When people pass away without leaving behind a valid will, they will have died “intestate,” and their estate will be distributed according to Colorado intestacy laws. While these laws can be complicated, below, we’ll focus our discussion on how they can impact children, depending on the specific nature of the relationship between children and the decedent.
Children’s Inheritance Rights per Colorado Intestacy Laws
Here is a general overview of how Colorado intestacy laws apply to children, based on their specific relationship with the decedent, Pueblo estate & probate attorneys explain.
The following is general overview of how Colorado intestacy laws impact children:
- Biological children will generally inherit everything if there is no surviving spouse. If there is a surviving spouse, what biological children inherit will depend on whether the children were from a previous marriage or the marriage to the surviving spouse.If children are from the marriage to the surviving spouse (and there are no other descendants), the spouse will typically inherit everything. If there are other descendants, however, the spouse inherits the first $150,000 of intestate property and half of the remaining balance while the children inherit everything else.
- Grandchildren will generally only receive a share of an intestate estate when their parent (i.e., the child of the decedent) has also already passed away.
- Children born during marriage (between the surviving spouse and the decedent) will usually be assumed to be biological children of the decedent and, as such, will be treated the same as biological children with respect to Colorado intestacy laws.
- Legally adopted children will also be treated as biological children for intestate estates.
- Stepchildren or foster children will generally not automatically receive a share of an intestate estate.
- Children placed up for adoption and who were legally adopted by another family will also not automatically inherit property from an estate via Colorado intestacy laws. An exception to this, however, is when a surviving spouse has legally adopted children placed up for adoption (in which case the legally adopted children would be treated as biological children under Colorado intestacy laws).
More Important Info about Colorado Intestacy Laws
- For anyone to inherit property from an estate via Colorado intestacy laws, that person has to live past the “survivorship period,” which means that the potential beneficiary has to live at least 120 hours longer than the decedent in order to be eligible for an inheritance.
- Half-siblings (or “half” other relatives) are generally treated as “whole” (or fully biological) for the purposes of Colorado intestacy laws.
Contact the Trinidad and Pueblo Estate & Probate Attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth
For experienced help developing an estate plan or getting through Colorado probate, contact the Trinidad and Pueblo estate & probate attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth. Experienced and respected, our Trinidad and Pueblo lawyers have been dedicated to helping our clients favorably resolve their important legal issues since 1972.
To learn more about our superior legal services and how we can assist you, contact us by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Pueblo, we represent clients in Trinidad, La Jara, Lamar, Walsenburg, Alamosa and throughout the state of Colorado.