Your Colorado Will After Marriage, Divorce, or Children

When people come to talk to us about making a Colorado will, there are a lot of issues we have to explain to them in detail. While the process of creating a Colorado will is not that difficult, it isn’t a process that’s finished once you complete the document. You must be prepared to update or modify your will in the event any significant changes in your life take place. Some of these changes, such as a marriage, divorce, or having a child, will require you to make updates to your will that reflect your new circumstances. Here is what you should know about your Colorado will after getting married, going through a divorce, or having a child.

Your Colorado Will After Marriage

When a single person creates a last will and testament, he or she can choose anyone as inheritors. Most single people choose their family members, such as parents, siblings, or nieces and nephews, but you are under no legal obligation to do so. Choosing a charitable organization, or niche occasional institution, for example, are perfectly legal ways to leave inheritances through your Colorado will.

But marriage changes that. While you are under no legal obligation to update your will after you get married, it’s something you must do if you want to make sure your will is effective. This is because spouses in Colorado automatically earn the right to inherit from one another upon the other’s death. This is true even if you have a will that makes no mention of your spouse.

Your Colorado Will After Divorce

A divorce ends the marital relationship between two people, and all the rights and obligations associated with it. So, once you get divorced, you and your former spouse will no longer have the automatic legal rights to receive an inheritance from one another. If you have created a last will and testament that named your spouse as an inheritor, you will have to update the document to reflect your new circumstances. In general, a Colorado court will not honor provisions leaving inheritances to former spouses unless those provisions expressly state your intention to do so despite your divorce.

Your Colorado Will After Children

Even though you are not under any legal obligation to leave an inheritance to your child, failing to update your will after the birth of your child can be a significant mistake. You need to be clear about your inheritance choices, and if you made your will before your child was born, you need to take the time to update it to address the child and state whatever inheritance provisions you wish to include.

In Case You Have More Questions…

If you have more questions regarding Wills in Colorado, be sure to attend one of our upcoming estate planning workshops.  If you feel like your question can be better answered in person give us a call a 303-736-6060 or 719-520-1474.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google