Dying Without a Will: Everything You Need to Know

Questions about inheritance are complicated when Colorado residents die before making out wills. This can create legal challenges that might require help from an attorney who will guide you through the inheritance process.

Here are details to keep in mind about the inheritance process:

Intestacy Succession Laws The state's intestacy succession laws are part of the Colorado Probate Code. These rules will determine how inheritance is distributed among survivors. When the deceased individual is survived by his or her spouse and dependent children or grandchildren, here is what the law provides:

  • the spouse receives the first $150,000
  • the spouse receives one half of the balance of the probate estate
  • the spouse's children are entitled to the remainder of the estate
Dying Without a Will

Rules are also in place for other scenarios, such as when different individuals who are not directly related to the deceased are involved. In that situation the spouse may claim half of the estate while the rest of the assets are divided among the parents, children and grandchildren. In such a case when the deceased has no descendants or parents, the spouse is entitled to the entire probate estate.

A parent may claim a part of the inheritance after the spouse of the deceased has claimed the first $200,000 and three fourths of the probate estate.

When the Deceased Has No Immediate Survivors The deceased individual's siblings get top priority when there is no will and none of the survivors are either a spouse, dependent or parent. In the case when no family members can claim inheritance, the property will be claimed by the State of Colorado.

Get Legal Help Be aware that state laws can change often. In order to ensure that you are up-to-date with state compliance, contact an attorney in Colorado who has experience with the tax system.

See Also: What to Do If You Get Arrested While Traveling Abroad

Keating and Lyden

Keating & Lyden LLC was founded by attorneys-at-law, Robert J. Keating, and Thomas P. Lyden and is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Bellingham, Washington. The attorneys specialize in providing legal advice in real estate matters to businesses and individuals pertaining to real estate management and operation including: tenancy in common agreements, partition agreements, real estate financing, homeowner’s associations and land use issues. They also provide the highest quality legal services to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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