A Colorado Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows an individual, known as a Testator, to ensure that their estate is handled according to their wishes after they pass away. This alleviates unnecessary difficulty when transferring assets to surviving beneficiaries and prevent assets from going into probate court. Colorado Wills are governed by Title 15 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The statues dictate that in addition to the Testator being 18 years of age and of sound mind, the Testator must have two attesting witnesses sign the document once it is complete (in the presence of the Testator). In Colorado, oral wills are not recognized, however, handwritten wills are recognized regardless if they are signed by a witness or not. As long as a handwritten will is written in the Testator's handwriting.
Completing a Colorado Will is a straightforward process that, although is simple, requires as much detail as possible. This prevents any miscommunications between the Executor of the Will (the individual charged with executing the will) and any beneficiaries, as well as issues between beneficiaries. The first thing that a Testator will need to document is their full name and address. Once they have provided this information, the Testator will appoint an Executor. This will be the person who will handle the affairs that involve the will. These responsibilities may include initiating the transfer of property or assets on behalf of the Testator, or ensuring that named individuals are disinherited. Once this person has been named, the Testator will then begin stating their wishes. These wishes can be simple, or complex; either way, it is advised that the Testator include as much detail as possible so that there are no misunderstandings. Conflicts involving a will can be challenged in court, where the state will determine the translation of the Testator's wishes if no conclusion can be agreed amongst beneficiaries. Once all of the Testator's wishes have been recorded in the will, the two (2) witnesses may sign and the document may begin its validity.