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Drafting wills in Colorado

In the state of Colorado, a person's will dictates what they want to happen to their assets or estate when they die. This legal document, which can be enforced by the court, assists family members with the division of any property, family items or financial assets.

Persons above the age of 18 and who know what assets they possess have the ability to write up a will. The will can be handwritten or typed based on the testator's preferences. Once the will is completed, it must be signed by two parties who have no stake in the will and it must be notarized by an authorized notary public. The will can be changed or revoked anytime the testator wishes as long as he or she is mentally capable of making those changes. It is recommended that changes be made to a will if any major life changes take place, such as a move to another state or if the testator's marital status changes.

There are several assets that are not governed by wills. For example, any property or assets that are jointly owned cannot be governed by a will. Assets that have beneficiaries, such as a life insurance policy, will be given to the beneficiary or beneficiaries by operation of law. Otherwise, testators have the right to relinquish their assets to anyone they choose.

It is always recommended that an estate planning attorney review a will, especially if it is the first will being drafted or if the client recently relocated to Colorado. Not only may the attorney may help ensure that the will covers all of the client's assets, the attorney may also help ensure that those assets be relinquished to the proper individuals when the client passes away.

Source: Colorado Bar Association , "Wills in Colorado", November 02, 2014

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