What Happens If Someone Passes Without A Will?

If somebody passes away in Colorado without an estate plan, so with no will or no trust, lucky for us, the state of Colorado has a default plan, and that default plan is going to be the same for everybody. When I say lucky for us, I say that sarcastically because it’s not always what you want to happen. The state of Colorado has to assume that everybody wants the same thing. They’re going to assume you want the same thing as your neighbor, as your spouse. There’s no other way to have a transfer without knowing what you want without having a default in place. The default very, very broadly speaking, there’s always going to be exceptions to everything in the law, but broadly speaking if you are married, so if you have a spouse or a partner in a civil union, all of your assets will transfer to that individual.

There are always exceptions. For example, if you have children from a previous marriage, there’s going to be a formula to determine how much the spouse gets, how much the partner in a civil union gets if you are in fact in a civil union, and then how much the children from the previous marriage get. Then if you have no spouse or partner in a civil union, it passes down to your issue. Now while many of us think that our children may be an issue, that is the legal term we use for descendants. If you have no descendants, then we go back up the family tree to parents, and it goes down from there.

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