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A breakdown of Colorado law on wills

Earlier this year, we took a look at why it's important to create a will and do your estate planning early on, while you’re still in good health. Now, we’ll delve into state-specific information you should know about setting up a will in Colorado.

States laws have different criteria for determining whether a will is valid. In Colorado, a will is recognized as valid if:

  • The testator—the person who has made the will—is at least 18 years old,
  • The will has been signed by a minimum of two “generally competent” witnesses and
  • The will is either handwritten or typewritten. (Colorado does not consider oral wills to be valid.)

Wills are a crucial instrument for ensuring that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are cared for after you’re gone. In your will, you can:

  • Assign guardians to care for your minor children,
  • Designate an adult to take care of any property left to your children until they are adults,
  • Elect beneficiaries for your possessions and
  • Choose an executor to carry out the terms of the will.

If you die without a will—known as “intestate”—your case could go to probate court. The court will appoint an administrator to determine how to distribute your property according to the intestate succession law of that state where you reside. If you own property in another state, that property will be distributed according to the intestate succession laws of that state. In addition, if your children are still minors at the time of your passing, you will lose your say in who will be their guardian if you don’t have a will.

Probate can be a painful, complicated and costly process for your loved ones to go through. Therefore, it’s important to have your affairs in order in advance.

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