Understanding Colorado Laws Governing Wills

No one wants to think about their death, but it important to develop a will so that your wishes and desires are fulfilled after your passing.  Simply neglecting this important document is foolish as it allows the state of Colorado to make decisions for minor children and assets after your death.  It is important to understand the laws surrounding wills in Colorado.

Requirements for Making a Will

In Colorado, the person desiring to have a will made must be 18 years or older and be in their right mind.  They must be aware of what assets belong to them and the people or organizations whom they would like to will these to.

What If I Change My Mind?

Some people are afraid that if they make a will and then change their mind regarding a person in it, that it cannot be changed.  Do not fear, providing you are of stable mind and are not being coerced by another, you can change or destroy a will whenever you so choose.

Do Certain Life Events Warrant an Update?

It is important to be aware of certain times when life changes dictate that you should update your will.  Be sure if you move from Colorado to another state or vice versa that you have your will reviewed.  Even though states typically honor legitimate wills from other states, each state has its own laws governing spousal and dependents’ rights, disposition of personal property, etc.  Additionally, it is important to revisit this will as life circumstances will change for you, as well as the devisees’ that stand to benefit from your will.  Tax laws also change over time.

Marital Changes

You may be concerned that if you were to pass away after a divorce and still have your ex-spouse on the will that they would stand to inherit your assets.  This is simply not the case in Colorado.  The minute your divorce is finalized, regardless of if the ex-spouse’s name remains on the will or not, they are legally eliminated from your will.  In cases where you get married but fail to update your will, your spouse will be protected.  He or she will receive the same share of assets as a spouse does without any will at all.

Can I Keep Certain People Out of My Will?

While, it is at your discretion who you leave your assets to, you will not be able to get away with disinheriting a surviving spouse.  Providing there is no prenuptial agreement in place, Colorado has built in protection that allows the surviving spouse to receive a percentage of the assets no matter what is in the will.  Additionally, there is protection for children who were born after the will was written and not later added to the document.  These children, unless specifically disinherited in the will, are eligible to inherit the same share they would have if their parent died without a will in place.

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About the Author: Alex Fisher