:

  • The testator has to be an individual who is at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

  • The will has to be signed by the testator. It needs to be witnessed by two competent witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will. Each witness has to sign the will within a reasonable time. They can do so after witnessing a testator’s signature.

  • A testator can also finalize the will by acknowledging it before a notary or an individual authorized by law.

  • The will can be either typed out or handwritten. Handwritten wills are known as holographic wills. The State of Colorado doesn’t recognize oral wills.

  • A testator may include guardians to take care of minors. One can name an adult to take charge of property left for the minor child. One can also include a personal representative to ensure the wishes are fulfilled.

Steps to Create a Will in Colorado

Specific steps have to be followed when creating a Colorado will.

  1. The first step is to decide which assets you want to include in the will.
  2. Choose the heirs to your estate.
  3. Appoint an executor to take charge and distribute your possession after your death.
  4. Specify how your assets are to be distributed among family members or other beneficiaries.
  5. Keep your original copy of the signed and dated will at a safe location where it can easily be retrieved.

Consulting with an attorney when creating a will may be a good idea. It will help you ensure that all requirements are met and your wishes are properly documented.

How to Update Your Colorado Last Will and Testament?

If you have a Colorado last will and testament, it’s important to update it when necessary. To do so, you can do the following:

Start by reviewing the original will to identify any changes that need to be made. This could include the following:

  • Adding or removing beneficiaries

  • Updating property information

  • Changing the executor of your estate

Once you’ve identified the changes needed, you may revoke your old will and create a new document with the updates. A will can also be changed through a codicil that only changes specific paragraphs.

It’s also important to communicate these changes with your loved ones. Ensure they can access the updated document if something happens to them.

Contact Duncan Legal, PC Today!

There are numerous factors to consider when making your Colorado will. By enlisting the help of a good estate planning lawyer, you may be able to navigate the entire process more effortlessly. You will also have greater peace of mind knowing that you have a strong will in place.

A competent estate planning attorney in Centennial can help you:

  • Draw up your last will and testament
  • Help you draft a living will
  • Make you understand the different types of trusts available
  • Explain the tax implications of creating trusts
  • Navigate probate court proceedings and other important legal aspects related to estate planning

A lawyer can also guide you when selecting an executor or trustee. They will also ensure that all your end-of-life decisions are legally binding so that there are no disputes between beneficiaries later.

Spare your loved ones the hassle of handling probate by completing a last will and testament. Contact us today if you need help with your last will and testament or any other estate planning tool.

Flat-fee options are available for wills, trusts and probate:

(303) 394-2358