Thinking about your will and how your property will be distributed upon your death can be morbid. However, putting off this essential estate planning need can end up creating some big headaches for your loved ones later, particularly if you end up passing away without a will (or a valid will) in place.

In fact, if that happens, your estate will pass to your heirs under Colorado intestate succession laws. Below is an overview of what you should understand about these laws.

Colorado Intestate Succession: Which Assets Are Impacted

Trusted Pueblo estate planning attorneys explain Colorado intestate succession laws to highlight what happens when people die without a will. Contact us for help with any estate planning needs.

Trusted Pueblo estate planning attorneys explain Colorado intestate succession laws to highlight what happens when people die without a will. Contact us for help with any estate planning needs.

The assets that a person owns alone, solely in his own name, will be those that pass to heirs via Colorado intestate succession laws when no legal will exists. This can include personal property such as (but by no means exclusive to):

  • Real estate and homes
  • Motor vehicles
  • Jewelry and art.

In contrast, these assets will NOT include those that are jointly owned and/or for which beneficiaries have already been designated. These types of assets tend to include life insurance proceeds, IRA/retirement fund accounts, assets held in trusts and bank accounts that have payable-on-death (POD) designations.

Colorado Intestate Succession: Who Gets What

How a person’s assets will be distributed to his surviving relatives upon his death (with no will in place) will depend on the types of relatives a person has. The following table outlines how Colorado intestate succession laws prioritize asset distributions based on who the surviving relatives of a decedent are.

Surviving Relatives Asset Distribution
Children Only The surviving children get everything.
Spouse Only All goes to the surviving spouse.
Spouse & children with that spouse (& no other children) All goes to the surviving spouse.
Spouse & children with that spouse; also other children from the surviving spouse Surviving spouse will only inherit the first $150,000 of the intestate assets (+ half of the balance);Children of the decedent inherit the remaining assets.
Spouse & parents (no children) Spouse will inherit the first $200,000 of the intestate assets (+ three-quarters of the balance); the parents will inherit the remaining assets.

The Bottom Line about Intestacy in Colorado

When it comes to intestacy in Colorado, the bottom line is that it can lead to:

  • Additional complications for your loved ones
  • Your assets potentially not being distributed as you would have wished.

So, to ensure that your final wishes are carried out – and that your loved ones have minimal stresses in the event of your passing, it’s important to develop a will now.

Trinidad and Pueblo Estate Planning Attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth

Are you ready to develop a will or deal with any estate planning matters? If so, the Trinidad and Pueblo estate planning attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth are ready to provide you with the highest quality legal services.

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.

Categories: Wills