A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines how a person’s property and assets will be distributed after they pass away. In Colorado, the law governs how a person can create a will and what it should include to be considered valid. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a last will and testament is under Colorado law and what you should know if you’re considering creating one.
First and foremost, a will is a document that allows a person to dictate how their property and assets will be distributed after their death. In Colorado, to be a self-proving document a will must be in writing, signed by the person creating it, witnessed by two individuals, and notarized. It’s important to note that a will can be challenged in court if there are concerns about its validity, so it’s crucial to follow the legal requirements when creating one.
In a will, a person can name a personal representative (i.e. executor) who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions outlined in the document. The personal representative is responsible for handling the estate, paying any debts or taxes owed, and distributing the remaining property and assets according to the wishes of the person who created the will.
In addition to naming a personal representative, a will can also be used to name guardians for minor children, establish trusts for beneficiaries, and make charitable donations. These instructions should be as clear and specific as possible to avoid any confusion or disputes.
It is important to note that not all property can be distributed through a will. For example, property that is jointly owned with another person will pass to that person upon the creator’s death, regardless of what is written in the will. Similarly, assets held in a trust or accounts with designated beneficiaries, such as retirement accounts or life insurance policies, will pass directly to the named beneficiaries.
It’s also important to update your will periodically, particularly if there have been changes in your personal or financial circumstances, such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or acquisition of new assets. If you do not update your will, it may not accurately reflect your wishes at the time of your death.
In conclusion, a last will and testament is a crucial legal document that outlines how your property and assets will be distributed after your death. In Colorado, to be a self-proving document a will must be in writing, signed, witnessed by two individuals, and notarized. It’s important to name a personal representative, be clear and specific in your instructions, and update your will periodically. If you’re considering creating a will, it’s best to consult with an attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your wishes are properly documented and legally binding.
If you have questions regarding your estate, or the estate of a loved one, contact Chapman Law, PLLC to discuss your situation.
This blog is intended to provide general information and, therefore, should not be treated as legal advice. You should contact a qualified attorney for questions about legal issues.