Frequently Asked Questions
What are the legal requirements of a will in Colorado?
What is a decedent?
What does “intestate” mean?
What is probate?
Wills and intestate estates must go through the court supervised probate process. Probate is used to transfer title to the beneficiaries under a will or the “heirs” if there is no will.
What is the first step in the probate process?
How long does the probate process take?
In Colorado, probating a will or intestate estate takes an average of 12 months for a relatively simple, uncontested estate. If a will is challenged or an estate is particularly complex, the process can take far longer.
What documents does my attorney need to review in the estate planning process?
The following is a checklist of documents that your attorney will need to review:
- Real Estate Assets: description, value, ownership, mortgages or other liabilities
- Business Interests: business entity, value of interest, ownership, liabilities
- Bank Accounts: where held, type of account, value, ownership, designated beneficiary
- Brokerage Accounts: where held, type of account, value, ownership, designated beneficiary
- Stocks and Bonds: name of company, value, cost, ownership notes
- Receivables: description, value
- Motor Vehicles: description, value, ownership
- Life Insurance: carrier, type, face value, owner, beneficiary
- Retirement Plans (pension, 401(k), IRA, KEOGH, profit sharing): type of plan, owner, beneficiary
When should I change my will or trust?
Can my will or trust change the beneficiaries of my IRA, 401K, annuities or insurance contracts?
Does real estate held as a joint tenant pass through my will or trust?
No. Your ownership portion of the joint tenancy passes to the surviving joint tenant by “operation of law” without probate court intervention and without regard to trust documents.
What is an executor or personal representative?
An executor named in a will, commonly called a personal representative, is responsible for carrying out the wishes stated in the will through the probate process. The personal representative must handle final financial affairs, such as paying bills, locating, managing, valuing and distributing assets, and hiring a probate attorney and other advisors, as needed. The personal representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for their services.
What is a grantor?
What is a Trust Protector?
What is a Living Will or Advance Medical Directive?
- Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them
- The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want
- Whether you wish to receive life sustaining measures if you have a terminal illness
- How comfortable you want to be
What are the duties of a trustee?
Colorado Bar Association Information & Tips
What is a Beneficiary?
What is an Heir?
An individual entitled to a distribution of an asset or property interest under applicable state law in the absence of a will. “Heir” and “beneficiary” are not synonymous, although they may refer to the same individual in a particular case.
What is a Spendthrift Provision?
How does Divorce Effect a Current Will or Trust and Powers of Attorney?
Do I Have to Wait Until a Divorce is Final to Update My Estate Plan?
Do you have to pay Income Tax Reporting After Someone dies?
What is Business Succession Planning
How Do You Remove an Account from Facebook or Twitter When Someone Dies or Becomes Incapacitated?
Facebook Account Memorialization Form:
Facebook Medically Incapacitated Person Account Removal Form:
Twitter help article on Removal of Deceased/Incapacitated Person Accounts:
How to Obtain a Credit Report for a Deceased Person
Contact Information for the Credit Unions:
How do you change your gender classification on your license?
How to determine if a deceased person owed taxes or was entitled to a refund
Can an irrevocable trust be changed?
Yes through either a nonjudicial settlement agreement or judicial trust modification.
Does Colorado have a right to die act or medical aid in dying?
Yes – Click here to learn more
“We needed help with all estate planning levels that included multiple conversations with each family member and sets of documents for all of us – each with different needs and requirements. In less than a month, Leonard Law completed the entire process for us. More importantly, Frieda explained each document’s details, sometimes repeatedly, since this was a new process for us. I absolutely recommend Frieda Leonard – she has given our family great peace of mind!”
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