Be Prepared for the Future
When someone in Colorado passes away without a will in place, it is referred to as dying "intestate." In this case, the state of Colorado has laws that dictate how their assets are divided among their relatives or other beneficiaries. Understanding these rules is essential so you can plan accordingly and ensure your wishes are followed after you pass away. This blog post will explore what happens when someone dies intestate in Colorado, including who receives the deceased person's property and how much they receive.
Colorado Law and Intestate Succession
When someone in Colorado passes away without a will in place, the state's intestate succession laws take effect. These laws set out how a person's assets will be distributed after their death—even if they had not made any arrangements for their estate. Under these laws, the deceased's property is first divided among their spouse and children. If the deceased had no surviving spouse or children, their property is divided according to a hierarchy of relatives.
However, even if the deceased has surviving family members, there might still be certain limitations regarding who can inherit the property. For example, if the relative is more than two degrees removed from the deceased (i.e. if they are a nephew or niece), they may not be eligible to receive an inheritance under intestate succession laws. Additionally, some close relatives, such as half-siblings, may be excluded from receiving an inheritance due to Colorado law.
Further complicating matters is that each county in Colorado has its own intestate succession guidelines, which can vary slightly from other counties. Therefore, individuals in Colorado need to understand their specific county's intestate succession rules before making plans for what should happen with their estate when they pass away.
Work With an Estate Planning Attorney
Overall, it's crucial for anyone living in Colorado—especially those without a will—to familiarize themselves with what happens when someone dies intestate in Colorado so that their wishes can be carried out and property distributed accordingly once they pass away. Understanding these rules can help ensure that your estate goes to the people you want it to and helps prevent unnecessary family disputes over who should receive your assets after your death.
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