Drafting a will is one of the most important aspects of the estate planning process. A watertight will can do so much for you and your loved ones. You can pass on inheritance and nominate legal guardians to look after your minor children should something happen to you.
For a will to be legally valid, there are some steps that you need to take as well as pitfalls that you need to avoid. Outlined below are a few things to consider.
Following the legal process
For a will to be valid in Colorado, the testator must be at least 18 years of age. The will must also be drafted in writing and witnessed and signed by two responsible adults. Some states allow nuncupative (oral) wills but Colorado is not one of them.
Avoid ambiguous terms
It’s important that the instructions in your will are clear and concise. You need to set out exactly who will inherit your assets and property. You’ll also want to clearly state the individuals who you would prefer to look after your children if something happens to you. Remember, you are not limited to nominating one person, you can also have backups should your first choice not be able to do it.
Wills can be updated but you may have decided to start fresh with this one. In such a scenario, it’s important to dispose of previous wills. If a previous document comes to light further down the line then your final wishes may be up for debate. Often, the court will favor the most recent version, but the only way to guarantee this is to dispose appropriately of the older versions.
Having a valid will can give you and your family peace of mind. One way to ensure that this happens is to seek some legal guidance when creating or modifying your estate plan.